UHH softball clinches pod; ‘Bows’ Demeter earns national honor

UH-Hilo’s softball team advanced to the postseason without having to lift a finger.

The Vulcans were the beneficiary of Hawaii Pacific’s sweep of Chaminade on Sunday in a doubleheader, securing a berth in the regional-qualifying PacWest pod tournament, which will be held May 12-13 in San Rafael, Calif.

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The Vulcans (13-8 PacWest Hawaii) have struggled of late, losing 7 of 10, but they head into their final home series with their conference postseason fate secure after the Silverswords finished 12-12.

UHH and HPU (8-13), which has won eight of 12, start a three-game series at Walter Victor Complex on Thursday, and the Vuls still will try to improve their regional resume, which will come in handy should they require an alternate route as an at-large berth. The Vuls are one of eight teams “under consideration” for the West Regional, May 19-21 in Irvine, Calif.

The preferable regional route comes at the three-team pod tournament, where the winner gains an automatic berth.

Demeter da man for ‘Bows

Boosted by a weekend power surge, University of Hawaii designated hitter Dustin Demeter on Monday was named as College Baseball Newspaper’s national player of the week.

Demeter also was named as the Big West Conference’s field player of the week for baseball.

Demeter, a fifth-year junior, went 11-for-19 with five runs, three homers and 14 RBIs to help the Rainbow Warriors win three of four against Cal State Fullerton on the road.

“If ever someone was deserving, ” head coach Mike Trapasso said on Sunday, “it would be Demeter. … I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Also on Sunday, Waiakea alum Stone Miyao extended his hitting streak to 10 games for the ‘Bows. The third baseman has lifted his average to .321 by going with a 19-for-46 stretch.

Demeter has been on an offensive ride since returning to the lineup on April 16 after missing 13 games because of a foot injury. Since his return, he is hitting.460 (23 of 50).

Against Fullerton, Demeter drove in six runs in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, then followed it with another six-RBI performance on Sunday.

Demeter opened the season as the starting third baseman — his third position during his UH career. He was the starting shortstop as a freshman in 2017 and second baseman in 2018. He missed the 2019 season after undergoing surgeries on both hips. He moved to third for the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season. Demeter is expected to remain at designated hitter after this when UH (23-15, 15-13, Big West) returns to action May 14 against Cal State Northridge at Les Murakami Stadium.

3 Rainbow Warriors, Punahou alum Stanley named first team volleyball All-Americans

Five Hawaii men’s volleyball players received All-America recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Monday, with three Rainbow Warriors named to the first team.

UH opposite Rado Parapunov and libero Gage Worsley were named first-team All-Americans for the third straight year. Middle blocker Patrick Gasman also made the first team after being named to the second team the previous two seasons. Gasman and Parapunov were honorable mention selections in 2018.

Outside hitter Colton Cowell earned his second consecutive second-team honor and sophomore setter Jakob Thelle made the honorable mention list.

Parapunov was named the Big West Player of the Year last week and is a leading candidate for the AVCA’s national player of the year award to be announced on Wednesday.

BYU setter Wil Stanley, a Punahou graduate, also made the first team for the second straight year. UC Santa Barbara outside hitter Ryan Wilcox, also a Punahou alum, was an honorable mention pick.

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Other first-team selections were Ryan Coenen (Lewis ), Randy DeWeese (UC Santa Barbara ), Gabi Garcia Fernandez (BYU ), Davide Gardini (BYU ), Casey McGarry (UC Santa Barbara ) and Tyler Mitchem (Lewis ).

Hawaii (15-1) is the top seed in this week’s NCAA tournament and arrived in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. The Rainbow Warriors open tournament play in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Thursday and will face the winner of Tuesday’s opening-round match between UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.

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