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HPU downs Chaminade, drops two to BYU-H, beats Hilo twice

by Derek Clarkston, associeate Sports editor


The HPU Lady Sea Warriors Volleyball team sliced through Chaminade University in three sets in a PacWest conference game Oct. 8 at the Neil Blaisdell Center.

The Sea Warriors improved their record to 4-0 in PacWest play and 9-3 overall by taking the Silverswords 30-26, 30-23, 30-26. Chaminade dropped to 3-2 in the PacWest and 9-3 overall.

“Somebody told me before the game they see the team winning in four, and I looked at them and said I was thinking more in three sets,” said Tita Ahuna, seventh-year Sea Warrior’s coach. “I have the utmost confidence in the ladies, and I know if we are on top of our game no one can beat us but ourselves.”

The Sea Warriors got a key performance from junior outside hitter Teisa Fotu, who knocked down 10 kills hitting a match high .348, something that Coach Ahuna had been waiting for the whole season.

“The people who I wanted to step up tonight did,” said Ahuna. “ Suzy Garbelotti and Vera Oliveira are just awesome players, but Tiesa Fotu really stepped it up tonight and showed her leadership.”

Ahuna also commented that she was pleased with the play of Sandra Brunke who had a match-high 16 digs. Garbellotii also recorded a match-high 15 kills, while Oliveira dished out a match-high 31 assists to go along with 10 digs for the Sea Warriors win.

The Sea Warriors got support for Garbellotti and Oliveira, something that Ahuna has been looking for, because they don’t want to be known as a one-faceted team. Ahuna wants to be able to go to any player on the team at any given moment, and they did that against the Silverswords.

“I think that we kind of shocked Chaminade and caught them on their heels a couple of times,” said Ahuna. “But I think tonight we just played fantastic in all areas of the game.”

The Silverswords were led by senior middle blocker Audrey Brady who had a team-high 12 kills and sophomores Kahala Khabalis and Kalae Araujo who shared a match-high 16 digs with Brunke.

The Sea Warriors hit .150 for the contest while the Silverswords battled back after hitting -.053 in the first set to hit .035 for the game.

The Lady Sea Warriors then suffered a three set conference loss to Div. II No. 5 BYU-H Oct. 11 at the Cannon Center in Lai‘e and a non conference four set loss to the Seasiders the next night at St. Andrews Priory in Honolulu.

BYU-H moved to 4-1 in the Pac West and dropped HPU to 4-1 in the conference with a 30-22, 28-30, 30-26, 30-19 conference win. Freshman Chun Yi Lin led the match in kills with 21 for the Seasiders, while Garbelotti, the PacWest kills leader, had 19 for HPU.

The second night of the double header got even worse for the Lady Sea Warriors as the Seasiders won the non-conference match 30-25, 30-27, 30-22.

The second game against BYU-H was called a conference match at first, something the Lady Sea Warriors thought was wrong. After disputing for days, it was decided that it was not the two team’s final conference match. These two teams play each other again on the final day of PacWest competition, Nov. 16.

The Lady Sea Warriors suffered their second straight conference loss and third overall as they lost to UH-Hilo in four sets Oct. 12, at Hilo.

The following night HPU rebounded with a three set sweep of the Vulcans, a win that will not count in the conference standings.

With the split at Hilo, HPU’s conference record dropped to 4-2 while its overall record went to 10-6.

In the first game, HPU was led by senior Suzy Garbelotti with 23 kills and Teisa Fotu who recorded 16 kills, but that wasn’t enough as the Vulcans won 25-30, 30-27, 30-26, 30-26.

The second game saw more of Garbelotti, who nailed 28 kills on 49 attempts. This .510 hitting percentage helped guide the Sea Warriors to a 30-19, 30-25, 30-26 sweep of the Vulcans.

HPU will get some time off before its next game, Nov. 1, against Chamanade University, a key conference matchup.



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