Saturday, November 14, 1998
BYUH, HPU inBy Jerry Campany
Special to the Star-Bulletin
The tune-ups are complete.
Hawaii Pacific swept Seattle Pacific, 15-10, 15-13, 15-8, and Brigham Young-Hawaii fought through a mental lapse to overcome Hawaii-Hilo, 15-7, 10-15, 15-2, 15-0, last night.
Both winners advanced to the finals of the Pacific West Conference women's volleyball tournament at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Laie.
With the Brigham Young-Hawaii squad watching every move she made from their seats, HPU's Debbie Sant'Anna buried 25 kills and added 16 digs to lead a one-dimensional Sea Warrior attack.
Hawaii Pacific would have liked to use the game to work on things that they will need to beat BYUH, but the Falcons prevented it by forcing Tita Ahuna's troops to abandon creativity and go with what got them this far.
"I would like to have spread the ball around more," HPU setter Nia Tuitele said. "But Seattle Pacific gave us the fight that I thought they would."
Sant'Anna took 59 swings on the night, but an injured ankle prevented her from dominating No. 2 Seattle Pacific the way that she has dominated lesser teams this season. Hai Yan Wang added 16 kills and six block-assists. Tuitele had 53 sets, most of them to a busy Sant 'Anna.
"Debbie is the go-to person," Tuitele said. "She wants the ball every time and does something positive with it."
The Seasiders improved to 26-1 after dispatching a gutty Hawaii-Hilo squad. BYUH ran away with the first game and took the first four points of the second before Hilo made things interesting. Fanaafi Falemalu buried three kills to lead the Vulcans to a surprising 15-10 second set win.
"We got complacent," BYUH head coach Wilfred Navalta said. "We were waiting for Hilo to make mistakes, but they didn't."
The Seasiders trailed early in the third set until Arlete Silva fell to the floor after losing a battle at the net with Heather Wride. Silva picked herself up and immediately put an end to her team's sloppy play, launching a bomb for a kill on the next play and sealing off the net for the remainder of the night as BYUH allowed only two points in the final two games.
Silva finished with 17 kills, two solo blocks and six block assists. Vanessa Valansi led all scorers with 20 kills, including seven over a stretch of 10 plays in the pivotal third game.
Juliana Lima spread the ball around for 44 assists and dumped in four kills.
The Seasiders know that they can't come out as slow against the Sea Warrior team it has beaten so handily this year, and don't see history as an advantage.
"The advantage is made on the court," BYUH head coach Wilfred Navalta said. "Every time that we beat them just sets the law of averages further against us."
PacWest WomenChampionship game
Tonight: Hawaii Pacific vs. BYU-Hawaii, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cannon Activities Center