The Pacific Boxers’ volleyball team has had a very interesting season, thus far.
Despite the 0-7 start to the season, the lady Boxers have turned their season around in conference play with an 8-4 record, putting them in third place of the NWC standings.
Six of the Boxers’ eight wins have come in five-set duels, while all four losses have been straight three-game sweeps.
Senior outside hitter Alexa Block explained the trend of wining in five-set matches as a product of the sport of volleyball.
Block said going to five sets puts a lot of pressure on the team to play well, especially since the last set is only 15 points, instead of a regular 25-point game.
“That’s just how volleyball is,” explained Block. “It’s a game of momentum; it’s a game of emotion. One point can change a whole game.”
In the team’s losses, the Boxers feel that it wasn’t necessarily what the other team was doing, but just poor play on their part.
The lady Boxers’ pre-season schedule consisted of several tough opponents, including some nationally ranked teams.
Even though the results didn’t reflect it, the Boxers felt they played well and were right there with their opponents the whole game.
The only thing missing was experience and team chemistry.
Playing a high level of competition in the preseason prepared them and gave the team confidence going into conference play, despite not having any victories.
The pre-season polls picked Pacific to finish 7 out of 9 teams in the NWC.
The Boxers always get the raw end of the deal because other teams have built up a reputation, but the players don’t let it get to their head.
“I don’t even think about the standings,” said Block. “Because in volleyball, you have to go out there and compete because anyone could have a bad game and it’d be over. Anything can happen and that’s why we play.”
The volleyball roster consists of 11 freshmen out of 16 players. Mixing many talented freshmen with several experienced upperclassmen has shown to produce a good balance of players.
A lot of the younger players deal with pressure since many of them play the whole game.
Block noted that playing as a freshman is a hard thing to do, especially with the transition in the level of competition from high school to college.
Compared to other teams, the lady Boxers are a relatively small team, but are successful because they play at a higher level.
“That’s kind of our mentality,” said Block. “Maybe we’re not going to beat you because we’re bigger than you, but because we work harder, smarter and we’re going to play as a team.”
With the second round of conference play already underway, the lady Boxers hope to improve and do better because of the experience already gained.
“We’ve gotten to know each other,” Block reiterated. “We’ve gotten to see how we play in certain situations so I think it’ll be a lot better.”