Waves Announce 2014 Schedule
Dec. 26, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine sand volleyball head coach Nina Matthies unveiled the 2014 schedule today, which features four home events at Zuma Beach before the culminating AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship on May 2-4. The Waves open the campaign on Saturday, March 8 with a home dual against local rival USC.
Pepperdine, winner of the 2012 AVCA National Championship, faces the Trojans at home before a return trip to USC on Tuesday, March 25.
After the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. on March 14-16, the Waves face 2013 defending national champion Long Beach State in Long Beach on Tuesday, March 18. The 49ers, the only team to beat Pepperdine in the two years of the program’s existence, make the return trip to Malibu on Thursday, April 3. The Waves are 8-1 all-time vs. Long Beach State, including a perfect 2-0 at home.
The month of March also includes a home dual against Loyola Marymount on the 20th, and the Sand in the City tournament hosted by Georgia State on the 29th and 30th. The Waves will face the Panthers, as well as the College of Charleston and Louisiana Monroe at the GSU Sand Volleyball Complex in Atlanta, Ga.
The annual USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach will take place April 12-13, and factors heavily in the AVCA National Championship team selection process. The Waves have won the team event three years running, dating back to the 2011 season before sand volleyball was even deemed an “NCAA emerging sport.”
Pepperdine concludes the regular season at home with a tri-dual event on April 19 that includes Pacific and Saint Mary’s. The Waves and Tigers open the day at 10 a.m. before UoP and the Gaels square off at 11 a.m. The day concludes with the Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s match-up, scheduled to start at noon.
The 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship will once again take place in Gulf Shores, Ala., marking the third season the championship has taken place on the white sands along the Gulf of Mexico.
The Waves return eight letter winners, all regulars in the 2013 lineup, to the 2014 squad including AVCA All-Americans Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska).
Other key contributors returning from 2013 included Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS), Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS), Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS), Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS).
Sand-only student-athletes joining the squad this year include sophomore transfer Sophie Asprey (Southlake, Texas/Liberty Christian School/Tulane) and freshmen Kendahl Hettick (Encinitas, Calif./San Dieguito Academy), Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) and Leanna Schroeder (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS).
Also looking to make an impact on this year’s squad include five freshmen and two transfers from the indoor volleyball team. Of those seven, sophomore Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) boasts collegiate experience in the sand having played a year with the Bruins.
To read more about the Waves’ sand volleyball program history, check out the 2013-14 record book.