Volleyball finishes season in fourth

posted in: Sports, Winter | 0
Pacific University’s volleyball season has ended with the Boxers finishing 14-12 overall and 8-8 in conference. This season was the first winning record for Pacific since 2011. 
The 2016 team had two All-Northwest Conference recognitions in senior setter Jamie Steach and senior outside hitter Tiare Kaopua. Steach earned the Honorable Mention nod by tallying 899 assists out of the Boxers 1,091 total. Steach averaged nearly 10 assists a set for the team this season. Kaopua was named First Team All-Northwest Conference behind her team leading 358 kills on the season, averaging four kills per set. Only three members of this year’s team will be graduating this year.
Senior Lia Zablan will be joining Kaopua and Steach in graduating this spring. “I have no doubt that this team will carry on just fine without me, Jamie and Lia,” Kaopua said. “They definitely know how to lead this team. I also have no doubt because Jamie, Lia and I did not make this entire team by ourselves.” In a season where the women defeated Pacific Lutheran University for the first time since 2003, Kaopua could not stress enough how each win was a complete team victory. “The PLU win at their gym was amazing,” Kaopua said. “It was the last game in the first half of the season and it was huge.” 
The victory over Pacific Lutheran boosted the Boxers into their longest winning streak of the season, with four straight victories. One of the Boxers tasked with leading the volleyball team next season will be sophomore Morgan Mendicino. “The team was a close group and the seniors helped us learn how to lead,” Mendicino said. The returners look to build on the success of this season and welcome in new talent to break into the top three of the conference after finishing tied for fourth.

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