Seasider set to face Seawolves

Seasider set to face Seawolves

LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball begins its season tonight as it takes on Alaska Anchorage.

The Pacific West Conference coaches selected the Seasiders to finish seventh in the preseason polls, but BYU-Hawaii head coach, Mona Ah-Hoy, believes that BYU-Hawaii can be better.

"I think we should do well'" Ah-Hoy said. "I just saw the rankings this morning, that we're number seven and I'm pretty disappointed with that. But from just the few practices that we've had, we're going to be tough. We're going to be contending for the PacWest Championships, and the girls are ready."

BYU-Hawaii returns six players from a team that entered the final week of last season with a chance to win the conference championship. One key returner that was not part of the championship chase last season is Lacy Lange. In her last season in 2014, Lange totaled 153 kills to average 1.82 per set while she played behind Daktronics Ron Lenz Player of the Year, Shih Ting Chen.

"[Sinamoni Tonga and Leilani Adolpho] are going to be carrying the load on this team." Ah-Hoy said.

Tonga led BYU-Hawaii in kills with 355 on the season and 3.45 per set. She was also a team leader in digs with an accumulative 269 and an average of 2.61 per set. Adolpho, another team leader in both kills and digs, totaled 269 kills and 238 digs with an average of 2.61 and 2.31 per set, respectively.

BYU-Hawaii added several new players, including two setters with big shoes to fill following All-American Ying Chun (Michelle) Chen. Kayle Park and Sydney Bunker come in as experienced junior college transfers who are adjusting well to the Seasiders' style of play. Park averaged 1.81 assists, .85 kills, 2.3 digs, and .93 digs per set at Yavapai Community College in 2015, while Bunker averaged 6.29 assists and 2.64 digs per set at Glendale Community College.

Ah-Hoy also expects big things from the only freshman and new libero on the team, Peninataua Sao, who is a local recruit from Kahuku High School.

BYU-Hawaii will host the Hawaii Invitational Tournament next week before travelling to the Division-II West Regional Volleyball Showcase to prepare for conference play beginning Sept. 17 against Hawaii Hilo.

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