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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hakala earns two national honors

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer


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University of Hawai'i opposite attacker Lauri Hakala earned a personal sweep yesterday after the Warrior volleyball team swept a two-match series against Brigham Young last weekend.

Hakala was named the Sports Import/AVCA national Player of the Week and also was selected as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's Player of the Week.

Hakala, a 6-foot-1 junior from Finland, amassed 34 kills in the two matches, including 21 on Saturday.

"He played very well both nights," UH coach Mike Wilton said. "We've always known he's had the ability. He's settling in quite well."

UH remained No. 2 in this week's CSTV/AVCA Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll released yesterday.

The Warriors won their final 19 matches of the regular season, which ended with Saturday's five-game victory over BYU.

UC Irvine, which has won 21 in a row, was No. 1, receiving 15 of the 16 first-place votes from the panel of head coaches.

UH received the other No. 1 vote.

The MPSF placed nine teams, including the top seven, in the poll.

"Take a look at the standings," Wilton said. "That's how I voted (numbers) 1 through 8. What other factors could there be?"

The MPSF's eight-team postseason begins tomorrow with the play-in match between UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. The winner of that match faces No. 2 seed UH on Saturday in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Irvine, as the No. 1 seed, receives a quarterfinal bye. The Anteaters will host the MPSF semifinals and championship match. The tournament winner receives the league's automatic berth in the NCAA final four.

The MPSF has supplied the at-large team in all but one of the past 24 NCAA tournaments.

Playoff tickets for UH's Saturday match go on sale beginning at 8 a.m. today.

Tickets may be purchased at the Stan Sheriff Center box office, by calling 944-2697 or logging on to: www.eTicketHawaii.com.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.