Volleyball finishes strong season

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On Sept. 12, the 2012 Pacific University women’s volleyball team was 0-7 and was staring 0-8 straight in the face against a George Fox squad that they had already lost to.  But a 3-2 win over the Bruins in the Stoller Athletic Center started what can only be described as a historic turn around.
Coming into this last weekend, the Boxers had an overall record of 10-12 and a conference record of 9-5 and were fighting for 3rd place in the Northwest Conference with Whitman, who entered the weekend 8-6.
On Nov. 2, the Boxers beat Whitworth 3-0 and the Missionaries lost to Linfield 3-0. Despite losing to Whitman 0-3 the next night, the Pacific women’s volleyball team wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a 3rd place finish in the Northwest Conference.
The ten conference wins ties the 1981 volleyball team for most in a single season.
Coach Kip Yoshimura, a veteran coach of the sport but new to Pacific, had a tall order put on him in the first half of the season.  With a roster of 16 girls, 11 are freshmen.
Coming into the year, Yoshimura said that they “built upon a successful season last season, but they weren’t content.”
In the middle of the season, Yoshimura said that he saw tremendous growth in his young players, not just from game-to-game, but on a daily basis.  Yoshimura saw his girls “[mature] in the second half of the season.  Not getting too excited and not getting too down but still expecting a lot.”
Seniors Alexa Block and Jade Thompson will be dearly missed by the Boxers.  Block ended her 2012 season second on the team in kills (276) and attacks (836) and third in blocks (36).  Thompson ended the 2012 season fourth in digs (150).
When asked about the future of the team, Yoshimura responded, “With a year under their belts, I think this was a great year, as far as building a foundation for the future.”
And next year, that foundation will be built on junior Mariah McHolland, and freshmen Marie Rewick, Emily Farnham and Becky Sheller.  McHolland, a blocking phenom of sorts, finished the season first on the team in blocks (103) and third in kills (205).  In the recent win over Whitworth, McHolland set the school record for blocks in a game with 12.
Rewick finished her freshman season first on the team in attacks (1011) and kills (298) and second in digs (242).  Farnham was first on the team in assists (445).  Sheller finished the season first on the team in digs (472).
With his army of young talent, all Yoshimura said was, “Everyday was something new for me, too.  You think you’ve done it all but it was a learning experience for me and I’m excited looking into the future.  Looking for conference titles in the future


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