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Garbelotti Pac West Player of the year

by Chuck Cordill, staff writer


As a key member of the undefeated 2000 Lady Sea Warrior volleyball “Dream Team” that completed a perfect 28-0 year, Susy Garbelotti wears an NCAA II National Championship ring. That record stands as the first and only time a NCAA II women’s volleyball team has gone through an entire season undefeated.

But Garbelotti’s contribution to HPU was probably bigger this 2002 season. As the lone senior on the HPU team, she rallied a group consisting of mostly underclassmen and put them in the thick of a conference championship race. The team fell short of its goal, but the senior didn’t go unnoticed.

Susy Garbelotti
The 6-foot middle blocker from Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil was named 2002 Pacific West Conference Player of the Year. In addition she was named to the 2002 AVCA First-team All-America squad and 2002 AVCA All-Pacific Region team for the second time in her career. Both honors were unanimous decisions by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Also earning post-season recognition were teammates Vera Oliveira, a freshman setter who was named to the Pac West All-Conference first team, and junior outside hitter Teisa Fotu, who repeated second team honors. Junior Katy Wilson was named to the conference Academic Team. The Lady Sea Warriors have had at least two players on the All Conference first team since joining the Pac West in 1998.

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HPU head volleyball coach Reydan “Tita” Ahuna wasn’t surprised about the honors. She sees the recognition as a testament to Garbelotti’s outstanding ability and the respect the HPU program has earned on a national scale.

“The fact that Susy was chosen demonstrates she’s not only the best player in the conference, she’s recognized as one of the best Division II players in the country,” said Ahuna. “I think that this a great honor for her, and our team as well. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving athlete.”

As a member of the 2000 “Dream Team,” Garbelotti was among a handful of volleyball standouts such as Debbie Sant’Anna and Nia Tuitele, all three earning All-America honors. This year the weight of team leadership fell solely on Garbelotti’s shoulders.

“It was hard for her this year with so many new faces, but she did and outstanding job,” said Ahuna. “The level of play she brought not only made a better team, it brought out the best in our individual talent. When you play around better people, you get better.”

Garbelotti finished her two-year career at HPU with 874 kills, 507 digs, 246 blocks, and 74 service aces. She set a new school record for season hitting, averaging 5.62 kills-per-game, and for most kills in a match, hammering 38 against Chaminade last year.


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