Pepperdine Enters AVCA National Championship on Friday
April 30, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The cumulating event has arrived for the #2 Pepperdine sand volleyball team: the 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. The event once again returns to the beautiful white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala. and runs May 2-4.
MATCH 17 - #2 Pepperdine (15-1) vs. Stetson (18-4) or #4 Florida State (16-1) | Friday, May 2 | 11 a.m. (PT)/1 p.m. (CT) | Gulf Shores, Ala.
COVERAGE - Follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppSandVolley for in-match updates and other news surrounding the team … CBS Sports Network will televise portions of the competition in a two-hour special that will have three airings: May 26, 4 p.m. (PT), May 30, 4:30 p.m. and June 2, 4 p.m.
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - Pepperdine will engage in dual play exclusively on Friday and Saturday ... A win in the first round on Friday would put the Waves straight into the semifinals, scheduled for 10 a.m. (PT) on Saturday ... A loss would relegate Pepperdine into an elimination round match, slated for a 2 p.m. (PT) start on Friday ... The title match is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (PT) on Saturday afternoon ... While the opening rounds will utilize all five courts at once, the championship dual will feature a staggered start with only two courts active at one time ... A double elimination format will be used on Friday, but Saturday’s semifinals and final will be a win or go home situation.
PAIRS CHAMPIONSHIP - By virtue of being one of six teams selected for the team championship, Pepperdine’s No. 1 team of Kellie Woolever and Kelley Larsen will automatically be placed into Sunday’s 16-team pairs bracket ... Should the Waves reach Saturday’s semifinal, then their No. 2 team of Becca Strehlow and Lara Dykstra will be allotted entry as well ... If Pepperdine does not advance to Saturday’s semifinals, then Strehlow and Dykstra would have to compete in a play-in match on Saturday afternoon in order to make Sunday’s pairs championship filed.
THE FIELD - In order of seeding, #1 USC (22-1), #2 Pepperdine (15-1) #3 Hawaii (18-3), #4 Florida State (16-1), #6 Florida International (14-2) and Stetson (18-4) make up the six-team field ... The entire list of pairs entries can be found on the AVCA website.
WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the sand volleyball team on Twitter @PeppSandVolley ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Volleyball ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.
SCOUTING THE FIELD - Pepperdine is 16-1 all-time vs. this season’s tournament field, including a 3-1 mark in 2014 ... The Waves split the season series vs. USC, winning 5-0 at Zuma Beach before falling 4-1 on the road ... Pepperdine swept Hawaii, 5-0, twice in 2014 ... The Waves are 2-0 against both Florida International and Florida State with all four meetings occurring during the 2013 season.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine ended the regular-season on April 19, with a doubleheader vs. both #6 Saint Mary’s and Pacific at Zuma Beach ... The Waves won 5-0 on both accounts.
AVCA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY - The Waves won the inaugural title in 2012, beating the College of Charleston and Long Beach State twice en route to the title ... Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross claimed the pairs championship that year as well ... The deck was stacked against Pepperdine in 2013, who competed shorthanded with just eight players ... Despite the setback, the Waves still reached the finals after edging both USC and Florida State ... In the finals, Pepperdine opened the dual vs. Long Beach State down 0-1, having to forfeit a match without a full lineup and succumbed to a 3-2 defeat ... The 49ers were ranked #2 at the time.
ROSTER - Pepperdine boasts an experienced lineup made up of 10 student-athletes with at least one season of collegiate sand volleyball experience and four rookies ... Five members of the 2014 squad were there in the beginning, when Pepperdine won the inaugural AVCA National Championship in 2012 ... Those student-athletes include Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS), Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS), Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS.).
JON DAZE - The Waves’ volunteer assistant coach was recognized as one of the AVCA’s Thirty Under 30 Award recipients ... He was the only volunteer assistant coach honored this year and just the second in the history of the award ... Established in 2009, the award honors emerging coaching talent younger than 30 years old at all levels of volleyball.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports – one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat – and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.