Women's Volleyball Opens 2009 at Colorado State
Women's Volleyball Opens 2009 at Colorado State
August 24, 2009
Press Release as PDF
Click on the above video for an interview with Pepperdine senior setter Kiah Fiers.
UPCOMING - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team begins the 2009 season at the Colorado State Asics/Coors Classic with three quality matches against the host Rams, Cal Poly and Oregon State. Head coach Nina Matthies, who starts her 27th season at Pepperdine, is just six wins shy of 500 for her career.
MATCH #1 - Friday (Aug. 28) at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.: Pepperdine at #24 Colorado State at 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT.
MATCH #2 - Saturday (Aug. 29) at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.: Pepperdine vs. Cal Poly at 4:30 p.m. MT/3:30 p.m. PT.
MATCH #3 - Sunday (Aug. 30) at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.: Pepperdine vs. Oregon State at 11:30 a.m. MT/10:30 a.m. PT.
ON THE WEB - Live video of all home matches are available to Wave Casts subscribers at www.pepperdinesports.com. Live statistics will be available for all home matches free of charge, and links are provided to the home team's website when the Waves are on the road. Go to the "Wave Casts" link toward the top of the home page for more information.
TICKETS - Single-match tickets to all home women's volleyball games are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free to all Pepperdine students and faculty with a university ID.
RANKINGS - Unofficially, Pepperdine is #26 in the AVCA preseason poll, as the Waves are the team that received the most votes outside of the top 25.
SERIES INFO - Pepperdine is 5-4 all-time against Colorado State and has won the last three meetings, which took place in 2005 in Malibu and in 2006 and 2008 at a neutral site. Last season, Pepperdine defeated the then-#17 Rams in four sets in Corvallis, Ore. The Waves lost in their only two visits to Fort Collins in 1996 and 2004 ... Pepperdine is 14-23 all-time against Cal Poly, though the schools have only met twice in the last decade. Both were Wave victories in Malibu in 2002 and 2006 ... Pepperdine is 2-1 all-time against Oregon State. The schools hadn't met since the early '80s before the Waves claimed a five-set victory in Corvallis last season.
WHO'S BACK - The Waves have two senior starters back in setter Kiah Fiers and outside hitter Rachel Grochmal. Fiers is a three-time All-WCC selection (once on the first team, twice on honorable mention). After being known as Rachel Lumsden the past three seasons, Grochmal got married this summer. She is a two-time All-WCC honorable mention selection and is Pepperdine's all-time leader in service aces per set (0.36). Last year the Waves had one of the top recruiting classes in the country and the three freshmen are now looking for even bigger things as sophomores. Middle blocker Kim Hill was the WCC Freshman of the Year, libero Stevi Robinson was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year and outside hitter Lilla Frederick made the WCC All-Freshman team. Frederick played with the U.S. Junior National Team this summer at the World Championships. Sophomore Kristen Seaton redshirted last season with a foot injury but is expected to be a potent force at opposite. Junior libero Krista Friedman should see a great deal of time as a defensive specialist.
WHO'S NEW - One of the middle blocker positions could be filled by a true freshman, either Victoria Adelhelm or Brittney Clark. Redshirt sophomore Janea Rosell, a transfer from Arizona State, is also in the running. The rest of the newcomers are true freshmen. Justine Hunter is the backup at setter, Caitlin Racich and Ashley Broadwell will push for time at outside hitter and Kelli Branning is a libero. The website prepvolleyball.com rated Pepperdine's recruiting class as #12 in the country and listed Racich at #70 and Adelhelm at #85 on its Senior Aces list.
NINA MATTHIES - Now in her 27th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies enters the 2009 season with a career record of 494-294 (.627), which includes 10 conference championships and 18 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC's all-time winningest coach and is a nine-time WCC Coach of the Year. Matthies was among the world's top players and is a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. in 2009, Dig Magazine rated her and former partner Linda Hanley as the second-best women's beach team of all time. She won two AIAW national championships as a player at UCLA.
ROSTER - The Waves return four starters plus the libero and lost only two starters from the 2008 squad. Seven returners (six letterwinners and one redshirt) are joined by seven newcomers (six true freshmen and one transfer) to bring the squad total to 14. It's a fairly young team, as the eligibility breakdown is two seniors, one junior, five sophomores and six freshmen.
WCC PRESEASON POLL - San Diego received seven of the eight first-place votes and was picked to win the title. Pepperdine was second, followed by Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Loyola Marymount, and then Gonzaga and Portland tied for seventh place. Kiah Fiers and Kim Hill were named to the All-WCC preseason first team.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - The Pepperdine women's volleyball program is synonymous with the word excellence, as the Waves are a perennial national power. The Waves have advanced to postseason play 25 times in 34 seasons, including 11 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 12 seasons. Pepperdine's best finishes in recent years came when the team made the regional final of the 2002 NCAAs, and then in 2003 when the Waves posted 27 victories (most in the Nina Matthies era).
2008 RECAP - It was another solid year for the Pepperdine women's volleyball team. Julie Rubenstein earned AVCA All-American third team honors and became Pepperdine's first All-American since 2003. She also led the conference in kills and points. The Waves advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row but suffered a first-round loss to Long Beach State. Though the Waves tied for fourth in the WCC with an 8-6 record, they got off to a school-record-tying 13-0 start and finished 20-8 overall, the 17th 20-win season in program history. Kim Hill earned WCC Freshman of the Year honors and Stevi Robinson was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men's sports - one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine's teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.