Women's Volleyball History
It should not be too surprising that Pepperdine has emerged as one of the nation’s perennial powers in collegiate women’s volleyball. After all, the picturesque campus is situated just up the hill from Malibu Beach, a popular spot to show off one’s spiking talents.
For most of its history, the Waves have boasted one of the nation’s top coaches in Nina Matthies, who begins her 27th season at the helm in 2009.
Pepperdine women’s volleyball teams have advanced to postseason tournament play 25 times in 34 seasons, compiling an overall record of 661-396-2 (.625).
Since the West Coast Conference added women’s volleyball prior to the 1985 campaign, the Waves have been the league’s dominant program, rolling to an impressive 268-64 (.807) record and a WCC-best 10 titles. The program set a league record by winning 47 consecutive conference matches from 1988-92.
Since 1981, the Waves have made 20 trips to the NCAA Championships, including 11 in the last 12 years.
Pepperdine’s inaugural season came in 1975 under the guidance of head coach Patti Bright. The Waves were 26-4-1 in 1976 and finished fourth at the AIAW Championships in Austin, Texas. Pepperdine placed fifth at the 1977 AIAW Championships in Provo, Utah, and finished fourth again at the 1978 event in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Gary Sato assumed the head coaching duties prior to the 1979 campaign and led Pepperdine to an 18-9 mark and a ninth-place finish at the AIAW Championships in Carbondale, Ill. He then helped the Waves advance to the NCAA Championships in 1981 and 1982.
Matthies took over the program in 1983. After competing as an NCAA Division I independent for the first 10 years, the Waves became part of the WCC prior to the 1985 campaign.
Under Matthies’ guidance, Pepperdine has posted a record of 494-294 (.627) during her 26 seasons. Her teams have recorded 13 20-win seasons. During nine of the Waves’ 10 WCC title seasons, Pepperdine finished with an unbeaten conference record.
The Waves finished in the top 10 of the national rankings for three straight seasons from 2001-03. The 2002 team went 26-7 and made it to the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament. The 2003 squad went 27-3, which at .900 was the best winning percentage in school history, and set a school record by winning 25 consecutive matches.
Pepperdine has produced a number of outstanding players, perhaps the most notable being Linda Chisholm-Carillo, a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team in 1984 and formerly one of the top players on the popular professional beach circuit. Chisholm-Carillo was inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 1996.
Nicole Sanderson, the Waves’ all-time leader in kills (2,028) and service aces (147), was the first Pepperdine player to earn All-WCC first team honors for four consecutive seasons (1994-97). She also competed in the Olympics for her native Australia in 2004.
The Waves’ list of All-Americans includes Julie Evans (1987), Lisa Bevington (1988), Carolyn Hueth (1991), Jamie Hill (1999, Katie Wilkins (2001, 2002, 2003) and Julie Rubenstein (2008).