Friday, November 19, 2004


Chaminade, HPU
advance in NCAAs

Nikolina Rastovac dished out 39 assists and Kahala Kabalis registered 16 kills to help the Chaminade volleyball team win its first NCAA Division II tournament match yesterday at La Jolla, Calif.

After losing in the first round two years ago, the Silverswords had little trouble this time. Chaminade (17-6) swept Cal State Los Angeles 30-15, 30-21, 30-17 to join Hawaii Pacific, which beat Central Washington 30-28, 30-28, 29-31, 32-30 in the second round against second-seeded Cal State San Bernardino.

"I think we caught them by surprise," Chaminade coach Glennie Adams said. "I think it helped that we lost to them in a tough five-set match in preseason. The girls came ready to play."

The Silverswords lost to the Golden Eagles (17-12) on Aug. 3 in Pomona.

Chaminade middle blocker Patti Hardimon found her way through San Bernardino's block for 11 kills on 21 attempts and outside hitter Valasi Sepulona had 10 kills on only 18 attempts. The Silverswords outhit the Golden Eagles .458-.101.

The match was about as melodramatic as Chaminade's debut in the tournament in 2002, when it was swept by UC San Diego. But Adams says that the beating her players took back then was what made the Silverswords the bullies this time around. Chaminade never trailed in any of the three games.

"I was pleasantly surprised that we got such a good team effort -- every girl was on top of her game," Adams said. "We have several girls with tournament experience, several of them have been here before. I think that helped."

HPU had a much tougher match. Middle blocker Barbara Martin put down 25 kills on 35 attempts and led HPU with 15 digs. Flavia Brakling had 19 kills and Nadica Karleusa added 12. PacWest Player of the Year Vera Oliveira dished out 60 assists and ended the seesaw affair with a tough serve followed by a set to Karleusa for the game-winner.

"It was ugly, but we pulled it through," HPU coach Tita Ahuna said. "The ladies had a bit of a letdown in the third set, but they came through when they needed to. We had our 'A' game in spots, but I was a little disappointed in the mental game. We will need everything we have tomorrow."

The Sea Warriors take on top seed UC San Diego at 5:30 p.m. Hawaii time today, while the Silverswords precede them to the court with their game against San Bernardino at 2 p.m. HPU's game will be broadcast live on 1500-AM.



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