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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2001

HPU, BYUH, Chaminade in PacWest volleyball race

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

They aren't the post-season lock they seemed to be just two weeks ago, but the Hawai'i Pacific Sea Warriors remain the ones to beat in the scramble for the Pacific West Conference's one automatic berth to the NCAA Division II women's volleyball regionals

PacWest teams have two ways to make it to the postsesason: finish among the top six teams in the NCAA II Pacific Region or win the PacWest regular season.

HPU was in firm control of both scenarios until back-to-back losses to Hawai'i-Hilo on Oct. 6 and Brigham Young-Hawai'i last Friday.

HPU was tied for No. 1 in the regional rankings before the UH-Hilo loss dropped them to No. 6. The next ranking will be released on Oct. 24 and HPU is expected to drop out of the top 10 after their loss to BYUH. None of the other three Hawai'i teams are in the regional top 10.

That leaves the regular season championship as the only sure-fire way for HPU, BYUH or Chaminade to make it to the postseason.

The Sea Warriors are 9-2 in the conference, 15-2 overall. They can clinch the automatic berth by winning three of their four remaining PacWest matches.

Brigham Young-Hawai'i (5-4, 9-5) sits three games back in second place and is the only other contender that can control its destiny. The Seasiders can capture the conference by winning their six remaining matches, including two at home against HPU on Oct. 26 and 27.

Chaminade (3-3, 6-8) is 4 1/2 games behind HPU with nine games left. The Silverswords dropped three hard-fought matches to HPU — including a five-game heartbreaker last Saturday — to surrender the season series. Chaminade has to win all of their remaining games and HPU must lose twice for Chaminade to have a shot at the championship.

Montana-State Billings (4-5, 11-10) and Western New Mexico (3-4, 10-10) — fourth and fifth in the conference, respectively — are technically in the mix, as well. Hawai'i-Hilo (2-8, 7-11) has played better in recent weeks but is mathematically eliminated from title contention.

• HPU drops: The Sea Warriors fell five places in the latest AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll.

The defending national champions dropped from No. 4 to No. 9 following last Friday's loss to BYUH.

HPU had been ranked No. 1 for five consecutive weeks until their 42-game win streak was snapped by UH-Hilo two weeks ago.

Cross Country

• PacWest Championship: All four NCAA II Hawai'i schools are scheduled to compete in the PacWest Championship Saturday, 7 a.m. at HPU's windward campus.

Water Polo

• Chasing .500: BYUH's water polo team has a chance to even its record at 11-11 when it plays Chaminade tomorrow at Kamehameha Schools (time to be announced).

The Seasiders have made a splash in their inaugural season. They recently went 6-4 during a grueling six-day, 10-match road trip.

Volleyball Statistics

PacWest Standings

Conference Overall

Hawai'i Pacific 9-2 15-2
BYU — Hawai'i 5-4 9-5
Chaminade 3-3 6-8
MSU — Billings 4-5 12-10
W. New Mexico 3-4 10-11
Hawai'i — Hilo 2-8 7-11

This week's matches


UH-Hilo at Tarleton State


UH-Hilo at Texas Woman's College tournament

Chaminade at MSU-Billings
BYU-Hawai'i at Western New Mexico


UH-Hilo at Texas Women's College Tournament
Chaminade at MSU-Billings
BYU-Hawai'i at Western New Mexico