Four Waves Named AVCA All-Americans
May 4, 2014
GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Pepperdine sand volleyball team’s top-two pairs, including Kelley Larsen and Kellie Woolever, as well as Becca Strehlow and Lara Dykstra, reached the quarterfinals of the AVCA National Pairs Championship and in doing so, earned All-American status.
Unfortunately, the Waves were unable to replicate the intensity from yesterday’s national team championship and both lost narrow three-set decisions to bow out of the tournament in the quarterfinal round.
Pepperdine leads all sand volleyball programs with 12 All-American selections divided amongst eight student-athletes. Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska) became a two-time All-American today, joining the likes of Summer Ross, Kim Hill, Lilla Frederick and Caitlin Racich.
This was Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS), Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) and Strehlow’s (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) first time receiving the recognition.
In a change from last year, this season’s All-American awards were granted to pairs who reached the quarterfinal round of the pairs championship. Other honorees included Litara Keil and Betsi Metter of LMU, Katie Spieler, Nikki Taylor, Brittany Tiegs and Karissa Cook of Hawaii, USC’s Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes, Aurora Davis and Jace Pardon of Florida State, and Marcela Araya and Zuzana Markova of Louisiana-Monroe.
USC head coach Anna Collier was named the AVCA Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year.
Larsen and Woolever opened the morning with a commanding 21-15, 21-17 win over Jessica Gehrke and Marina Boulanger of FIU before succumbing to a 15-13 loss in the third set to Keil and Metter.
Team Kell(i)ey finishes the season with a brilliant 23-4 record. The Lions were responsible for two of those losses, while the AVCA National Pairs Champions Kirby Burnham and Sara Hughes account for the other two.
Strehlow and Dykstra won in straight sets to open the day, but similar to their teammates, lost 15-13 in the third versus the Rainbow Wahine’s No. 1 team of Tiegs and Cook.
The Pepperdine pair wraps the year with a 23-7 record.
Strehlow now holds a special place in program history, becoming the Waves’ second student-athlete to achieve All-American status in both indoor and sand volleyball in a singles season. As an indoor player, the sophomore setter was an honorable mention All-American.
Kim Hill was a first team pick in both sports during the 2011-12 season.
Pairs | AVCA National Championship