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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, December 1, 2000

H A W A I I _ P A C I F I C


HPU reaches
Division II Final Four

Staff and wire reports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- They barely had time to break a sweat but it was the warm-up the Sea Warriors needed.

The top-ranked Hawaii Pacific University women's volleyball team took just 77 minutes to win its NCAA Division II Elite Eight opener yesterday, sweeping No. 11 Grand Valley State, 15-4, 15-13, 15-4.

The Sea Warriors (26-0) advanced to today's semifinals against California University of Pennsylvania (2 p.m. HST). The Lady Vulcans (27-10) won their quarterfinal yesterday over Pace University, 15-12, 17-15, 15-3.

"I thought we played well,'' said HPU coach Tita Ahuna. "It felt real good to get back out on the court and play after our layoff. We took about six days off between Thanksgiving and traveling.

"I hope that this will give us momentum into the next match and keep things rolling.''

HPU senior setter Nia Tuitele finished with 43 assists, distributing the sets very evenly. The Sea Warriors had five players with nine or more kills, led by Flavia Gabino's high of 15.

Junior blocker Andrea Wean hit .733, finishing with 11 kills with no errors in 15 attempts.

The Lakers (31-4) were led by Kathy Vis (17 kills).

It was HPU's 22nd straight-set win of the season and also the Sea Warriors' 22nd straight victory in mainland matches.

As for today's opponent, "California is a good team,'' Ahuna said. "But I think they'll have to play better defense than they did (yesterday) to beat us.''

Yesterday, HPU outdug GVSU, 51-43, led by Susy Garbelotti's 14. The Sea Warriors hit .400 as a team.

Hawaii Pacific

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