Waves Earn Bid to AVCA National Championship, Ross and Racich Win Pairs Title at USAV Collegiate Challenge
April 15, 2012
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. - Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross of the Pepperdine women's sand volleyball team won their second-straight pairs title, winning the Gold Division bracket at the USAV Collegiate Challenge. The duo defeated teammates Lilla Frederick and Kim Hill in the all-Waves final.
Following the two-day USAV event, the AVCA announced the four teams heading the Collegiate Sand National Championship on April 27-29. The Waves earned the No. 1 seed, and will be joined by Long Beach State, Florida State and the College of Charleston.
Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad Seaside Academy), as well as Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) and Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) will also represent Pepperdine in the pairs championship in addition to the team tournament.
Ross and Racich cruised through the Gold Division bracket, beating teammates Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS), before knocking off two pairs from USC in straight sets.
Fredrick and Hill's journey to the finals was equally impressive. The Waves' No. 2 tandem beat the No. 2 squad from Loyola Marymount before defeating the top pairs from both Long Beach State and USC.
In the quarterfinals, Frederick and Hill got the upper hand on the 49ers' Tara Roenicke and Caitlin Ledoux, 21-7, 21-15. They followed that with a 21-18, 21-19 triumph over Geena Urango and Sara Shaw from the Trojans' squad.
Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) and Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), also faced off with Urango and Shaw in the previous round, but fell just short in the three-set battle, 21-18, 17-21, 16-14.
Robinson and Larsen opened the day on an 8-0 run against Haleigh Hampton and Bre Mackie and rode the momentum to a 21-8, 21-18 win to advance to the quarterfinals.
Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) and Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) reached the championship match of the Silver Division bracket, and cruised through the first three rounds without much of a challenge.
In the finals, the duo met with Tyler Jackson and Janisa Johnson of Long Beach State, who were able to halt the Waves' run with a 21-15, 21-18 victory.
The Waves opened the USAV Collegiate Challenge on Saturday, and posted a perfect 4-0 record with dual wins against USC, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount and Hawaii.
The Waves now have two weeks to prepare for the inaugural AVCA National Championship. The three-day event, which features both a team and a pairs championship, will take place in Gulf Shores, Ala.