HPU wins fifth straight PacWest Challenge

Sports
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HONOLULU – For the fifth consecutive year, Hawai‘i Pacific University is the winner of the PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge.

The Sharks tallied 16 points throughout the fall and winter seasons to secure the top spot in the competition against their fellow Hawai‘i Division II institutions, Chaminade University and the University of Hawai‘i Hilo.

The Silverswords finished second with 12 points followed by the Vulcans with eight. Due to the cancellations of all spring sports (men’s golf, softball, women’s tennis), those competitions were not counted in the final tally.

HPU took first-place points in four of the six competitions (women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball) and second-place points in the remaining two (men’s soccer and men’s basketball).

Chaminade earned first-place points in men’s soccer and men’s basketball while UH Hilo managed second-place points in women’s soccer and in men’s and women’s basketball.

“I want to thank the HPU students-athletes, coaches and staff for all of their outstanding work to win this award for the fifth straight season,” HPU Executive Director of Athletics & Community Relations Sam Moku said. “I want to thank our neighbor institutions as well as their support for this award.

“We are friendly rivals but we are also ambassadors for our state and conference. We push each other to strengthen our programs with this friendly competition.”

“Congratulations to HPU in finishing first in this friendly inter-island friendly competition among the Hawai‘i schools in the PacWest,” UH Hilo Director of Athletics Patrick Guillen said. “It is unfortunate that the spring sports were cut short and could not be counted in the final results but it was fun to watch our teams compete against each other in the fall and winter. The Vulcans are looking forward to next year already.”

“The PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge began in the 2015-16 school year and it has proven to be an enjoyable, competitive and prideful program for our Hawai‘i D2 schools and student-athletes,” Chaminade Director of Athletics Bill Villa said. “Our teams for each sport compete hard for this honor of this award. Our athletic administrators establish a spirit of sportsmanship and collegiality that successfully blends in with the competitive goals.

“The Hawai‘i athletic directors sincerely enjoy working with each other and are proud that this program has added to the enjoyment of the student-athletes.”

Past PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge Champions:

2015-16: BYU-Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Pacific (co-champs)

2016-17: Hawai‘i Pacific

2017-18: Hawai‘i Pacific

2018-19: Hawai‘i Pacific

2019-20: Hawai‘i Pacific

About the PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge

The PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge is comprised of nine sports that all three of the state’s Division II schools participate: women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s tennis, men’s golf and softball.

Points are awarded in head-to-head matchups in basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. A win is two points and a tie worth one point while a loss nets none. At the conclusion of each sport’s season, the points are added and the team with the highest total gets three points while the second-highest gets two and the third-place finisher one. Postseason competitions do not factor into the tallies.

Since there is no consistent regular-season matchups in women’s cross country, men’s golf and women’s tennis, points are award in the order of finish at the PacWest Championships. (In tennis, only the top 12 teams advance to the championships; if in the event of an institution not advancing, each team will have an equal number of points after the last qualifying team.)

At the end of the academic term, the scores from all nine sports are tabulated to determine the overall champion. There are no head-to-head tiebreakers so teams that finish with the same number of points within an individual season all earn the appropriate point totals towards the season-long standings. The maximum number of points a school can receive during the year is 27.

Sports information directors from the three schools assisted by confirming and updating scores and promoting the Challenge. Chaminade is managing the master calendar and scoring chart with any discrepancies being addressed and resolved by the athletic directors.

The PacWest Hawai‘i Challenge is reminiscent of the Hawai‘i Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HIAC) in which NCAA members Chaminade and UH Hilo faced NAIA members HPU and BYU-Hawai‘i in regular-season matchups for all sports. The conference formed in 1993 to keep the local rivalries between the four schools intact. The HIAC dissolved in 1998 when HPU and BYUH moved to the NCAA, joining the Silverswords and Vulcans in the Pacific West Conference.

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