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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 17, 2001

League spikes UH appeal of playoff seeding

 •  Hawai'i 5-0 is team's goal as it prepares for playoffs

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation yesterday rejected the University of Hawai'i's appeal of its volleyball seeding in the conference's playoffs, which begin this weekend.

The denial means UH retains the No. 4 seed and plays host to No. 5 Southern California in the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday night. Tickets go on sale at the arena's box office starting at 8 this morning.

UH, Long Beach State and UCLA each had a 12-5 MPSF record, finishing behind No. 1 seed Brigham Young (14-3).

MPSF executive director Al Beaird used the head-to-head winning percentage as the tie-breaker. UH lost to Long Beach State and split with UCLA. Long Beach State and UCLA split. In head-to-head meetings, Long Beach State was 2-1, UCLA 2-2 and UH 1-2.

But UH officials argued that the head-to-head formula was not fair because the teams did not play an equal number of matches against one another. They argued that the next tie-breaker step — intradivision records — should have been used. In that scenario, UH would have the best record of the three.

UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida filed an appeal with the conference office yesterday morning.

Beaird relayed the appeal to the three-member appeals committee, which rejected UH's argument without a written comment. The appeal took less than 30 minutes.

Beaird, who confirmed the seedings on Saturday night, also sided with the appeals committee.

"That was a real quickie," UH coach Mike Wilton said of the appeals process. "So, all we can do is say, 'OK, let's play.' We felt (the first tie-breaker) didn't apply because of the uneven amount of (matches) played (among) the three teams. But that's the way it is, so we'll be obedient and play. There have been a lot of upsets (during the regular season), so who knows what will happen during the tournament."

Wilton said UH does not plan any further appeals.

The seedings are important because the highest remaining seed after the first round serves as the host for both the semifinals and championship match of the MPSF playoffs. The tournament winner earns an automatic berth in the NCAA final four.