Seasiders, 'Swords set for key matchup
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kyle Sakamoto
The Brigham Young-Hawai'i women's volleyball team is undefeated, ranked No. 9 in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II coaches top 25 poll, and a victory tonight against Chaminade would put it in control of the Pacific West Conference.
The Seasiders, who are 13-0 overall and 9-0 in the conference, seek breathing room against their closest conference pursuer.
The Silverswords, who are 12-3 and 7-1, hope to avenge an earlier rout and forge a tie in the loss column atop the standings.
Tonight's match at McCabe gym will start at 7:30.
"This is a critical match for both teams," BYU-Hawai'i coach Wilfred Navalta said. "If Chaminade beats us, we'll be tied for the conference lead. If we beat them, we'll have separation in the conference."
Asked if it's a must-win match for her team, Chaminade coach Glennie Adams said: "No. Do we want to win? Absolutely. Are we playing to win? Absolutely. Am I treating it like a must-win? No. We're taking it one game at a time."
None of the other four PacWest teams is above .500 in league play. The six teams each play 15 conference matches.
The Seasiders are led by Kahuku High alum Tuli Peters, a junior who is averaging 5.91 kills per game and hitting .293.
"Tuli is a really good all-around player," Navalta said. "She can pass, play defense in the back row and her serves are coming around.
"She's been tough as a left-side attacker. We go to her in crucial situations."
Junior outside hitter Noelle Filimoeatu is averaging 3.74 kills a game and sophomore setter LeeAnn Mapu is averaging 13.84 assists per game for BYUH, which is hitting .242 and holding opponents to .070.
Chaminade is led by sophomore outside hitter Trina Kauliakamoa (5.62 kills/game) and junior outside hitter Evelyn Bluthenthal (4.64). But both are combining for a .209 hitting percentage.
The Silverswords are hitting .235; opponents are at .163.
"We've had too many unforced errors," Adams said. "We're trying to minimize in that area."
The teams played a month ago in La'ie with the Seasiders winning, 30-22, 30-22, 30-22.
"They more than had their way. They took it to us," Adams said. "We never really got into any kind of rhythm. On the other side of the coin, they played very well."
Navalta said the keys in the previous meeting were solid serving and passing.
He added: "I don't anticipate it'll be that easy against Chaminade (tonight)."
The teams will play again in La'ie on Nov. 3.
Reach Kyle Sakamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.