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Senior night begins new life for Dobson

by Chuck Cordill, Associate sports editor

For HPU volleyball player Davina Dobson, “Senior Night” was the end of one phase in her life and the beginning of a whole new chapter, one that should read, “Happily ever after.”

Dobson played her entire college career for head coach Tita Ahuna. Her efforts and her contribution, both on the court and off, have been, her coach says, invaluable. “She has brought so much leadership and maturity to this team,” said Ahuna. “I have really appreciated her willingness to fill the role she has.



“She has given this team a spiritual aspect as well; she helped us stay grounded and focused. Davina was our oldest player, and she kept everyone in line. She was well respected by her teammates, and she will be missed.”

Senior Night recognizes graduating collegiate athletes in their final home game. Following HPU’s final regular season contest, Dobson, a four-year defensive specialist from Nanakuli, Hawai‘i, was given the traditional senior treatment: a ton of leis, a comical “last lap around the court,” and scores of well-wishers giving “mahalo’s” for her service to the Lady Sea Warrior squad. And then some guy with a ‘ukulele walked onto the court.

Everyone held their breath as he walked toward Dobson, serenading her with love songs and quoting Bible passages about his love for her. And then he knelt with one knee on the hardwood court and looked up into her eyes and asked: “Davina, will you marry me?”

No, he was not a stalker. He was Dobson’s fiancé, Kai Villerma.

Dobson was overwhelmed. The excitement of her final home match in an HPU uniform was one thing, and when her fiancé knelt before her, Dobson’s heart went through the ceiling of the gymnasium. She was so excited. She had to turn away for a moment, catch her breath.

According to Ahuna, Dobson has always had a heart for community service. She stresses “giving back” to the people who helped nurture her. “Davina has always been involved in projects we do though our student-athlete advisory committee, always willing to donate her time and efforts,” said Ahuna. “She’s passionate about that kind of service and it’s part of her being a great role model for those around her.”

When Dobson turned around to the throng of friends behind her, she found they held a banner aloft with the same words: “Davina, will you marry me?” She turned to her fiancé, hugged him, and whispered, “Yes.”

Then, Dobson’s friends unveiled another banner, albeit a bit smaller. They handed it to Dobson, and she held it up for all to see. It was simple, but profound. Inside a red heart were the words, “Yes.”

After an amazing night, full of emotional peaks, Dobson struggled with her emotions and tried to put things into perspective. “I was overwhelmed with a lot of joy,” she said. I didn’t know how to handle it all. I was thinking about the game, and it all went out of my head. It was a full night, and I am filled with joy.”

Dobson finished that night, knowing that she had played her final home match for the Lady Sea Warriors but already looking ahead--not only to married life, but also to the Pacific regionals.
The one constant in Dobson’s experience has been her deep and unrelenting faith. She feels it has carried her through the tough times and helped her make her mark as a champion.

“ Without the strength of God, I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I have done,” said Dobson. “It’s all about being humble. I feel the “humble position” on the team or in life, is the most important.

“ It’s not about glory, or who is the star. It’s about how you work together, how you solve problems. You have to work together.”


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