Outside hitter Bria Beale, middle blocker Ashton Jessee and setter Kendall Kott were recognized Wednesday for helping to make UH-Hilo the class of Hawaii this spring with spots on the all-PacWest Hawaii pod team.
Best of all for the Vulcans, who finished 14-2 and 13-1 in PacWest Hawaii Pod matches, all three players will return in the fall for an official season.
Beale, a senior who is a two-time first-team All-PacWest selection, led the conference in total kills (241) and was second in kills per set (3.65). She led the PacWest in service aces this spring (35) and was second in points per set (4.36).
Coming off an injury, Jessee led the PacWest in block assists (66), total blocks (75) and blocks per set 1.23. Kott, a second-team All-PacWest pick as a freshman in 2019, again led the league in total assists (592) and assists per set (8.97).
The Vulcans had three of the seven selections on the pod team, with two each going to Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific. In 2019, the Hawaii teams grabbed three of the top four spots in the final PacWest standings behind Azusa Pacific.
The PacWest player of the year, voted on by the league’s coaches, was sophomore outside hitter Corrine Acosta of Fresno Pacific. Setter of the year was Biola’s Vanessa Garcia, the libero of the wear was Point Loma’s Courtney Dyer and the coach of the year was Biola’s Aaron Seltzer.
Biola was the SoCal pod winner and Fresno Pacific the NorCal pod champion.
back to Oahu
Let’s play five – or one.
UH-Hilo’s baseball team will head back to Honolulu’s Les Murakami Stadium in search of the elusive victory needed to clinch the PacWest Hawaii pod and a berth in the regional-qualifying PacWest tournament.
After losing four chances to clinch against Hawaii Pacific (8-12), the Vuls (12-8) get another one May 14 in what could be a short trip to Oahu if they win.
Or it could be a longer one.
The series could turn into a five-gamer if the Sharks keep winning makeup games from contests postponed earlier in the season. The fifth game May 16 would be a winner-take-all to advance to the pod series, May 20-22 at Azusa Pacific.
Taking the fifth
UH-Hilo’s softball was fifth Wednesday in the initial West Region rankings.
The top six teams in the final ranking, including the automatic qualifiers from the Pacific West Conference and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, make the regional, May 19-21 in Irvine, Calif.
The Vulcans (13-8) finish the regular season Thursday (1 p.m.) and Friday (11 a.m. doubleheader) against Hawaii Pacific at Walter Victor having already wrapped up the PacWest Hawaii pod and berth in a three-team conference tournament next week in Northern California that will determine the conference’s automatic qualifier.