#1 Pepperdine Tops #2 Long Beach State in National Championship Rematch
March 21, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – The #1 Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball team came back from down 0-2 versus #2 Long Beach State to emerge with a 3-2 victory in a rematch of the 2012 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. The Waves improve to a perfect 5-0 in 2013, while the 49ers fall to 5-1.
The last time the top-ranked squads met was in Gulf Shores, Ala. at the AVCA National Championship. Pepperdine defeated the regional rival to claim the inaugural national title.
The 49ers got on the board early, winning the first two matches of the afternoon.
After the No. 4 and No. 5 teams cleared the courts, the No. 3 and No. 6 duos opened play. Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) fell behind 11-14 against Libby Fontanilla and Delainey Aigner-Swesey, but pieced together a late run to win the first set 21-18.
Although LBSU won the second set, “Team Kell(i)ey” got back on track and jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the deciding frame. At match point, Larsen denied the 49er attack with a block to clinch the contest and put point No. 1 on the board for Pepperdine.
Meanwhile, Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodland HS) and Lauren Sieckmann (Omaha, Neb./Elkhorn South HS/Wayne State College) won in three sets, although the victory did not count towards the overall dual score.
Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) found themselves in a close knit battle with Long Beach States’ top pair of Tara Roenicke and Caitlin Ledoux.
After going down 15-19, Frederick and Hill relied on their phenomenal defense to climb their way back, fight off two set points and win 22-20. From there, the Waves rolled with the momentum and won 21-8 in the second to tie the team score at 2-all.
Frederick and Hill are now 3-1 all-time vs. Roenicke and Ledoux after playing the 49ers’ returning AVCA All-American’s three times in 2012.
Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska) were a set up (21-17) on Chelsea Cabrajac and Bre Mackie when the match at No. 1 finished, but trailed 13-15 in the second stanza.
Cabrajac and Mackie continued to lead, 19-17, but the Waves knotted the score up at 19. The 49ers sided out to take their first of several set points, but every time Racich and Dykstra came up with clutch play to erase the deficit.
The scales eventually tipped in Pepperdine’s favor and Racich and Dykstra won 26-24 after a well-place touch soared over the 49ers’ heads and down to the sand.
Next up for the Waves is a dual vs. #4 USC at the Merle Norman Stadium on Tuesday, March 26. First serve is schedule for 5 p.m.
Dual | #1 Pepperdine, #2 Long Beach State