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No. 18 HPU falls to No. 17 CSU-LA
by Derek Clarkston, assoc. Sports editor

The 18th ranked HPU Lady Sea Warriors were involved in an old fashion barn burner Sept. 7, but were put to the losing side of it by the hands of the 17th ranked CSU-Los Angeles Golden Eagles in five sets, at the James C. Castle Gymanasium at St. Andrew’s Priory. HPU dropped it’s overall record to 5-3 (0-0 Pac West) on the season, while CSU-LA improved it’s record to 4-1.

The Sea Warriors took the early edge in the contest by dominating the first set, winning it 30-17. The second set went the other way as the Golden Eagles showed why they are ranked 17th in the country, putting away HPU with ease, 30-14.

“We expected a good fight, though you can’t win when you dig yourself in a deep hole,” said Tita Ahuna, seventh year head coach of the Lady Sea Warriors. “ In rally scoring it’s hard to fight back”

HPU did fight back in the third set, winning it 30-19, but that wasn’t enough as they fell in the last two sets, 21-30 and 11-15.

Despite the loss, Suzy Garbelotti, the lone senior on this year’s team, led the match in kills with 21 and led HPU in digs with 10, while recording her fifth consecutive double-double. Freshman setter Vera Oliveria led the team in assists, 42, while also helping with 10 kills, for her third straight double-double.

The Golden Eagles were led by Dana Coffey with 18 kills and Tiara Tuitama with 17 digs. “I think everyone did a great job, but I think we can’t just do a great job, and then let down and try to fight back,” said Ahuna.“ We need to play consistently through the entire match.”

Along with Oliveria, the Sea Warriors have three other starting freshman, which could be the cause of inconsistent play at times. In time they will gel together and play at the level they are capable of playing through the entire match. With the help of Garbelotti, who was on the 2000 National Championship team,and her other teammates things will come together, Ahuna said

“I think they’ll (freshmen) get it, we were hoping sooner than later,” said Ahuna. “Let’s chalk this up as a learning experience and move on.”

HPU was outhit .209 to .278 in the loss. Earlier durning the week on Sept. 4, the Sea Warriors took care of business beating the Azusa Cougars in four sets.

Garbelotti tallied up a match-high 24 kills and chipped in 11 digs, while Freshman Briana Marinas had a match high 13 digs and added 14 kills. Oliveria dished out 49 assists and 12 kills.

The Sea Warriors hit .201, while holding the Cougars to a dismal .071 hitting percentage.


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