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by Flavia Brakling, sports editor

 

 

HPU (18-1) received two first-place votes and got 827 points, 38 behind top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney (24-1) which has 865 points.

On Oct. 12, HPU beat Ursuline College at St. Andrews Priory (30-21, 30-8, 30-20). Piikea Dudoit led the Sea Warriors with nine kills while Nina Dudak and Melissa Aki added five and four kills, respectively.

HPU dominated the game, and Head Coach Reydan “Tita” Ahuna gave everybody playing time. “These young ladies work so hard during practice.It was good to see everybody out there contributing tonight,” she said.

On Oct. 14 and 15, HPU swept UH-Hilo (30-25, 30-18, 30-17 and 30-20, 30-18, 30-21) as Ahuna won her 199th and 200th matches, all of them from coaching the HPU women’s volleyball team for the past 10 seasons.

Middle blockers Barbara Martin and Paula Koikopoulos were unstoppable, leading the Sea Warriors’ offense in both matches. HPU’s Mahea Rawlins and Melissa Sekigawa led the defense. Setter Vera Oliveira led HPU in assists with a perfect hitting percentage (five kills in five attempts) on the first night.

After her 200th victory, Ahuna received an engraved glass vase from Athletic Director Jill Ward and lei from fans and players.

“ This win is special,” Ahuna said. “I thank everyone who has been supporting me day in and day out.”

Ahuna has won high school, state, and national collegiate titles as a coach and player. She was named Coach of the Year by the NCAA II and AVCA Pacific Region in 1998, a year HPU took a national championship. She was also given Pacific West Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

The two-time National Champion (1998 and 2000) head coach said, “I’ve been blessed in the time I’ve been here with great players throughout the years.”

On Oct. 22, HPU met Lee University at St. Andrews Priory for one more victory in straight sets (30-18, 30-20, 30-24). Martin and Brakling added 12 and 11 kills respectively, while Koikopoulos had six blocks.

With the victories, the Lady Sea Warriors improved their overall record to 18-1. On Oct. 28 and 29, they fly to Hilo to meet the UH Vulcans in two more games, and on Nov. 1 and 2 they play Chaminade University at the Blaisdell Center. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.

On Nov. 8, HPU plays Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i at the Blaisdell Center at 7:30 p.m.
The last game of the regular season will be Nov. 12 at St. Andrews Priory, also against BYU-H. The game will be followed by festivities honoring the team’s five seniors.

 


Defensive specialists Mahea Rawlins (left) and Melissa Sekigawa
get in position for the dig.
Photo by Chuck Cordill

 

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