Last season, the Pacific University volleyball team opened with seven straight losses before they flipped it around to finish with an 11-13 record.

Now just one year later, the Boxers find themselves in a similar situation. The 2013 season has started out rough with five straight losses, but second year Head Coach Kip Yoshimura feels that they could have easily been 4-2.

Yoshimura certainly isn’t satisfied with a losing record, but is happy with where the team is as far as development and knows they need to be at a higher level.

“I don’t want to get the label of a slow starting team, but I really believe we work on some things that are going to benefit us in the long run and not skip over things like some schools might be able to do just to get ready for the early part of the season,” said Yoshimura.

“I think we built a pretty good foundation and maybe that’s why we have a slow start.”

For the second year in a row, the Pacific volleyball team only has two seniors on the roster. With a team of only four upperclassmen, leadership plays a huge role into getting the young players on the same page and up to the collegiate level of play.

“Mariah and Kami are really good about pushing us this year,” said sophomore outside hitter Marie Rewick. “I think it’s just trying to bring in the new girls this year. There’s some nerves but they are doing their jobs. It’s just lack of experience right now.”

The Boxers opened the 2013 season by participating in the Molten Colorado College Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo. Although the team went winless, it allowed an opportunity for players to bond and build team chemistry.

Rewick, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, also felt that three-a-day practices in the preseason helped with getting each other to click and become closer.

Last year the Boxers had a knack for grinding against opponents as they came out victorious in eight of their nine 5-set matches. So far this season, the Boxers are 0-3 in this situation.

“It’s just the way things go, sometimes,” said Yoshimura. “You want them to play well at the end to finish, but sometimes the other teams have their own agenda too and they do a pretty good job.”

“We’ve been fighting a lot,” reiterated Rewick. “We just have too many ups and downs during the matches. We just need to put it all together and finish.”

The Boxers were able to get over the first hump by winning their first match on Sept. 7th  in a three game sweep against New Hope Christian. Moving forward, the focus will be all about the Northwest Conference Championship.

“It’s just all about conference play now,” Yoshimura said.

“We’re not going to out trick anybody. It’s just good, solid, grind-it-out volleyball.”

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