The volleyball team starts their season with a solid record, new assistant coaches and an optimistic prediction for their performance in the upcoming season.
The team was one of the first to arrive on campus, nearly two weeks before classes began, with three-five hour practices daily gearing up for their annual Pacific Invitational.
During the invitational, the boxers drew up even, losing to George Fox University and Evergreen State.
University but scoring victories against New Hope Christian University and Walla Walla University
“Against Northwest Christian specifically, we competed really well in the first two sets,” said junior middle blocker Hannah Smargiassi. “I think that can carry out to later on in the season against big players like Pacific Lutheran University and Willamette.”
Part of the excitement about the upcoming season can be credited to the arrival of two new assistant coaches, including a Pacific volleyball alumnus.
Melissa Stern arrived to coach her first season with the boxers after graduating as a four-year starting outside hitter and former All Northwest Conference athlete.
Neil Davidson also arrived at Pacific as an assistant volleyball coach for the 2014 season. Davidson moved to Oregon after a 14-year coaching career in Sacramento and the Bay Area, including one year as the assistant men’s volleyball coach at U.C. Davis.
“I love the new coaches,” said junior setter Emily Farnham. “They are great at balancing out the rest of the coaching staff and really get you fired up.”
As they look toward their season ahead of them, Smargiassi said the team has been discussing the qualities of good teammates and the skills needed to be a successful volleyball player.
Smargiassi said the two qualities go hand-in-hand in communicating well on the court and encouraging teammates.
With only seven freshmen and 15 upperclassmen, Farnham said the leadership from the upperclassmen and the overall talent has the team excited for the upcoming season.
The team will take their 2-3 season record to California to face the University of California Santa Cruz Sept. 12. They will return to Forest Grove to play Lewis & Clark College Sept. 20.