Wednesday at Walter Gleason Gymnasium proved to be a memorable evening for the Chaminade University women’s volleyball team on two fronts.

First, the Silverswords’ 25-13, 25-16, 25-15 win over Academy of Art wrapped up the outright Pacific West Conference championship and secure the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division II West Regional. It also marked the program’s first-ever back-to-back titles.

Second, it was career victory No. 180 for 11th-year head coach Kahala Kabalis Hoke who passed Glennie Adams to become the all-time winningest coach in program history.

More importantly, Chaminade (22-7, 17-1 PacWest) became the first West Region squad to secure a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament which will be played in two weeks.

Sasha Colombo (Milan, Italy/Colorado State/Liceo Scientifico Giordano Bruno HS), Lataisia Saulala (Morgan Hill, Calif./Oakwood) and Ajack Malual (Trento, Italy/Tambosi ETI) each put down eight kills to help the ’Swords win their sixth straight match and 19 of their last 20.

Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/Univ. of San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) added seven kills and 17 digs, one shy from her season high for Chaminade while Sophie Schilling (Berlin, Germany/Alaska/Schul- and Leistungsportszentrum Berlin HS) added four kills and four total blocks.

Amalie Rupertova had eight kills for the Urban Knights (6-22, 5-14 PacWest).

Earlier in the day, the Silverswords moved up to No. 8 in the final regular season West Region rankings, perhaps a harbinger of things to come.

Like it did in the first meeting between the two teams back on Sept. 16 in Honolulu, ART U opened the match in its usual spirited selves, taking several early leads. With CUH trailing 6-4, Colombo put down a kill, beginning a run of five straight points which eventually swelled to 19-11, en-route to the first set win.

The Urban Knights took the early momentum to begin Set 2, opening up a 10-6 advantage. However, Saulala and Colombo combined to put down the next five kills to tie it at 11. ART U would move back in front, 14-13, and forced a 16-all deadlock. But Chaminade ended the set on a 9-0 surge with three Malual kills while Brooklen Pe‘a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) got both of her service aces during the run.

From there, it was all Silverswords, who never trailed in the final set. A decisive 6-0 run mid-set, aided by Kaybrie Pe‘a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) who got two of her match-high three aces to fall, removed all suspense. At aloha ball, it was Malual who got the clincher, giving the ’Swords their back-to-back conference titles and Kabalis Hoke’s milestone victory.

Chaminade put down 41 kills and hit .352 with 40 assists, 48 digs and six total team blocks. The ’Swords also had eight aces, bringing their average to 2.45 per set which is ranked sixth in the nation.

Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/Saint Francis HS) had 23 assists while Alecza Abary (Fontana, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) added 12. Nanna Inoue (Kula, Maui, Hawai‘i/Tyler JC/King Kekaulike HS) provided nine digs.

The Urban Knights were held to a .041 attack percentage and had 25 kills, 23 assists, 39 digs and two blocks.

Up next for the Silverswords is a Thursday match at Dominican University of California. First serve is set for 5:30 p.m. Hawai‘i time.