Volleyball ready for conference play

Boxer volleyball got off to a good start after going head to head with top tier competition in Texas

Luke Peevyhouse

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After starting the season with four wins and four loses, the Boxer women’s volleyball team is seeking to gain momentum before conference play.

Fresh off of a Texas trip in which they played six games, Pacific returns home to wrap up the non-conference slate.

In the six game trip, the Boxers split three victories from Letourneau University, Sul Ross State University, McMurry University and took Texas powerhouse Texas-Tyler University to their fifth set.

Coach Kip Yoshimura called the trip a good time for momentum and playing experience, for returners and freshman respectively.

“We were in every point for Texas-Tyler,” Yoshimura said. “[they’re] as good as top of the Northwest Conference.”

Tiare Kaopua, Lia Zablan and Jamie Steach are responsible for the veteran leadership as the lone seniors on the roster.

Sophomore Morgan Mendicino said of her senior captains “on the court they keep everyone calm and well minded in games.”

Yoshimura added how pleasantly surprised he was in the contribution Kaopua is giving them offensively.

“She has been a huge physical weapon out there for us,” coach Mild said about his senior leader.

“I expect nothing but the seniors to lead like we are supposed to,” Kaopua said. “The freshmen look up to them on and off the court, and they need to set the examples for the younger teammates.”

Freshmen Karlee Duncan, Milana Ivkovich, Mackenzie Brown and sophomore Mendicino lead the youth movement for the Boxers, and Yoshimura was quick to add that there are plenty of other young contributors off the bench for the team as well.

“Duncan was a bigger recruit the last year, especially being more of a local player,” coach Mild said.

The Boxers won both games at the Pacific University Classic on Sunday, defeating Simpson University and Walla Walla University.

They now have a five-day break before they head up to play Whitworth University and Whitman College in Washington on Sept. 16.

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