The 2011 Pacific volleyball team has been on the go since the season kicked off on Sept. 2. The women Boxers have been exploring new places and competing against teams throughout the country.
The team started their season at a tournament in Oneonta, New York, defeating three teams and losing to one. The trip didn’t involve strictly volleyball however. The women were able to visit sites in New York City, and bond with one another.
“Traveling to New York was definitely an adventure for all of us. We got to walk around Times Square at night, which was a bit of a culture shock for me, but I still had so much fun,” said senior Kelsy Takashima. “Then we had the whole day Sunday to visit Ground Zero, which was a very humbling experience, and some of us took a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.”
The team returned home and lost 0-3 to Concordia University.
The Pacific team next traveled to Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Sept. 9 and 10, for the Cal Lutheran Posada Royale Invitational.
Once again, the team won three games and lost one. During their off time, the women said they enjoyed what they called a ‘mini vacation’ on the beach.
“In California, we went to Santa Monica Pier which was a great team bonding experience,” said junior Jade Thompson. “Spending so much time with the team has definitely helped us know each other and work better together. Also great friendships have developed over the past month.”
Instead of hosting a tournament at Pacific University, head coach Lena Chan said the team played two away tournaments.
On Sept. 16, the girls traveled to Walla Walla, Wash. and defeated the Whitman team 3-0.
From Walla Walla, the team traveled to Spokane to play Whitworth, losing 0-3.
“I think the travel has been a good experience for the girls,” said Chan. “After all the travel, the girls were 7-4 overall and 1-1 in our conference.”
Although all of the athletes are building their athletic standings, several have realized the difficulty of keeping up academically.
“It has been a little stressful, but you learn to manage your time,” said senior Brittney Johnson. “While away you learn to do your homework during the off time at the hotel or on the bus rides. It is difficult, but you learn from your mistakes; if you don’t get it done when you have the time and have to stay up all night to finish your work.”
With so much time away, the team understands that completing their schoolwork is just as important as being competitive volleyball players.
“So far this season I’m very proud of how my team is doing. We’ve gotten off to a fairly good start and I’m confident it’s only going to get better as the season goes on,” said Takashima. “We have a scrappy back row that makes our defense solid, our two freshmen setters are doing a great job at running our offense, and our hitters this year have been more consistent than the years past. I couldn’t ask for a better team to be ending my college volleyball career with.”
The next match will be held at home on Oct. 1 against Linfield University at 7 p.m.

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