HPU becomes 3rd different program to claim Commissioners Cup
PHOENIX, AZ – Hawai‘i Pacific used a pair of conference championships in the sports of baseball and softball over the weekend to capture the 2009-10 Pacific West Conference Commissioner’s Cup.
The clinching moment occurred on Sunday, April 25, when the Sea Warriors claimed the PacWest softball title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.
HPU’s victory in the chase for the top athletic program in the conference makes it three different Commissioner Cup winners in three years – all from Hawai‘i.
The Sea Warrior athletic program beat out Dixie State by producing an average finish of 7.409, just ahead of the 7.222 average produced by the Red Storm. HPU totaled 81.5 points, claimed three PacWest Championships in the sports of baseball, women’s basketball and softball, and finished no worse than third in 10 of the 11 athletic programs it sponsors.
“HPU had a phenomenal year in the PacWest,” Bob Hogue, the PacWest commissioner, said. “For the second time in three years, the title was won on the last day of competition - showing how competitive our conference is and how well HPU performed.”
Hawai‘i Pacific will accept the honor at its annual athletics banquet on Monday, May 3, at the Ko’olau Golf Club.
“This is an historic achievement for HPU athletics and our university,” Darren Vorderbruegge, the athletic director at HPU, stated. “This was won through the dedication and tireless efforts of our coaches and over 200 student-athletes.”
HPU becomes the third different school to win the Commissioner’s Cup and the first since the league expanded to nine teams this year.
“This is an especially impressive achievement given the increased competition we have in our conference,” Vorderbruegge added.
After totaling 65.0 points in nine sports, Dixie State recorded the highest finish by a Mainland school in the three years of the program. The Red Storm finished sixth in 2007-08, fourth last year, and jumped to second this season thanks to a title in women’s soccer, a co-championship in men’s basketball, and second-place finishes in the sports of golf, softball, volleyball and women’s basketball (tie).
In each of the last two years, the runner-up in the Commissioner Cup standings has claimed the title the following year. Last year’s winner, BYU-Hawaii, was second in 2007-08, while HPU finished second in 2008-09. It could be an omen for Dixie State in 2010-11.
BYU-Hawaii finished third in the standings and has the best average finish among all conference teams since the inception of the cup. The Seasiders, who totaled 65.0 points and produced an average finish of 6.500, have earned a spot in the top three of the cup standings in all three years of it existence.
Unlike the first two years of competition, the chase for the 2009-10 Commissioner’s Cup is based upon average finish instead of point totals. The formula includes baseball for the first time.
This year schools total their points and then divide by the number of PacWest athletic programs they offer, giving an overall average finish for the school.
Hawai‘i Pacific, Hawai‘i Hilo, Grand Canyon and Academy of Art sponsor all 11 programs, while BYU-Hawaii, NDNU and Chaminade compete in 10 (no baseball). Dixie State sponsors nine (no men’s & women’s cross country) and Dominican (CA) fields eight team (no men’s & women’s cross country or baseball).
In the eight sports sponsored by all nine PacWest schools - men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and women’s tennis - the first-place team receives nine points, followed by the second-place team receiving eight and so forth in descending order.
In cross country, only seven schools sponsor the sport so points are awarded starting at nine for the champion and ending at three for the last-place team. Baseball features five programs with the winner earning nine points, followed by the runner-up claiming seven, third place taking five, and fourth and fifth earning three and one, respectively.
When teams are tied in the standings, the points awarded to those positions are added together then distributed evenly among the schools.