This Week at Pepperdine: September 16-22
Sept. 16, 2013
As always, This Week at Pepperdine looks at last week's highlights and previews this week's events. The women's soccer team has two big home games, including a battle with top-five UCLA, and the women's volleyball squad opens West Coast Conference play at home this weekend.
Also, the men's water polo team is at the NorCal Tournament and the men's and women's golf teams begin their seasons.
In our video, we look at the top plays from last week's games and highlight some of the week's top performers. Jett Raines of the men's basketball team opens the show, and interviewees include Kelley Larsen and Samantha Cash of women's volleyball, Meagan Harbison of women's soccer and Grace Na of women's golf.
This week's events:
Thursday: vs. Santa Clara (Firestone Fieldhouse), 7 p.m.
The women's volleyball team begins its quest for the program's 12th West Coast Conference Championship this week, facing league foes Santa Clara and San Francisco at home inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine owns a conference-leading 11 WCC championship titles, its most recent coming in 2011, and is looking to work its way back to the top after tying for fifth place in 2012. The Waves own a league-best 311-81 all-time record, including marks of 37-26 and 52-4 vs. the Broncos and Dons, respectively. Pepperdine brings a lot of momentum into this week, having finished the nonconference portion of the season with wins over #19 Kentucky and Louisville at the Bluegrass Battle. Both Katie Messing and Kelley Larsen averaged 4.14 kills per set in two matches last week to lead the offense. Samantha Cash was credited with a staggering 15 blocks in seven sets worth of work to bring her season average to 1.52 blocks per set, bumping her up to 12th in the NCAA rankings.
Friday: vs. UCLA (Tari Frahm Rokus Field), 3 p.m.
Fresh off back-to-back shutout victories, Pepperdine continues its six-match homestand with a pair of tough matches this weekend at Tari Frahm Rokus Field. The Waves square off against #5 UCLA - a 2012 NCAA quarterfinalist - on Friday. The Bruins are the fifth top-25 opponent for Pepperdine in eight matches this season. Pepperdine is 1-1-1 against UCLA in the last three meetings, including a 1-1 tie in Malibu in 2011. Fresno State makes the drive to Southern California for a Sunday contest. The Waves took a 2-0 shutout win against the Bulldogs in 2010 at home and earned a 1-1 road deadlock in 2011. All-American candidate Lynn Williams scored three goals last week, including an overtime game-winner at #23 USC and her third brace of the season in a 2-0 win against San Diego State. Williams has cracked Pepperdine's all-time top 10 in both goals (7th/22) and points (9th/56).
MEN'S WATER POLO
Saturday-Sunday: at NorCal Tournament (Berkeley, Calif.), TBA
#8 Pepperdine travels to the Bay Area to compete in the 2013 NorCal Tournament, which runs Saturday and Sunday and is being hosted by California in Berkeley. The young Waves will look to make inroads against the nation's top programs and prepare for what figures to be another challenging MPSF slate. All-American Bence Valics continues to showcase his skills between the pipes for Pepperdine, while redshirt senior Danny White is coming off a four-goal outing last week at Loyola Marymount.
Monday-Tuesday: at Husky Invitational (Bremerton, Wash.)
The Waves got their season started Monday at the Husky Invitational, hosted by Washington at Gold Mountain Golf Club (which will again host the 2014 WCC Championships). An experienced lineup of seniors Jeremy Sanders and Parker Page, junior Kevin DeHuff and sophomores Nick Thomas and Frederick Wedel are representing Pepperdine. The 15-team field includes five other WCC schools and seven from the Pac-12. Freshman Robin Kang is also taking part in a separate tournament for individuals.
Friday-Saturday: at Dick McGuire Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Pepperdine has an interesting start to its season with true back-to-back tournaments. After playing in New Mexico's Dick McGuire Invitational on Friday and Saturday, the Waves will head immediately to Wolcott, Colo., for the Golfweek Conference Challenge, which will be contested next Monday and Tuesday. The Waves enter the season with high hopes and a #15 national ranking from Golfweek. Grace Na, a three-time All-American and WCC Player of the Year, is rated as one of the nation's top 10 players in the preseason by both GolfWorld and Golfweek.