No. 19 Pepperdine Takes No. 7 Hawaii to the Limit
Aug. 27, 2006
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Pepperdine will leave Honolulu with a 0-2 record but they will not be hanging their heads after rallying back from a 2-0 deficit before falling to No. 7 Hawaii, 3-2 (30-28, 30-26, 25-30, 23-30, 21-19), Saturday night before 7,867 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawaii struck first in the fifth game, taking a 9-7 lead on consecutive Tara Hittle kills. Trailing by a 12-10 count, Pepperdine used an attack error from Jamie Houston and a kill from freshman Rachel Lumsden to knot the score at 12-12. The Waves fought off a Wahine match-point when Hittle hit long and parlayed the error into the first of five Pepperdine match points when Sophia Milo connected on a kill to put Pepperdine up 15-14. Kari Gregory's ninth kill of the night evened the set at 19-all setting up a ball handling error on the Waves and a Wahine block to seal the match.
Picking up where Friday's match left off, Pepperdine secured the first big break of the contest by breaking a 21-all stalemate with a 5-1 run. Leading 26-22, consecutive Wave errors opened the door for the opportunistic Rainbow Wahine (2-0) who evened the game at 27-27 with a service ace by Jayme Lee. A service error followed to give Pepperdine the 28-27 advantage. The lead would be short lived as Houston connected on back-to-back plays and Gregory and Jessica Keefe teamed up for a block to end the set.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in game two, Pepperdine seemed to show the effects of playing on such a big stage with so much youth as the Wahine built up a seven-point, 17-10 lead. Hawaii would maintain its lead until 23-16 at which point Tara Hittle's service error started not only a 6-0 run by the Waves, but a change in the momentum of the match. Serving for Pepperdine was sophomore Cassi Chamberlain who started the night on the bench. Hawaii would close out the game on a 6-2 run, but the Waves had found confidence.
Chamberlain played an instrumental roll in the match, recording a career-high 13 kills on .333 hitting. Lumsden surpassed the 20-kill mark for the second consecutive night with a team-best 21 to go long with 11 digs. Julie Rubenstein finished the night with 19 kills and 15 digs, while Kiah Fiers dished out 68 assists to go along with 17 digs. Kekai Crabbe equaled her dig total from the previous night of 31 to lead all players.
Hawaii received a career-high 28 kills from Jamie Houston, 15 from Hittle and 10 from Juliana Sanders.
The Waves finally broke through in game three. With the scored locked at 13-all, Pepperdine took a 19-13 lead with a 6-0 spurt. Hawaii would fight back to tie the score at 23- and 24-all when the Waves took the lead for good on a Lumsden kill. The point was the beginning of a 6-1 run to close out the game.
As the match wore on, Pepperdine continued to impose its will on the home team. Game four opened with a 5-2 run for the Waves, a lead which would reach seven at 17-10. Hawaii mounted yet another comeback attempt to close within three, 19-16. Behind four of Lumsden's five kills in the set the match was sent to a fifth frame.
Pepperdine will return to action Fri., Sept. 2 when it faces No. 8 Texas in the Waves' home opener. The match will be the second match of the Asics Pepperdine Classic. The first match of the tournament will pit Long Island against Cal Poly at 5:30 p.m. (PDT) in Firestone Fieldhouse. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling (866) WAVE-TIX.