Waves Lose Heartbreaker to Saint Mary's, 3-2
Sept. 27, 2012
MORAGA, Calif. – The #18 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team successfully fought off six match points in a prolonged fifth set, but Saint Mary’s came through in the end and walked away with a narrow 3-2 victory.
The match, which spanned nearly two hours and 30 minutes, was decided by set scores of 21-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 23-21.
After the Waves (10-5, 1-2 West Coast Conference) and the Gaels (7-7, 2-1 WCC) were tied up after four sets played, the teams faced off in the first-to-15, win-by-two deciding fifth set.
Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) opened the frame at the service line and sent Pepperdine to a 4-0 lead, but Saint Mary’s responded with a 5-0 run. The tug-of-war battle continued until, tied at 12, the Gaels scored on two consecutive plays to give themselves a pair of match points.
Down 12-14, Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) sent home a kill and proceeded to serve up an ace to eliminate the two match points and knot the score at 14. The Gaels would continue to go up a point twice more, but both times Pepperdine was able to side out and even the score.
Tied at 16, a Racich dig translated into an Adelhelm kill to give Pepperdine its first match point of the contest. It was now Saint Mary’s turn to fight off match point, but Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) came through with a put away that gave her team match point No. 2. The turn of events duplicated once more, as the Gaels tied the score only to see a Messing kill earn the Waves another match point.
Saint Mary’s tilted the score in its favor with back-to-back kills to give themselves yet another match point – their fifth of the set -- but Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS/Illinois) tacked down her team-high 16th kill of the contest for the side out. SMC scored on the next play and match point No. 6 was eliminated by setter Kellie Woolever’s (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) kill, but Saint Mary’s finally came through on set point No. 7.
Jordan Shaw, who paced the match with 22 total kills, gave her team the difference maker to clinch the elongated fifth stanza 23-21.
Racich handed in her first career double-double with 13 kills and career-high 11 digs. The freshman also set a new career best with seven blocks. Adelhelm also handed in seven blocks, bringing her career total to 387. With just six more roofs, the senior will move into second all-time in the program’s record book. Defensive great Sophia Milo holds to top spot on the list, with career tally of 517 blocks.
On offense, Adelhelm fired off 11 kills to reach double digits in the category for the sixth time in 2012.
Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) suited up as the libero for the first time and picked up a career-high 25 digs. Woolever eclipsed the 20-dig mark as well with 21. The junior setter also handed out 55 assists.
Overall, Pepperdine out-blocked Saint Mary’s 17.0-12.0 and significantly improved upon its previous single match season-high mark of 10.0 blocks. The Waves also marginally beat the Gaels with a .229 (65 kills-22 errors-188 attempts) hitting percentage. The home team finished the night with a .225 (75-28-209) clip.
Kristina Graven had an impressive night for the Gaels with 20 kills and 20 digs.
The Waves continue West Coast Conference action this Saturday, Sept. 29 with a 1 p.m. match at Santa Clara. Live stats and video are available here.