Pepperdine Opens AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship on Friday
May 1, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - The culminating event of the 2013 season has arrived: the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. The #1-ranked and undefeated Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball team is set to compete in Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 3-5 in both a team and pairs championship.
THE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP - The team championship will run slightly different than in 2012 ... This season six teams will vie for the national championship title, versus four from last year ... The six-team field includes #1 Pepperdine, #2 Long Beach State, #3 Florida State, #4 USC, North Florida and Louisiana-Monroe ... The six teams will compete in a double-elimination format on Friday which will yield four teams into Saturday’s single-elimination championship day ... The Waves face the winner of USC-North Florida at 12 p.m. CT/10 a.m. PT on May 3 ... A win would put Pepperdine in the final four, while a loss would send them into the elimination bracket ... Saturday’s schedule will consist of the semifinals at 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT ... The title match is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. PT with the five teams in the lineup starting at 10 minute intervals (i.e. No. 5 starts at 3:30 p.m., No. 4 starts at 3:40 p.m. etc.)
THE PAIRS CHAMPIONSHIP - By virtue of Pepperdine being selected to the team championships, its No. 1 team will automatically be entered into the pairs championship, scheduled for Sunday, May 5 ... Should the Waves reach the final four, their No. 2 team will gain automatic entry as well ... Ten pairs teams from schools not competing in the team championship -- dubbed “The Best of the Rest” -- will compete in two pools on Friday ... The top two teams from each pool will gain entry into the pairs championship on Sunday ... The third place teams from each pool will face the No. 2 teams from the fifth and sixth place teams from the team championship for the final two spots in the 16-team single elimination pairs bracket ... Sunday’s action opens at 8 a.m. CT/6 a.m. PT with the semifinals scheduled for noon local time ... The title match is slated for 2 p.m. CT/12 p.m. PT.
COVERAGE - Live coverage can be followed on Twitter @PepperdineWVB ... Lineups, score updates, photos and more will be available ... Full recaps and video coverage can be found at PepperdineSports.com at the conclusion of each day’s action ... Also be sure to “like” Pepperdine’s women’s volleyball on Facebook, where we will be posting photos, videos, links to coverage and more!
SCOUTING THE FIELD - In addition to Pepperdine, Long Beach State (17-3), Florida State (15-2), USC (14-6), North Florida (16-3) and Louisiana-Monroe (7-4) will be competing for the team title ... All three of the 49er’s losses came to Pepperdine, two of which were close 3-2 decisions ... The Seminoles have only lost to the Waves and Long Beach State ... All of USC’s losses are to Pepperdine, LBSU, FSU ... North Florida got the bid after winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament ... Louisiana-Monroe is 1-0 versus ranked opponents.
CBS SPORTS COVERAGE - CBS Sp0rts Network will be on hand to provide television coverage of the AVCA Championships ... Three one-hour specials will be aired, beginning on Tuesday, May 21 at 4 p.m. PT and 5 p.m. PT ... The third segment will air on Tuesday, May 28 at 5 p.m. PT.
PROBABLE LINEUP - Pepperdine’s probably dual lineup will be as follows: No. 1 :Lilla Frederick/Jazmine Orozco, No. 2 Lara Dykstra/Caitlin Racich, No. 3 Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever, No. 4 Victoria Adelhelm/Taylor Racich, No. 5 Emily Cook/Katie Messing ... Kim Hill became academically ineligible just prior to the championships and will not compete.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves shut out #5 Hawaii, #4 UCLA and Santa Clara at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge before taking down #2 Long Beach State 3-2 in the finals ... Lilla Frederick and Kim Hill won the pairs title just a day later.
AVCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY - Pepperdine won both the team and pairs titles at the 2012 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship ... The Waves defeated the College of Charleston and Long Beach State twice to win the team crown ... Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross rallied back from an 11-14 deficit in the third set versus Long Beach State’s Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke to win 16-14 and give Pepperdine the sweep.
PEPPERDINE TRADITION - Pepperdine is no stranger to winning national titles. Since 1947, the Waves have won 21 various championships. At the NCAA level, Pepperdine has claimed nine team championships (Men’s Volleyball, 5; Baseball, 1; Men’s Golf, 1; Men’s Water Polo, 1; Men’s Tennis, 1) and three individual titles (men’s tennis: 2 doubles champions, 1 singles champion). The Waves have also won national team and individual titles at the NAIA level back in the 1950’s and clinched its first championship when the now defunct football team won the 1947 Small College crown. The Waves’ 2012 AVCA National Championship titles, both the team and the pairs, were Pepperdine’s first national championships captured by any of its women’s teams.
ZUMA BEACH - The Waves call Zuma Beach “home,” practicing and hosting all home events at one of Malibu’s most picturesque locations. Courts are located just west of Point Dume, near Tower 2 or at the 29800 block of the Pacific Coast Highway.
COMING SOON! - The Waves announced that Delaney Knudson and Kendahl Hettick will both join the team in 2014 ... Knudson committed to the Waves back in November and is the program’s first National Letter of Intent signee ...A product of Valencia, Calif., Knudson has held a AAA rating in the California Beach Volleyball Association rankings since the age of 16 ... The program announced the addition of Hettick in April ... Hettick is a member of the San Diego Beach Volleyball Club ... Placed fifth at the 2012 AAU Pan Pacific Beach Volleyball Championship with partner Ciana Wagner.
NINA MATTHIES - Nina Matthies’ just completed her 30th season as head coach for the indoor team and boasts a career record of 575-332 (.634), which includes 10 conference championships and 20 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC’s all-time winningest coach and is a 10-time WCC Coach of the Year. Matthies was among the world’s top players and is a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. In 2009, Dig Magazine rated her and former partner Linda Hanley as the second-best women’s beach team of all time. She won two AIAW national championships as a player at UCLA.
Marcio Sicoli - Marcio Sicoli is in his second season assisting Matthies in the sand after just completing his fifth season on the sidelines for the indoor team. Sicoli is highly lauded for his approach to training and served as head coach for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings during their gold-medal run at the 2012 London Olympics. Sicoli also served as the assistant coach for the Brazilian Olympic Women’s Beach Volleyball Team from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, his team of Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede took home the silver medal in Athens.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball program has been at the forefront of the sport since it was introduced in 2012. The Waves went a perfect 14-0 in dual match play and won the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Team Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. Pepperdine’s Caitlin Racich -- the program’s first-ever scholarship recipient -- and partner Summer Ross took home the pairs national crown as well. Racich and Ross, as well as Kim Hill and Lilla Frederick, were all named to the 10-member inaugural sand volleyball AVCA All-American class. Hill stands as the first, and to date only, student-athlete to earn AVCA All-American first team honors in both indoor and sand volleyball in a single season.
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 enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.