The University of Hawai’i will carry the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship crown for one more year.
The University of Hawai’i (27-5) beat the Long Beach State University (21-6) to capture their second consecutive national championship, prevailing in 3 sets at Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California: 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-20). This year, the two Big West Conference arch-rivals met 4 times. The 2 regular-season games were won by LBSU. When it came to the encounters that truly mattered, though – in the conference final match and championship duel – the Rainbow Warriors were unbeatable.
Twenty-one points of the 2003-class Bulgarian outside hitter Alex Nikolov, the first freshman in NCAA volleyball’s history to be elected Player of the Year, weren’t enough in ’The Beach’ to stop the foreign legion of Hawai’i (5 non-Americans in the lineup, 6 in total in roster). The Greek sophomore opposite hitter Spyros Chakas, tournament MVP, top-scored ’The Bows’ in the final match with 18 points.
The 2021 champions, despite the fact that this season they could no longer count on two key elements of the last championship – Bulgarian Rado Parapunov and Patrick Gasman – defended the title by concluding the 2022 season with 9 straight wins and became the 5th team in a row to repeat as national champions.