Long Beach State Stuns Waves in AVCA National Championship Final
May 4, 2013
GULF SHORES, ALA. - It was an uphill battle for the Pepperdine women's sand volleyball team from the moment they set foot in Gulf Shores, Ala. for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. Despite playing shorthanded, the Waves were able to fight their way to wins over #4 USC and #3 Florida State to advance to the finals. The run ended there however, and #2 Long Beach State edged Pepperdine 3-2 to win the 2013 national championship title.
The Waves, who finish the season with a 20-1 record, were playing without No. 1 player Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS), who still picked up AVCA All-American honors for the second-straight season following the team finals. Hill's partner, Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS), carried on alongside Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS/Illinois), despite not playing together all season.
Pepperdine suffered another blow when Orozco suffered a concussion during yesterday's semifinals versus the Trojans. With no other alternate, Frederick - another 2013 AVCA All-American pick -- and Orozco were forced to forfeit both of their matches today.
Although the Waves still managed to defeat the Seminoles 3-2 in the semifinals earlier today, the opening 0-1 deficit was too much to overcome against the rival 49ers. Long Beach State has only suffered three losses this season, all of which came against Pepperdine.
Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska), also announced as All-Americans following the match, got off to a slow start and lost the first set to Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Chelsea Cabrajac. Dykstra and Racich got back on track, however, and cruised on to win 21-13, 15-9.
With just two courts being utilized in the finals, Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) got their match from the No. 3 spot in the lineup started as Racich and Dykstra's first set wrapped up. Although Team Kell(i)ey fell behind 1-6 in the opening points, the duo managed to win in straight sets 21-19, 21-18 versus Libby Fontanilla and Bre Mackie. Larsen and Woolever conclude the season a perfect 20-0 in dual match play and 27-1 overall.
Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) and Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodland HS) were next up, and despite a hard-fought match versus undefeated Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson, the Waves fell short 21-19, 21-18.
Tied at 2-2, the deciding point rested on the last match to start at No. 4. Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian) and Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) rebounded from a first-set loss to Lauren Minkel and Jocelyn Needly with a dominant 21-9 win in the second. In the third and final frame, the 49ers made a late run and were able to hold on to win 15-10.
An awards ceremony was held right after the dual where Frederick, Hill and Racich were honored as AVCA All-Americans for the second-straight year. It was Dykstra's first time being selected to the All-American list. Head coach Nina Matthies was voted the inaugural winner of the Coach of the Year award.
Pairs play concludes the AVCA National Championship tomorrow, April 5. Racich and Dykstra will represent the Waves in the 16-team single elimination bracket. Action opens at 6 a.m. (PT)/8 a.m. (CT) and the winner with be crowned at 12 p.m. (PT)/2 p.m. (CT) Last season, Racich and Summer Ross emerged with the title.
Dual | Long Beach State 3, Pepperdine 2