Waves Undefeated at USAV Collegiate Challenge
April 14, 2012
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball team went a perfect 4-0 at the USAV Collegiate Challenge, and put themselves in a good position to earn a coveted bid to the AVCA National Championship in two weeks. The Waves downed Loyola Marymount, Long Beach State, USC and Hawaii to finish the regular season with an untarnished 14-0 record.
“The team played absolutely outstanding today,” said head coach Nina Matthies of her squad. “I’m very proud with how they handled themselves in spite of some bitter wind. Their ball control and tenacity were great all day long.”
The AVCA plans to announce the four teams and 16 pairs that will play in the championship on Sunday evening.
“It was important for us to finish the regular season undefeated heading into the championship,” continued Matthies. “The girls accomplished what they came to accomplish today and I really couldn’t be prouder of them. All the hard work they’ve put in is paying off for them.”
Pepperdine opened the day with a dominating 5-0 win against the Lions. Kelli Branning (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton HS) and Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) were untouchable, defeating Ellie Selleck and Diana Hiramoto 21-1, 21-11.
The remaining four Wave duos were equally dominant, and won every match in convincing fashion.
Next, Pepperdine faced the 49ers for the third time this season. After winning the first two meetings by a score of 3-2, the Waves scored a 4-1 decision against LBSU today in the first neutral court matchup between the two teams.
Cook, this time teaming up with Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) moved up to the No. 4 spot in the lineup for the first time this season and emerged with a 21-19, 21-17 victory against Jocelyn Neely and Lauren Minkel.
Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) and Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) split sets with Haleigh Hampton and Libby Fontanilla before riding a hot streak to a 15-3 triumph in the third.
Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS), playing in front of her hometown crowd, and partner Kelly Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) won an exciting match against Alma Serna and Chelsea Cabrajac. After taking the first stanza 21-16, the 49ers answered with a 21-19 win in the second. In the evenly-fought third set, Robinson and Larsen emerged with the 16-14 victory.
Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) tallied the fourth win against the Beach, taking down Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson in straight sets.
The Waves defeated the Trojans for the second time in dual action this year, beating the local rivals 3-2. Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad Seaside Academy) beat Geena Urango and Sara Shaw for the second time in as many tries, earning a three-set victory.
Robinson and Larsen made up for a narrow loss to Natalie Hagglund and Katie Fuller last week Saturday, and defeated the Trojan duo today by a score of 21-19, 21-16.
Adelhelm and Woolever returned to the No. 4 spot with a three set thriller against Eve Ettinger and Kendall Bateman.
In the final match of the afternoon, the Waves faced Hawaii for the first time and defeated the Rainbow Wahine 5-0.
Racich and Ross beat Ross’ former teammate Jane Croson and her UH partner Ashley Lee, 21-13, 16-21, 15-4 to finish the day 3-1 and clinch the No. 1 seed in tomorrow’s Gold Division Pairs Championship.
Robinson and Larsen, as well as Woolever and Adelhelm, won their final matches to finish with a perfect 4-0 record on the day.
Tomorrow, the USAV Collegiate Challenge continues with a Gold and Silver Division Pairs Championship. Ross-Racich, Frederick-Hill, Larsen-Robinson and Adelhelm-Woolever will compete in the Gold Division beginning around 10:30 a.m., while Cook and Christiaansen will open the day in Silver Division at 9 a.m.
Pepperdine 5, Loyola Marymount 0
Pepperdine 4, Long Beach State 1
Pepperdine 3, USC 2
Pepperdine 5, Hawaii 0