Seasiders are national champs again

CANYON, Texas — The BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball team won the NCAA Division II National Championship with a convincing 30-21, 30-24, 30-21 victory Dec. 5-7 over Truman State University of Kirksville, Mo. The Seasiders controlled the match from the outset in winning their second NCAA II title and 10th national championship overall. The Seasiders won eight national championships in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics before becoming a NCAA Division II team.

Four Seasiders, Kaala Lo, Ashley Moeai, Chun Yi Lin and Yu Chuan Weng were named to the All-Tournament team. All four will return to play for the Seasiders next year.

BYU-Hawaii began the season unranked in the national rankings but defeated the defending champions of Barry University (Miami Shores, Fla.) in the opening week of the season to vault into the top 10, where they remained throughout the year.

BYU-Hawaii players were very well received by the fans and local media in Canyon, Texas, where the tournament was played on the campus of West Texas A&M, and had many fans cheering for them in the championship match. The local newspapers featured stories on the Seasiders and made special note of those players experiencing snow for the first time. Head Coach Wilfred Navalta was featured on a local sports news segment.

All but three players on the team are members of the Church and two of the team members were baptized within the last year. All of the coaches are members of the Church and Coach Navalta is president of the Laie Hawaii North Stake.