Star-Bulletin Sports


Monday, December 7, 1998


H P U _ V O L L E Y B A L L



Hawaii Pacific
reigns in D-II

The Sea Warriors top North Dakota
State to win the national crown

Star-Bulletin staff

Tapa

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Tired is relative.

Tita Ahuna was exhausted after coaching Hawaii Pacific to its first NCAA Division II national championship yesterday. But the former all-American at the University of Hawaii was not too tired to celebrate.

"I am so happy, I still can't believe it happened," Ahuna said yesterday after the Sea Warriors capped an emotional season with a 15-10, 8-15, 15-12, 16-14 victory over North Dakota State. "But believing is what got us there. We believed we could do it."

HPU (31-5) needed two hours and five minutes to outlast North Dakota State (33-4). It was a relatively quick win in the tournament for the Sea Warriors, who went five in two of their four matches, including Saturday's 3-2 semifinal win over No. 2 Tampa that went 2:20 and finished at 11:40 p.m. in Florida.

HPU had to be back on the court less than 14 hours later. Today, the Sea Warriors bring home Hawaii's first Division II championship as well as their second national title. HPU won the NAIA banner in 1990.

Junior hitter Hai Yan Wang also returns with the tournament MVP trophy and two other all-tournament selections in hitter Debbie Sant'Anna and setter Nia Tuitele.

"The entire team played well," Ahuna said. "If the coaches were tired, you can only imagine our ladies. It took a total team effort for us to win."

"It was all heart. We were down 9-1 and 11-3 in Game 3 and came back. Everyone did a great job."

In Game 4, the Bison took a 14-13 lead and served for the game. Sant'Anna came back with one of her match-high 28 kills to tie it; a hitting error by the Bisons and a kill by Tuitele had the Sea Warriors celebrating at midcourt.

Ahuna won an NCAA Division I title as a senior in 1987 and "I've gone full circle now," she said. "It's great to win as a player but I feel so good for my players. I feel very satisfied with the season. Our team finally got some respect."

All five of HPU's losses came to BYU-Hawaii. No Sea Warrior earned all-American honors.

Sant'Anna ends the season with four single-season records: most kills (629), kill average (4.99), aces (62) and digs (441). Wang broke the single-season mark for block assists (86) and total blocks (111).

Also, Tuitele surpassed the assist mark set by Gaby Artigas in the 1990 championship season. Tuitele finished with 1,468.

"Tell the (Hawaii) Wahine best of luck from the Sea Warriors," said Ahuna. "Let's bring home two titles for Hawaii."

HPU is scheduled to return today at 5:22 p.m. on Delta Flight 53 from Atlanta.

Tapa

Bullet Hawaii Pacific def. North Dakota

State, 15-10, 8-15, 15-12, 16-14

At Kissimmee, Fla.

Bison (33-4 overall)

		g	k	e	at	pct.	bs	ba	d
Anderson	4	10	7	47	.064	0	3	13
Lene		4	12	6	37	.162	0	2	11
Deringer	4	10	2	28	.286	0	7	13
Getchell	4	14	11	51	.059	0	1	20
Ruebke		4	4	0	13	.308	0	2	16
Jacobson	4	14	4	30	.333	0	10	3
Zimmerman	4	0	0	0	.000	0	0	2
Hegg		1	0	0	0	.000	0	0	2
Schmieg	4	0	1	1	-1.00	0	0	15
Baker		1	0	0	0	.000	0	0	1
Sorteberg	3	2	1	8	.125	0	0	0
Hetland		1	0	0	1	.000	0	0	0
Totals		4	66	32	216	.157	0	25	96
Sea Warriors (31-5 overall)

		g	k	e	at	pct.	bs	ba	d
Rocha		4	9	6	40	.075	0	1	21
Maristela	4	5	4	18	.056	0	0	10
Penebacker	4	3	5	16	-.125	0	3	2
Tuitele		4	4	0	6	.667	0	4	12
Wang		4	19	6	57	.228	1	4	8
Sant’Anna	4	28	10	78	.231	0	2	28
Wong		4	0	0	0	.000	0	0	11
Totals		4	68	31	215	.172	1	14	92
Aces--NDSU (9): Anderson 3, Ruebke 3, Deringer 1, Jacobson 1, Schmieg 1. HPU (2): Tuitele 1, Wong 1. Assists--NDSU (61): Ruebke 57, Deringer 3, Jacobson 1. HPU (60): Tuitele 50, Maristela 5, Rocha 2, Penebacker 1, Wang 1, Wong 1.

A--225. T--2:05. Officials: Gruetche, Vandemere.

All-Tournament Team

Debbie Sant'Anna, Hai Yan Wang and Nia Tuitele, Hawaii Pacific; Char Anderson, Kara Deringer, Carrie Jacobson and Jamie Lene, North Dakota State; Hilary Epling, Danielle Faggion and Dawn Rawlins, Tampa; Milinda Almazon and Nikki Van Rausen, Regis.



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