A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo tennis player who helped lead his team to a PacWest title and a volleyball standout who played big in her final college match are this week’s Pepsi Athletes of the Week.
Senior Taira Kaawaloa finished the final match of her college volleyball career, leading the Vulcans to a 3-0 win over Hawaiʻi Pacific University (HPU) on Sunday. Kaawaloa had a team-best 13 kills in the win over the Sharks, and hit .650 in the match—the highest hitting percentage for any Vulcan player all season. She also had nine digs against HPU, and for the season is ranked third on the team in kills and digs. The kinesiology major will graduate this spring.
Vulcan tennis player Martin Soukal was a perfect 3-0 at No. 1 singles in matches at last week’s Pacific West Conference Championships. He pulled off the biggest upset of the PacWest season in the championship match, defeating No. 4 nationally ranked and undefeated Jakob Schnaitter of Azusa Pacific University. Soukal, ranked No. 33 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking, won in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) over the two-time PacWest Player of the Year.