Thursday, May 18, 2000
Both the BYU-Hawaii women and the Hawaii Pacific University men made history for their respective programs at the NCAA Division II Tennis National Championship Tournament, which finished Monday in Pensacola, Fla.
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The Seasiders completed the most dominant run in the history of the tournament, becoming the first team to sweep all of its matches on the way to the national title (20-0, 5-0 against each of four opponents). It was their fourth consecutive national title, the second in a row at the NCAA Division II level, to go along with two NAIA titles in 1997 and '98.
"It has been a great ride, and it feels real good (to win four consecutive titles)," Seasiders coach Dave Porter said. "At the beginning of last year, I thought we were reasonably deep enough to contend for the Division II title. Coming into this year, we knew we had five very strong returnees, plus a couple of key players who had redshirted, so it was different knowing we were the team to beat."
While the Seasiders have the No. 1 ranked player in the nation returning in junior-to-be Petra Gaspar, only two other players from this year's team will be back. BYUH loses its Nos. 2 and 3 singles players in Helena Nordwall and Karin Ptaszek, and several recruits have not yet become academically eligible.
"Next year is still kind of up in the air," Porter said. "Our recruits are very good players who have expressed the desire to play for us, but they still must pass eligibility requirements. We could potentially once again be the team to beat, or if things don't work out with the recruits, possibly be a team that does not make it back to nationals."
The Seasiders finished this season with a 30-0 record in dual-matches, and are 67-0 over the past two seasons.
HPU finishes secondFor the Sea Warrior men, their runner-up finish at the tournament represents the most successful season in the 16-year history of their program.
Hawaii Pacific fell one match short of its first national tennis title, losing to seven-time defending national champion Lander (S.C.), 5-2.
Lander has now won a mind-boggling 13 consecutive national titles, having won five consecutive NAIA championships prior to moving to Division II.
This type of championship experience is the only thing that separates Lander from HPU, according to Sea Warriors coach Henry Somerville.
"Confidence is everything, and confidence comes with winning," Somerville said. "I think we matched-up very evenly with them, except for the fact that they've been here and won it many times before. Their experience was the difference."
Despite the loss, Somerville characterized the match as "a great fight."
The loss to Lander ended HPU's 20-game winning streak.
The Sea Warriors finished with a 24-4 mark on the season, and will finish as the No. 2 ranked team in the nation when the final poll is announced.
Somerville and his returning players are confident they can build upon the success of this past season, and once again be strong contenders for the title next year.
"We have to be considered one of the top teams in the nation next year, and we now know we belong up there with all the top teams," Somerville said. "This was our first year with a really tough Division II schedule, and that helped us tremendously. We're going to do that again next year."
The Sea Warriors have their No. 1 singles player back in Jan Tribler as well as several other key returnees. Somerville said that the two new recruits he has coming in will most likely be playing in two of the top three singles positions next season.
Silverswords honor MarquezChaminade's sophomore pitching ace Melissa Marquez was named the Silverswords' Most Valuable Player at the softball awards banquet last Friday.
Marquez was the first Silverswords pitcher to have a 20-win season, finishing the year with a 21-12 mark.
Marquez was vital to the Silverswords' first winning season in the 13-year history of their softball program (23-22 overall). The team was a contender for the Pacific West Conference Pacific Division title until the final weekend of the regular season.
Amber Bareswill was named as the Most Improved Player.
Hashida named all-RegionalHawaii-Hilo freshman outfielder Leinani Hashida was selected to the NCAA Division II West Region softball second-team.
Hashida did not miss a game this past season, and led the Vulcans with 13 doubles, 29 RBIs, a .539 slugging percentage, and 76 total bases. Her three triples also tied for top honors, while her .383 batting average was second highest on the team.
Earlier this year, Hashida was chosen for the PacWest All-Conference Team and was named the Vulcans' Rookie of the Year.
Vulcans sign pairHeidi Fabritz, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter from Flagstaff (Ariz.) High School, is the latest recruit to sign with the Hawaii-Hilo volleyball team.
Fabritz was a two-time first-team all-conference and all-city Player of the Year selection. This past season, she was named Grand Canyon Region Player of the Year.
David LaQua, a 6-3 shooting guard has signed to play for the Vulcans basketball team. LaQua is a McDonald's All-American selection and a three-time all-state player from Stanley County (S.D.) High.
By Brandon Lee, Special to the Star-Bulletin