The volleyball team showed the Linfield Wildcats the amount of growth the Boxers have made with a win in straight sets at the Stoller Center last Saturday, Oct. 1. The first set ended 25-21. The second set also proved the Boxers skills with a 25-14 close. And the third set ended well for the Boxers as well with 25-21.
The win over Linfield was the first win for the Boxers since 2004. The Boxers are 5-3 in conference and 11-6 overall. In the North West Conference, Whitworth’s volleyball team has first with 7-1. Pugest Sound and Pacific Lutheran are tied in second in conference with 6-2.
“We knew who their star players were and we did a great job avoiding the libero and the go-to hitters,” said Head Coach Lena Chan.
During the Linfield match, the Boxers had four outstanding performances from their middle hitters Kelsy Takashima, with 12 kills apiece, Alexa Block, with an additional 10 kills on the match, Jadelyn Thompson, with 20 digs and Malea Webb with 27 assists.
With both setters this season as freshman, both Chan and Assistant Coach David Glass, noted that Webb and Gabriela Vega are intuitive in game situations and are very mature for their ages.
“Compared to seasons before, we have really good team chemistry this year,” said Takashima. “Also I connect really well with both of our setters on the floor, which showed in the Linfield game.”
According to Chan, Takashima has always been and continues to be a leader through her actions on the court and her expectations on her teammates.
“Everyone calls Kelsy ‘taka-mama,’ which shows that she is like a mother to them and that people look up to her,” said Chan.
In the last match Pacific never trailed, building an 11-5 lead to victory and made it a 17-9 advantage for the Boxers when Linfield made an attack error. The Boxers had the advantage with a 22-16 lead when Linfield tried to make a run to fight back, but with another attack error, they gave Pacific a 24-21 lead before Takashima cleaned up the match for the win.
“Finally we have the pieces and we have a solid team in every position, including bench players,” said Thompson. “Beating Puget Sound, a team that is nationally ranked, at our first home game of the season gave everyone a lot of confidence that we can take any team in the conference.”
Now being on the back half of the season, Chan said that in order to keep up the confidence, we need to take one match at a time, which include being mentally and physically consistent in every game.
The Boxer’s next game is at home Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.