HPU earns second Commissioner’s Cup; BYU-Hawaii edges Grand Canyon for second place
PHOENIX, AZ – For the second straight year, Hawai‘i Pacific has clinched the Pacific West Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup.
The Sea Warrior athletic program secured the title on Saturday, April 30, by earning a share of the PacWest Softball Championship after sweeping Hawai‘i Hilo, and securing a second-place finish in baseball following its sweep of Academy of Art.
In winning its second consecutive Commissioner’s Cup crown, the Sea Warriors athletic program posted an average finish of nearly third place in each of its 11 sports. HPU totaled 75 points to produce an average score of 6.818 – just .368 head of runner-up BYU-Hawaii.
Hawai‘i Pacific earned a share of just one conference title this season after tying Dixie State for the softball championship.
But the Sea Warriors stockpiled the Commissioner Cup points by taking second in women’s tennis, men’s soccer, baseball and women’s cross country. HPU also placed third in volleyball, women’s basketball, and men’s cross country, and tied for third in women’s soccer, while none of its athletic programs finished below sixth place.
In the four years the Commissioner’s Cup has been contested in the PacWest, HPU has finished no lower than fourth and has finished at least second or higher in each of the last three seasons.
BYU-Hawaii actually edged Grand Canyon for second place while both programs watched from the sidelines. In the final conference events of the season, Academy of Art and Hawai‘i Hilo were battling over a four-game baseball series May 3-4 in Hawai‘i.
If the Vulcans swept all four games, then UHH and Grand Canyon would tie for third in the baseball standings, dropping the Antelope average just enough to slip into third place in the Commissioner’s Cup standings.
If Academy of Art won just one contest, then Grand Canyon baseball would keep third place all alone and GCU would finish second in the race for the Commish Cup.
The Vulcans wound up with the four-game sweep, giving BYU-Hawaii its second runner-up finish in four years. The Seasiders placed second in 2007-08, won the title in 2008-09, and finished third last season.
Grand Canyon’s third-place finish was its best in school history after taking fourth last year.
Fourth place belonged to Dixie State, while fifth went to Hawai‘i Hilo for the second straight season. Academy of Art moved up one notch to sixth from seventh in its second season of competition, while NDNU, Chaminade and Dominican (CA) wound up seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
The race for the Commissioner’s Cup is based upon average finish instead of point totals, a change that occurred prior to the 2009-10 campaign. Each school totals its points and then divides it by the number of PacWest athletic programs it offers, giving an overall average finish for the school.
Hawai‘i Pacific, Hawai‘i Hilo, Dixie State, Grand Canyon and Academy of Art sponsor all 11 PacWest programs, while Dominican (CA), BYU-Hawaii, NDNU and Chaminade compete in 10 (no baseball).
In the 10 sports sponsored by all nine PacWest schools - men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, 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.
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.
This marks the fourth year of the Commissioner’s Cup program. In 2009-10, HPU became the third different winner of the cup, while Hawai‘i Hilo claimed the inaugural trophy in 2007-08 and BYU-Hawaii earned the title in 2008-09.