Waves Take Gold and Silver Bracket at Sand in the City
March 30, 2014
ATLANTA – The #1 Pepperdine sand volleyball team owned both the gold and silver brackets at the Sand in the City pairs championship. Both brackets featured an all-Pepperdine final, with Kelley Larsen and Kellie Woolever winning the gold title, and Katie Messing and Emily Cook crowned winners of the silver bracket.
It was the third pairs title for Team Kell(i)ey, comprised of senior standouts Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) and Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS). The duo topped teammates Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska) in the finals 23-21, 21-12.
Larsen and Woolever had previously won back-to-back pairs titles at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge in Chula Vista in both 2013 and 2014.
The gold bracket featured the No. 1-3 pairs from the four tournament participants: #9 Georgia State, College of Charleston, Louisiana Monroe and the #1 Waves. The silver bracket included the remaining pairs from the four different lineups.
The silver final saw the Waves’ No. 4 team of Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) and Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) edge out the No. 5 squad of Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Sophie Asprey (Southlake, Texas/Liberty Christian School/Tulane) 21-17, 21-18 for their first career title.
All three Pepperdine pairs in the gold bracket advanced out of the round of 16, including Larsen and Woolever, Dykstra and Strehlow, and Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS).
Racich and Knudsen upset the No. 2 team of ULM, Hadley Swartz and Michelle McNamee, 21-19, 2-17 in their first-round match.
Larsen and Woolever, Pepperdine’s No. 2 tandem, and No. 1 Dykstra and Strehlow posted straight-set wins in the quarterfinals, while Racich and Knudsen fell against GSU’s top team.
Cook and Messing were awarded a first-round bye in the silver bracket, while Taylor Racich and Asprey downed Panther pair Jessica Fourspring and Molly Smestad 21-16, 21-14.
En route the finals, Cook and Messing won in straight sets in both the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Asprey and Racich shut out Kari Fidelholtz and Catey Warren of the College of Charleston in the quarterfinals before outlasting GSU’s Delaney Rohan and Alexis Townsend in three.
The Waves compete in just one dual next week, hosting #5 Long Beach State on Thursday, April 3. First serve on Zuma Beach is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Pairs | Sand in the City