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Brunke selected for all-star team

by Kalamalama staff

 

HPU senior Sandra Brunke might have played her last volleyball game in an HPU uniform when her team fell in the NCAA II Regional, but she hopes to finish her collegiate career playing with some of the best players in the country.

Brunke was selected to play on the 2005 American International Volleyball Team, a squad featuring top players from colleges around the nation. If Brunke can raise approximately $2400 in travel costs, she’ll join the team for an international tournament in Aruba next spring.

“ I’m really excited about being selected,” said Brunke. “This is a great opportunity to represent HPU and other American schools for the last time and gain experience with other players who want to play professionally. A lot of pro scouts attend these tournaments, and it will be a chance to get noticed.”

Brunke, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Potsdam, Germany, lettered in each of her three years with HPU while working toward a degree in travel industry management.

“ Since I started playing college volleyball, I’ve always wanted to play pro ball in South America or Puerto Rico when I finished school,” said Brunke. “When I got the invitation, it seemed like my dreams were coming true. I’ve already started the fund raising efforts to get there.”

Brunke was chosen by American International head coach Don Metil, one of 10 selections he was allowed to field his team. He realizes that this opportunity is something special.

“ Playing at the international level with this team is the cap of a great collegiate career for many of our players,” said Metil. “Participating on this team gives them a last chance to represent their schools and establish contacts to further play volleyball after graduation. Our team has some exceptional athletes, and through this tournament, some are able to extend their careers and have a great chance to be signed by some overseas professional programs. We’re excited at the prospect of Sandra joining us. I know she’ll represent HPU and Hawaii well.”

Brunke credits her selection to the exposure she received from playing for one of the most respected programs in the nation, and for the skills she developed by one of the nation’s most respected volleyball coaches.

“ HPU has consistently been one of the top schools in Division II volleyball in America and I am both honored and grateful to have been part of this program the last three years,” said Brunke.

"Playing for Tita Ahuna has been an invaluable experience, both as an athlete and as a person. She is one of the best coaches in the country, and the things I learned from her about the game and about life are things I will carry the rest of my life. Any success I have from here on will be a credit to what I’ve learned here at HPU.”

Ahuna, a four-time Pacific West Conference Coach of the Year and 2000 NCAA II National Coach of the Year, feels her former player has what it takes.

“ I believe that Sandra has the skills, knowledge and determination to take her game to the next level, and as a coach, that is rewarding,” said Ahuna. “Sandra is a total team player, and she gives 110 percent in everything she does. I know she will represent herself and Hawai`i Pacific University well.”


 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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