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Lady Sea Warriors dominate on road

by Ano Puchalski, staff writer


HPU’s women’s volleyball team had plenty to smile about as they returned home from their road trip Oct. 22, having almost entirely dominated the competition.

The Lady Sea Warriors beat out each of the three teams they faced on the road, winning five games and 15 of the 16 matches, giving up their only match loss to Montana State University-Billings.


In HPU’s first game against MSUB, the Lady Sea Warriors swatted the Yellow Jackets in both games to win 30-27, 29-31, 30-21, 30-26 on the first day, and 30-25, 30-23, 30-21, on the second. HPU’s right outside hitter, Nadica Karleusa, racked up 27 kills and 12 digs, while middle blocker, Barbara Martin, achieved 23 kills, 11 digs, and four aces, and is currently ranked No.3 in the nation for blocking.

HPU starting setter, Vera Oliveira, gained a total of five service aces, 20 digs, and 101 assists for the Lady Sea Warriors, achieving a season-high 60 assists in just one game. HPU reserve outside hitter, Sandra Brunke, contributed an additional 11 kills and eight digs, while back court specialist, Melissa Sekigawa, contributed nine digs.

Following the two-game victory, junior journalism major, Flavia Brakling, was named PacWest Player of the Week for having achieved 36 kills and 31 digs in the seven matches played against the Lady Yellow Jackets. Brakling achieved 22 kills and 20 digs in game one alone, both a season high for her. Brakling led the Lady Sea Warriors in kills for both games, earning her an average of a little over five kills and four digs per match against MSUB.

This is Brakling’s second PacWest Player of the Week award with the Lady Sea Warriors. She received her first individual PacWest award last October.

In HPU’s two games against Western New Mexico University, in Silver City, New Mexico, on Oct.18 and 19, the Lady Sea Warriors showed no mercy as they tamed the Mustangs 30-27, 30-24, 30-23, the first day, and 30-24, 30-24, 31-29 the next day.

Brakling was at it again as she racked up 33 kills and 30 digs in the six matches against WNMU, just three kills shy of her record against MSUB.

Karleusa, also a previous PacWest honoree, followed close behind with 31 kills and 25 digs in the two games against the Lady Mustangs, while Martin contributed 22 kills, 20 digs, and 15 blocks for HPU.

Starting libero/defensive specialist for the Lady Sea Warriors, Mahealani Rawlins, saw a season-high 15 digs in game two alone.

However, the two games against the Lady Mustangs belonged to Oliveira, who lead the team with a .400 hitting percentage, contributing 30 digs, 94 assists, 10 kills, and eight blocks. Oliveira also received the PacWest award earlier this season.

The Lady Sea Warriors then went on to shut-out Grand Canyon University on the Antelopes’ home court in Phoenix, Arizona, 30-18, 30-23, and 30-13 before returning home.

Karleusa had a match-high, three blocks, three aces, and five digs. Brakling and Martin were tied with 13 kills each, Oliveira had five kills and 20 assists, and Brunke added another five kills and two digs.

“You get a little homesick on the road trips,” said Rawlins, “but you forget all about it when you’re winning.”

Going into the road trip, HPU was ranked No. 14 in the AVCA (American Volleyball Conference Association) poll and No.6 in the Pacific region. The Lady Sea Warriors returned with a 7-1 PacWest record, and 16-2 overall.



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