Cal State L.A. 3, Hawaii Pacific 2

Nov. 18, 2005

LOS ANGELES - For the first time in 10 years, Cal State L.A. will have a chance to play for the regional championship and advance to the Elite Eight.

At the NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Pacific Regional Tournament on Friday, top-seeded Cal State L.A. defeated fourth-seed Hawaii Pacific, 32-30, 30-27, 25-30, 12-30, 17-15, in a closely contested, thrilling match.

"It was a great victory to go this far in the regional. I'm very proud of our team and how hard we played," said Coach Bill Lawler. "We're fortunate we came out on top."

After trailing 2-0, Hawaii Pacific went on a mission trying to extend its season and hope for a chance to play for a third national title. HPU battled to win game three 30-25 and handled CSULA 30-12 in the fourth.

"(Hawaii Pacific) is a very good team," said Lawler "In those games (3 and 4) our service broke down and we made too many mistakes passing to close to the net."

Led by Tanya White, the Golden Eagles (26-2) eventually won the see-saw battle in the fifth 17-15. White gave CSULA two late points with strong kills and the host team closed it out with an attacking error by HPU's Flavia Brakling.

Cal State L.A. was led by White, who finished with 20 kills. Luana Cavalcanti also had 20 kills. Defensively, the Golden Eagles got 14 digs from Ashley Harwick.

Hawaii Pacific (24-3), who won national titles in 1998 and 2000, was led by Brakling with 22 kills. Barbara Martin added 18 kills, 14 digs and 8 total blocks.

"We played our hearts out, that's about all I can ask for as a coach," HPU head coach Tita Ahuna said.

Cal State L.A. will be making its first appearance in the Regional Championship match for the fist time since 1995. The Golden Eagles will try to win their second Pacific Region title since 1992 when it defeated Cal Poly Pomona before losing in the semifinals of the Elite Eight.

Saturday's 7:30 p.m. championship match-up features the conference rivals in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State L.A. split the regular season series, each winning at home. The last time these two teams met in the postseason was in 2000, when CSUSB defeated Cal State L.A., 3-2, in the first round of the Regionals, here in Los Angeles giving Cal State L.A. its only lost of the season.

-- Courtesy CSULA