Waves Rally to Send Matthies out with Win
Nov. 23, 2013
MORAGA, Calif. – The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team rallied back from an 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 at Santa Clara to send head coach Nina Matthies out with a win in her final match on the sidelines. The Waves conclude the 2013 regular season with a 15-11 record.
Although the Broncos were in firm control in the opening sets, winning the first two frames 25-13, 25-13, Pepperdine dug deep to fight back and win 25-18, 25-17, 15-10.
“It was an emotional day, being the last game of the season, so I think everyone was a little nervous to start out,” said Matthies. “But we settled down after the break and were able to compete in the final three sets.”
Matthies ends her 31-year career as the Waves’ indoor volleyball coach with a 590-343 (.632) record.
When asked how it felt to end her career with a win, Matthies joked that it was “better than the alternative” and added: “Today wasn’t about me. The girls have worked so hard the entire season and we just decided in locker room between sets two and three that we weren’t going to end the season like this. I’m really proud with how everyone came together in the final three sets.”
Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) paced the Waves with 18 kills, followed by Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) with 13. Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) rounded out the top offensive performers with 10 put aways.
Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) orchestrated the offense to a .261 (61 kills-21 errors-153 attempts) hitting percentage behind 44 assists.
Santa Clara (11-16, 6-12 WCC) finished the day hitting .287 (61-18-150).
Although the Broncos did end the match with a higher hitting percentage, the set-by-set comparison shows how the Waves still ended with the W. Santa Clara out-hit Pepperdine .437-.100 in the first two sets but the Waves held a .363-.185 advantage in the final three sets.
The Broncos hit the lights out of the gym in the first two frames, committing just three hitting errors in the first two stanzas to control the momentum of the contest.
After the break, the Waves finally found their rhythm and got a set back on Santa Clara. Behind an errorless 5-for-6 effort courtesy of Racich, Pepperdine won the third stanza 25-18.
In set four, the teams battled back and forth until a 3-0 run fueled by Samantha Cash (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy) and Messing kills provided some separation. Santa Clara was never able to challenge the Waves’ lead and Pepperdine went on to win 25-17.
In the deciding set, the teams were tied 7-7 when a Strehlow kill preceded a Larsen ace to give the Waves a two point lead. Pepperdine continued to surge forward and extended the lead to four after Racich threw the roof on to put the score at 13-9. Despite a Bronco sideout, a pair of kills by Messing clinched the comeback 15-10.
Barring a bid into the NCAA Tournament, this concludes the season for the Waves. The 64-team field will be announced live on ESPNU on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. (PT)