After splitting this past weekend’s games with a win and a loss, Pacific volleyball is sitting in fourth place in the Northwest Conference, a good position to make a run at the upcoming playoffs.

On Friday, the squad took on and prevailed over Lewis and Clark College.

This win was especially critical because at the time three teams were tied with a 3-3 league record, including Pacific, Lewis and Clark College and George Fox University.

With the victory in Forest Grove and a loss suffered by George Fox, Pacific surpassed the two to move to fourth place.

Although Lewis and Clark put up a good fight, Pacific was able to maintain command.

Strong performances on the court with a large amount of fan support put the team on top three sets to one.

In the four sets, freshman Una Areta led the team in kills with 24.

On the defensive side, sophomore libero Becky Sheller finished with an outstanding 30 digs. Also notable were the 49 assists from sophomore Emily Farnham.

The ladies then took a trip up to Tacoma, Wash. to play University of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, they were not able to make a dent in the Loggers, losing in the first three sets.

Despite ending the weekend with a .500 overall winning percentage, as they were before the two games, George Fox dropped both of their games, allowing Pacific to stay in fourth.

Now that the first half of the season is over, the team will have another opportunity to face everyone in the conference.

Most important will be games against Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound and Whitworth University, the three teams ahead of Pacific in the NWC standings.

Head Coach Kip Yoshimura is looking for the same type of improvements that the team has been making this whole season.

“Our goal is to get better every day. Players are at different positions than what they are used to, and that adjustment is difficult to make,” said Yoshimura. “Another thing we need to work on is consistency.”

Just playing sound volleyball is how Pacific plans on handling the top teams in the conference.

This time, however, they will have a little more of an idea of what to expect.

“We have more information on these teams with film and stats that we didn’t have the first time around,” said Yoshimura. “The bottom line is we need to execute the basic fundamentals if we want to beat anybody in this conference.”

For the remainder of play, the squad will be without a key player in sophomore Marie Rewick.

Rewick was taken out with a knee injury in the game against Whitman College a few weeks ago.

At the time of her injury, Rewick led the team in kills while also contributing significantly in all other aspects of the game.

“Right now with four people out, including all conference player Marie Rewick, others are having to shift around into positions they are not used to playing,” said Yoshimura. “We just have to make sure we don’t get sloppy or fatigued.”

The playoffs are approaching quickly. In the time left, this team looks to keep improving.

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