Waves Fall to #4 Texas in Season Opener
Aug. 26, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - A strong start and double-double performances from both Kim Hill and Lilla Frederick weren’t enough to get the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team past a strong #4-ranked Texas on Saturday night at the Burnt Orange Classic. The Waves dropped the season opener to the Longhorns 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-16, 25-22).
Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) paced Pepperdine with 16 kills, in addition to 12 digs for just her third career double-double. Fellow senior Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) mirrored Hill in the digs category, while tallying 10 kills.
As a team, Pepperdine out-killed Texas 55-52, but the Longhorns’ strong defensive front at the net kept the Waves hitting percentage to just .132. At the end of four sets, Texas had posted 20 blocks, while Pepperdine countered with only six.
Off in the first set, Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) recorded the first kill of the season for Pepperdine, followed by a Longhorn attack error that put the Waves up 2-0. Texas answered with two-straight points, which set the stage for a neck-in-neck battle the entire stanza. The lead was traded five more times in between the 15 occasions the score was tied, until Texas got its first set-point of the match. Frederick was able to fight it off with a kill, but two more Longhorn points put the first game away 26-24.
The second frame played just as close, until Pepperdine went on an 8-3 run to take the biggest lead of the match by either team up to that point at 22-17. Although Texas made a threat following a timeout, the Waves were able to put the set away 25-21. Hill finished the frame with five kills, while freshman Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) nabbed five digs in her first collegiate match. She finished the evening with a team-best 13 digs.
Texas came out of the break a brand new team, and jumped to an 8-2 lead that the Waves were never able to recover from. The Longhorns dished 7.5 blocks in the third set alone – more than double the amount they had in sets one and two combine.
Pepperdine continued to struggle in the fourth set, falling behind 10-3. However, the Waves fought diligently and chipped away at the lead point-by-point. Down 20-13, Pepperdine scored five straight points behind a series of attach errors and a pair of service aces courtesy of Christiaansen. Khat Bell, who led the Longhorns with 16 kills and 17 digs in her freshman debut, put an end to the run with a put away, but Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) answered with a kill of her own. Hill slammed down kill No. 16 to bring her team within two at 22-20 but Texas was able to hold on and win 25-22.
Woolever dished 44 assists in tonight’s effort, and contributed 10 digs on defense. Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) was the third freshman on the floor for the Waves this evening (in addition to Cash and Christiaansen) and collected 10 kills.
Kelli Branning (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton HS) logged her first career start and tallied five digs while playing in the back row.
Pepperdine continues action at the Burnt Orange Classic tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. (PT) for an exhibition match with the Israeli National Team.