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Hawaii Beat


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POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rainbow Wahine on to NCAA tournament

After being snubbed the past two seasons, Hawaii is going back to the NCAA water polo championship.

The Rainbow Wahine, ranked fourth for most of the season, are seeded No. 4 in the tournament, May 8-10, at Maryland. Hawaii (18-8) was given one of three at-large berths, the others followed the national rankings: to No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 UCLA.

USC, which won both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season and MPSF tournament, is the No. 1 seed.

Hawaii plays fifth-seeded Loyola Marymount in a first-round match May 8.

After finishing fifth in the MPSF tournament Sunday, Wahine coach Michel Roy said he thought his team would be invited. But the past two years, San Diego State was given the at-large bid ahead of UH, despite having losing records against Hawaii and finishing lower in the MPSF standings than the Wahine.

“;We are all very excited to get a chance to compete at the NCAA championship,”; Roy said. “;Now it's time to get back in the pool and prepare for next week.”;

This is Hawaii's third appearance in the NCAAs, the first since back-to-back berths in 2005 and '06.

Also competing in the event are Michigan, Marist and Cal Lutheran.

Hawaii had three players named to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation all-conference teams yesterday.

Senior Kelly Mason, the Rainbow Wahine's first 200-goal scorer, was named to the first team for the third straight season. Sophomore Leonie Van Der Molen, UH's scoring leader, was named to the second team while freshman Monika Eggens was named to the all-freshman team.

The player of the year award went to USC's Kami Craig, with Stanford's Melissa Seidemann the newcomer of the year and San Jose State's Lou Tully coach of the year.

Elimimian heads to buffalo

Former Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian has accepted an invitation to the Buffalo Bills rookie mini-camp this weekend.

Elimimian was not selected in the NFL Draft and will have a chance to earn a free-agent contract when he attends the Bills' camp.

Elimimian's agent, Wynn Silberman, said several teams were interested in Elimimian for his potential on special teams as well as at linebacker.

“;It's a great opportunity,”; said Silberman. “;We're excited, we think it's a good fit.”;

Elimimian, the Western Athletic Conference's co-defensive player of the year last fall, was a four-year starter for the Warriors and left UH as the program's all-time leading tackler.

Fellow former Warrior Leonard Peters will attend camp with the Minnesota Vikings.

By the Numbers

10: Straight OIA baseball championships by Waipahu from 1948 to 1957, the longest streak in the history of the league. Pearl City won its third straight OIA title by beating Kailua last night, becoming the fifth team to win three in a row. The last to do it was when Kailua won four straight from 2000 to 2003.

5: Stolen bases by Colorado's Dexter Fowler in a 12-7 win over the Padres last night. Fowler, a former Hawaii Winter Baseball player, became the 19th player to steal more than four bases in a single game and the first to do it since Willy Tavares did it for the Rockies on June 14 last year.

[ PACWEST PLACE ]

Hawaii Pacific hitter Hirota honored by conference

Hawaii Pacific senior Cheynne Hirota earned the Pacific West baseball player of the week award for his performance last week.

Hirota, an infielder from Hilo, went 12-for-20 with a pair of home runs and 15 RBIs in a six-game series against UH-Hilo.

Hilo pitcher Kekoa Lee was selected as the conference's pitcher of the week for his seven shutout innings against the Sea Warriors. He struck out seven batters, allowing two walks and two hits.

Waracka given league honor

UH-Hilo pitcher Amber Waracka was named the PacWest pitcher of the week in softball yesterday.

Waracka, a Kamehameha graduate, beat Chaminade twice last week, not allowing an earned run and striking out 12 batters in 14 innings.

Grand Canyon's Yasmeen Watkins was the player of the week.