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by Jimmi Hemmenbach
 
In order to be eligible for conference membership in the NCAA, a conference must consist of a minimum of six member institutions that sponsor at least 10 sports, with two team sports for each gender.

The conference members include Chaminade University, Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i, and University of Hawai‘i-Hilo. From the mainland, Notre Dame de Namur University and Grand Canyon University will fill the conference quota.

The 10 sports HPU will sponsor this fall on a conference level are: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s golf, women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, and softball. HPU, this fall, will add women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, hence men’s tennis and baseball will remain sponsored sports at HPU, but will compete as independent.

“ We are excited to have new members within the conference, while maintaining the friendships and rivalries created with the four Hawai‘i institutions,” said Athletics Director Jill Ward (hpu.edu).
“ The addition of the three sports will make us more compatible with other institutions on the mainland, and help further expansion. In addition, the new sports will create more opportunities for local high school student-athletes to participate at home. We hope to see increased community support for these teams and our currently sponsored teams as well,” Ward added.

According to the HPU Web site, the conference was disbanded in 2005 when Montana State-Billings University and Western New Mexico University dropped out. The new conference members decided to reintroduce soccer as an intercollegiate sport.

Scott Liedtke, coach for the HPU White team, is pleased with the decision.

“ I’m one of the happiest people in Hawai‘i,” Liedtke said. “I’ve been a part of HPU soccer since 1992, and knowing the feeling I had playing as a student, it feels great to play against other colleges,” he added.

Keeping in mind the recent growth of Hawaiian youth soccer, “the potential of Hawai‘i soccer on the collegiate level is high,” Liedtke said.

He looks forward to seeing a mix of local and international players.

“ I believe it’s a very positive thing for the community, and being intercollegiate, personal gratification and pride will increase, no doubt,” he said.
Photos courtesy University Relations

The HPU Co-ed Cheer Team won its fourth straight national title.

The HPU Dance Team won its second championship.
 

 

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