Women's Volleyball Goes to Oregon State
UPCOMING Â The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team (3-0), coming off a season-opening victory at Cal State Fullerton’s tournament, will go for a second championship in as many weeks. This weekend, the Waves are at the Oregon State Asics Classic.
MATCH #4 Â Friday (Sept. 5) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.: Pepperdine vs. #17 Colorado State (3-0) at 5 p.m.
MATCH #5 Â Saturday (Sept. 6) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.: Pepperdine vs. Pacific (0-2) at 5 p.m.
MATCH #6 Â Sunday (Sept. 7) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore.: Pepperdine at Oregon State (3-0) at 2:30 p.m.
ON THE AIR Â The Waves’ match at Oregon State on Sunday, Sept. 7, will be televised on a tape-delay basis by FSN Prime Ticket. It will be shown on Sept. 11 at 9:30 p.m.
RANKINGS Â Pepperdine was ranked #16 in the preseason Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll and is receiving votes in this week’s CBS College Sports/AVCA poll ... Colorado State is #17 in this week’s CBS College Sports/AVCA poll.
OPPONENT INFO Â Pepperdine is 4-4 all-time against Colorado State. The Waves have won the last two meetings, a home victory in 2005 and a neutral-site triumph in 2006. The Rams won the Mountain West Conference last season and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament ... Pepperdine is 8-11 all-time against Pacific, but has won four of the last five meetings. The last matchup resulted in a 3-0 Wave victory on a neutral court in 2005. The Tigers were fourth in the Big West last season ... Pepperdine is 1-1 all-time against Oregon State, with a home victory in 1982 and a neutral-site loss in 1983. The Beavers placed ninth in the Pac-10 last season.
LAST WEEK Â The Waves didn’t drop a set in sweeping their way to the tournament championship at Cal State Fullerton’s Radisson Suites Buena Park Volleyball Classic. Julie Rubenstein (5.1 kills per set) was named Tournament MVP and she was joined on the all-tournament team by Cassi Chamberlain (2.0 kills) and Stevi Robinson (5.6 digs). The Waves defeated UNC Greensboro (25-15, 25-21, 25-15), Delaware (25-15, 25-12, 25-20) and the host Titans (25-21, 25-13, 25-18).
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK Â Julie Rubenstein was named the first WCC Player of the Week on Sept. 2 following her performance in Fullerton. She averaged 5.11 kills per set (best among all WCC players during the opening weekend) and hit .418 (46-8-91). She had 46 of Pepperdine’s 131 kills (35%) over the weekend.
SEASON OPENERS Â The Waves are 3-0 for the first time since 2001. In 2000, the Waves opened the year with nine straight victories. With the win over UNC Greensboro, Pepperdine has won five of its last six season openers and improved to 23-11 all-time in season openers.
BREAKDOWN Â The Waves return four starters plus the libero and lost only two starters from the 2007 squad. A total of eight returning letterwinners and three newcomers bring the squad total to 11.
JULIE RUBENSTEIN Â Senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) is well on her way to one of the top careers in Pepperdine history and should be a leading candidate for national honors in 2008. But she’s more than just a volleyball player. Rubenstein is a member of the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and became the first person from Pepperdine to earn a spot on the national board. She was also voted Pepperdine’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year for 2007-08 and is a three-time WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient, a two-time WCC All-Academic selection and a 2007-08 CoSIDA Academic All-District third team honoree. She was a member of USA Volleyball squads during the summers of 2006 and 2007. Rubenstein is a three-time All-WCC honoree (the last two years on the first team). She was fourth in the WCC in kills in 2007 (4.37 per set) and has 1,343 in her career (fifth all-time at Pepperdine). Quite impressively, she has played in all 331 sets of her three-year career. She is averaging 5.11 kills and hitting .418 after the first weekend of the season.
SETTERS Â Junior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif./Peninsula HS) had a brilliant first two seasons, as she was named the 2006 WCC Freshman of the Year and a 2007 All-WCC first team pick. However, she suffered a knee injury just prior to the 2007 NCAA Tournament and has been working all summer toward 100 percent health. She started two of three matches at Cal State Fullerton and averaged 9.2 assists ... Sophomore Kealohilani Kea (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS), a former state player of the year in Hawaii as a setter, did an exceptional job in the spring in Fiers’ absence. She made her first career start against Delaware and had 42 assists.
CASSI CHAMBERLAIN Â Senior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS) earned All-WCC honorable mention honors last season. She made the 2005 WCC All-Freshman team and is also a three-time WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. Like Rubenstein, she is heavily involved in Pepperdine’s SAAC program. She was named to Cal State Fullerton’s all-tournament team after averaging 2.0 kills and hitting .361.
RACHEL LUMSDEN Â Junior outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) averaged 3.23 kills over her first two seasons and is #1 in service aces per set (0.43) in Pepperdine history. She was named All-WCC honorable mention as a 2006 freshman and would likely have earned postseason honors last season had she not missed six matches due to injury. Lumsden averaged 2.2 kills and 2.9 digs the first weekend of the 2008 season.
TOP FROSH Â Pepperdine’s three-person recruiting class, ranked #8 nationally by Volleyball Magazine and #9 by prepvolleyball.com, is already paying dividends. All three won starting jobs for the Waves. Each of the three was a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection ... Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) is the nation’s #8 recruit and is starting at middle blocker. She is averaging 2.2 kills and a team-best 0.8 blocks ... Outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Anaheim, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) played with the U.S. Junior National Team and was the MVP at the Junior Olympics this summer. She is averaging 2.3 kills and 4.0 digs ... Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) has also played with the U.S. Junior National Team. She started at libero and made the all-tournament team at Cal State Fullerton after averaging 5.6 digs.
MORE VETERANS Â Senior Caitlin Lawson (Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet HS) is a team captain and an incredibly versatile player who will likely have played every position by the time her career ends ... Sophomore Krista Friedman (La Verne, Calif./St. Lucy’s Priory HS) ended last year as the starting libero and averaged 4.27 digs per set over the final 10 matches of the 2007 season ... Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Seaton (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo HS) was expected to start on the right side after averaging 1.88 kills last year but is currently sidelined by a foot injury.
NINA MATTHIES Â Now in her 26th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies entered the 2008 season with a career record of 474-286 (.624), which includes 10 conference championships and 17 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. She won two AIAW national championships as a player at UCLA.
2008 HONORS Â The Waves won Cal State Fullerton’s Radisson Suites Buena Park Volleyball Classic ... Julie Rubenstein was tournament MVP at Cal State Fullerton, leading to WCC Player of the Week honors (Sept. 2) ... Cassi Chamberlain and Stevi Robinson made the all-tournament team at Cal State Fullerton.
WCC PRESEASON POLL Â The WCC should have a very close finish if the coaches’ preseason vote is correct. Pepperdine, San Diego and Santa Clara were all within three points of each other, and both the Waves and the Toreros had three first-place votes apiece. The predicted order of finish went San Diego, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, a tie between Saint Mary’s and San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and Portland.
RULES CHANGES Â Fans may want to take note of a few rules changes for 2008. The NCAA has decided that games will be now known as sets. And, to bring the collegiate game more in line with the international game, sets one through four will go to 25 points instead of 30.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY Â 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 24 times in 33 seasons, including 10 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 11 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).
2007 RECAP Â It was a year that would be considered good for most teams: 18-11 overall, 9-5 for third place in the WCC and a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to USC. But there were a few costly losses along the way that hurt the Waves’ hopes for a WCC title and their eventual NCAA Tournament seeding. Julie Rubenstein, Kiah Fiers and Lecca Roberts made the All-WCC first team and Cassi Chamberlain and Kayla Walker were honorable mention.
DIG FOR THE CURE Â Pepperdine will host the annual fundraiser "Dig for the Cure" on its Oct. 30 match vs. Santa Clara. Volleyball programs across the country will be raising money for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Foundation and the fight against breast cancer. Fans will be able to make pledges based on how many digs are made in the match. More information will be available as the match gets closer.
TICKETS Â 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.
UP NEXT Â Pepperdine plays its third straight tournament on the road at the Nevada AT&T Invitational on Sept. 12-13. The Waves will play UC Davis, Missouri and host Nevada.