For years, Hawaii Pacific's volleyball team knew where its greatest challenge would come from.
Chaminade, BYUH battle[ DIVISION II ]
for contender status
By Jerry Campany and Brandon Lee
Beat the Hilos and Chaminades, and win the conference with a sweep of BYUH.
But this is a different Pacific West Conference, as the Sea Warriors face the possibility of losing on any given night for the first time since their conference dominance began.
But who will be the team to turn the trick on Hawaii Pacific?
The answer -- provided Hawaii Pacific survives last place Hawaii-Hilo -- may become clearer tomorrow night.
Brigham Young-Hawaii plays Chaminade in a rematch of their Sept. 21-22 clash, when the Silverswords (5-7, 2-2 PacWest) made the parity that everyone was talking about a reality with a pair of wins against what has been the conference's second best team.
Where there used to be HPU, BYUH and everyone else, there now is HPU and anyone else.
"They are a good team," Chaminade coach Glennie Adams said of the Seasiders (7-4, 3-3) that owned them before this year. "We have to go in there and match them with good intensity and compete the whole match. There is nothing easy about them."
Either BYUH or Chaminade are capable of ending Hawaii Pacific's record run.
Chaminade extended the defending national champion to five games last week, BYUH has gone to five games three times already this year, coming away with only one win.
Making this matchup different from Chaminade's sweep earlier this season is Brigham Young-Hawaii's move of Ashley Moeai from middle blocker to outside hitter. Moeai was already the Seasiders' top blocker and second-best hitter behind the team's other middle blocker, Don Xu.
Whatever changes the Seasiders make, they may have to center around stopping Chaminade's Valasi Sepulona, who has emerged as one of the conference's top outside hitters and who torched the Seasiders when the teams met earlier this year.
Hawaii PacificSitting in first place in the Pacific West Conference with an undefeated record, the defending national volleyball champion and top-ranked Sea Warriors (14-0, 8-0) visit Hawaii-Hilo (6-10, 1-7) for a volleyball match tomorrow night. HPU puts its 42-match winning streak, which dates to the beginning of last season, on the line against the Vulcans.
The Sea Warriors are only four away from tying the all-time Division II mark of 46 consecutive wins set by Ferris State in 1984.
Christian Madsen suffered his first defeat in four cross country races at last week's Hawaii Pacific Invitational. After dominating the field in his first three events, Madsen was disqualified after taking a wrong turn and running off-course last Saturday at HPU's Kaneohe campus.
The Sea Warriors still won the team competition.
Hawaii-HiloTomorrow's volleyball match with No. 1 Hawaii Pacific will take on even more intensity for the Vulcans, as a loss would officially eliminate them from contention for the regular-season title.
The cross country team did not compete in the HPU Invitational last weekend, opting instead to run in the Stanford Invitational. The Vulcans did not fare so well in the stocked competition. Paul Moth led all Hilo athletes with a finish of 118th in the 28-team affair. Nicole Seachrist was the top women's finisher, behind 166 others.
Brigham Young-HawaiiCross country runner Ashley Miller sat out the HPU Invitational and her team has a bye this week, but she will get her share of exercise in anyway.
Miller expects to compete in the Ironman Triathlon on the Big Island this weekend.
The Seasiders only sent eight runners -- four men and four women -- to the HPU Invitational because of minor injuries that are not expected to slow the team down any further.
Even with the skeleton crew, BYUH's women placed three women and two men in the top 10, led by Jedediah Wheeler's third-place finish in the men's race.
ChaminadeChaminade and BYUH meet in water polo tonight, their third of five matchups on the season. After the first-year Seasiders (3-7) scored their first victory in school history at the expense of the Silverswords (1-1) to start the year, Chaminade rebounded to take the second game between the state's only two men's intercollegiate programs two weeks ago.
Tonight's match is set for 6:30 at Kamehameha Schools' pool.
Though Chaminade's women's volleyball team will be going for its third consecutive win over BYUH, the series record currently stands at 52-3 in favor of the Seasiders.