2000 Tachikara/AVCA Division II National Coach of the Year

12/15/2000

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HAWAI'I PACIFIC UNIVERSITY'S TITA AHUNA NAMED 2000 TACHIKARA/AVCA NCAA DIVISION II NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR

Colorado Springs, Colo. ­ The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), in conjunction with Tachikara USA, Inc., is proud to announce that Tita Ahuna of Hawai'i Pacific University has been selected as the 2000 Tachikara/AVCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.

Ahuna led Hawai'i Pacific to its second national championship in three years by defeating Augustana College (S.D.) 15-2, 15-7, 15-6 on Dec. 2 in Sioux Falls, S.D. The 2000 Lady Sea Warriors became the first team in Division II history to go undefeated at 28-0 and were ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll all season except for the preseason poll.

Ahuna, the Honolulu Quarterback Club Sportsperson of the Month for Oct. 2000, managed to mold this year's national championship team despite losing two of its best middle blockers in school history from the previous season. HPU's current 28-match winning streak is a school record. Moreover, the Lady Sea Warriors are 55-3 since the start of the 1998 NCAA tournament.

 Ahuna, a part-time coach who works full-time as a special education instructor, picked up her 100th collegiate coaching victory this season and now has a 111-29 record (.793 winning percentage) in five seasons. She has guided Hawai'i Pacific to two consecutive Pacific West Conference titles and three straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

 Championships have become a tradition for Ahuna teams. She played on the last University of Hawai'i team to win a national championship in 1987. Ahuna won Hawai'i state championships as a player and coach at Kamehameha Schools. She led Kamehameha to state titles as a player in 1982 and 1983, then as a coach for the boys varsity team in 1991 and 1993. Now she has two NCAA Division II national titles to her credit.

 Ahuna earned her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Hawai'i, and for the past 11 years she has served as a special education instructor at Kalakaua Middle School.

 Tachikara will formally present the National Coach of the Year awards on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000, in Richmond, Va., at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet.  The brunch, which will begin at 9 a.m. at the Richmond Marriott Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 2000 AVCA National Convention.

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