Two-time defending MEAC champions take to the court for the first time in 2013.
Veverka places 16th in field of nearly 130, Gurrola throw 20.2 innings on mound
Metil coached UMES to a pair of MEAC Championships and six 20-win seasons
Benitez posts six RBI for softball, Walsh named All-American
by: David Whigham
See Joey Gardner's shots of the UMES student-athletes receiving Proclamations from the Town of Princess Anne.
UMES defeated Florida A&M to win the MEAC Championship for the first time in school history! (Megan Raymond photos)
UMES taking on Hampton, defeating the Lady Pirates in three sets to take sole possession of first place.
2012: Team captain for UMES, leading the Hawks to a second straight MEAC title ... became of member of the 1,000-kill club, earning the mark in final home match against Howard (10/26) with 14th kill in the match in set three, finishing with 15 kills ... earned 17 double digit kill matches and four double doubles ... played all 129 sets in 34 matches, finishing with 352 kills, 40 aces, 222 digs and 57 blocks ... began the year with a double double against NJIT (8/24) with 11 kills and 16 digs, following up with 16 kills in win over St. Francis (8/25) ... double double in three-set win over UNC Asheville (9/1), ending with 11 kills and 12 digs ... earned fifth set match-winning kill in two straight matches: near double double with nine kills and 13 digs vs. Wright State (9/8), then season-best 21 kills with nine digs and a trio of blocks against North Texas (9/14) ... double double in comeback win over Howard (9/30), concluding with 19 kills and 13 digs ... 16 kills and eight digs against Hampton (10/12), pushing UMES to first place in the MEAC North ... 11 kills and 10 digs for double double against Morgan State (11/2) ... 16 kills, six digs and three blocks in comeback victory at Norfolk State (11/9), securing MEAC North title ... eight kills, three aces and six digs in MEAC Title match against Florida A&M (11/18) ... earned three kills and five digs in NCAA Tournament match at Nebraska (11/29).
2011: MEAC Preseason Player of the Year ... COBRA Magazine All-National Honorable Mention and All-East Region Team member ... named to COBRA Magazine All-Preseason Third Team ... earned a place on Bryant Invitational (9/9-10) and UMES Hawk Invitational (9/30-10/1) All-Tournament Teams ... 10th in the MEAC regular season in points per game, finishing with 387 (3.34 per game) ... 180th in NCAA Division I in aces per set with 0.3 per game, totaling 35 ... played in all 31 matches, starting 28 ... second-leading attacker for UMES with 317 kills, also contributing 205 digs and 59 blocks ... had 18 matches with double digit kills ... season-high 18 digs with 11 kills for double double at Bryant (9/9) ... recorded career-high five aces in three matches, set with that mark with nine kills and 10 digs vs. Harvard at the Bryant Invitational (9/10) ... combined for 32 kills on Sept. 24 at High Point Invitational, earning double double vs. Campbell with 15 kills and 11 digs, later getting season-high 17 kills with five aces and eight digs at High Point ... finished with four double doubles, including 11 kills and digs vs. Coppin State (11/6) and 10 kills and 11 digs in MEAC Championship win against Florida A&M (11/20) ... named MEAC Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 8-14, combining for 27 kills and 11 digs in matches vs. Norfolk State and Hampton ... had three kills and four digs in NCAA Tournament match at UCLA (12/2).
2010: MEAC Rookie of the Year and First Team All-MEAC selection ... named to the MEAC Championships All-Tournament Team ... tabbed COBRA Magazine All-East Region Team honors and All-National Honorable Mention ... earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors four times overall and once in consecutive weeks (9/13, 10/4, 10/25, 11/1) ... named to Tiny Laster Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team (9/28) and Peaky's North/South UMES Invitational All-Tournament Team (10/2) ... totaled four double-doubles ... appeared in all 32 matches and 118 games, finishing with 407 kills, 44 service aces, 193 digs and 42 total blocks ... led MEAC in kills (3.45) and points per set (4.04) ... was third in the conference and 51st in the nation with 0.37 service aces per game ... 108th in Division I in points per game and 124th in kills per game ... ... tallied career-high 14 digs versus South Carolina State at Tiny Laster Memorial Tournament on (8/28) ... had career high five blocks and four aces at Navy (9/18) ... recorded second-most kills in a match in the MEAC with 26 at Delaware State (10/26).
High School/Club: Played four seasons of volleyball at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, Utah ... also played basketball ... competed with Club Union in Intermountain Volleyball in Salt Lake City.
Personal: Born June 5, 1992 in Inglewood, Calif. ... daughter of Popua and Kaliopasi Vaitai ... has a sister, Robyn, and four brothers, Tuita, Soa, Tou and Leo ... major is biology ... pregame routine includes praying, listening to music and a superstition: all left gear goes on before right gear ... personal best sports moment is receiving MEAC Rookie of the Year in 2010 ... most influential person is her father for motivating and helping her on and off the court ... plans on becoming a physical therapist after graduation ... personal best non-athletic accomplishment is graduating from high school and Seminary ... favorite saying is "You don't need to be sick to get better." ... hobbies including hanging out with friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews ... favorite book is Mind Gym by Gray Mack and David Casstevens ... favorite movie is "The Italian Job" ... personal athletic goal this season is to improve her skills and be positively consistent ... personal athletic goal before graduation is to get 1,000 kills.