Waves Face #4 USC, #7 Texas
UPCOMING Â The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team (4-2) has its biggest non-conference week of the season, as two top 10 opponents are on the schedule. The Waves visit #4 USC on Wednesday and then will take part in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational, where they’ll face Cal State Bakersfield and the host #7 Longhorns on Friday.
MATCH #7 Â Wednesday (Sept. 5) at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.: Pepperdine at #4 USC (6-0) at 7 p.m.
MATCH #8 Â Friday (Sept. 7) at Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas: Pepperdine vs. Cal State Bakersfield (3-4) at 10 a.m. PT/12 p.m. CT.
MATCH #9 Â Friday (Sept. 7) at Gregory Gym in Austin, Texas: Pepperdine at #7 Texas (2-2) at 4:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. CT.
ON TELEVISION Â The Pepperdine-Texas match will be live on ESPNU.
OPPONENT INFO Â Pepperdine is 8-34 all-time against USC. The Women of Troy won in Malibu in 2006. The Waves won in their last trip to USC’s campus, in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, but this will be the first meeting in the school’s new Galen Center ... Pepperdine is 4-9 all-time against Texas. Prior to a 3-1 Longhorn win in last year’s Asics Classic, the two schools had not met since 1992. The last time the schools met in Austin, the Waves posted a 3-2 victory in 1991.
LAST WEEK Â The Waves took first place in their own Asics Classic after posting a 2-1 record, falling to Nevada (30-11, 30-26, 29-31, 29-31, 15-17) but sweeping Lipscomb (30-28, 30-13, 30-16) and Arizona (30-18, 30-27, 30-25). The Waves, Wolfpack and Wildcats all had a 2-1 record but Pepperdine won the three-way tiebreaker. Unfortunately, Pepperdine was oh-so-close to a 3-0 record over the weekend, as the Waves had match points in games three, four and five against Nevada, but couldn’t put the Wolfpack away. Senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts was named the Asics Classic MVP as she had a tournament-leading .423 hitting percentage as well as averages of 3.55 kills and 1.45 blocks. Junior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain also made the all-tournament team after averaging 2.18 kills, 1.09 blocks and 1.00 digs. Junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein led all players with 4.82 kills per game.
JULIE RUBENSTEIN Â Junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein is a leading candidate for national honors, but there’s more than just Pepperdine volleyball to talk about with her. She is a member of the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is the first person from Pepperdine to earn a spot on the national board. She was a member of the U.S. Volleyball A2 team this past summer. Rubenstein is also a returning All-WCC first team member and was a 2006 WCC All-Academic selection.
NINA MATTHIES Â Now in her 25th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies entered the 2007 season with a career record of 456-275 (.624), which includes 10 conference championships and 16 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.
WCC STATS Â Pepperdine is first in the conference in hitting percentage (.322), kills (17.13) and service aces (2.09) ... Kiah Fiers is third in assists (12.91) ... Julie Rubenstein is second in points (5.48) and kills (4.78) ... Lecca Roberts is second in hitting percentage (.410), sixth in blocks (1.22), ninth in points (4.20) and 10th in kills (3.48) ... Kristen Seaton is fourth in service aces (0.55) and sixth in hitting percentage (.376) ... Rachel Lumsden is first in service aces (0.74).
2007 HONORS Â Lecca Roberts was named MVP of the Asics Classic and to the Arkansas Invitational All-Tournament team ... Julie Rubenstein was named to the Arkansas Invitational All-Tournament team ... Cassi Chamberlain was named to the Asics Classic All-Tournament team ... Pepperdine has won two tournaments thus far, the Arkansas Clarion Inn Invitational and its own Asics Classic (both by three-way tiebreakers).
WCC PRESEASON POLL Â Pepperdine has been predicted to win its 11th WCC title in 2007, according to a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. After the Waves, the predicted order of finish went San Diego, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and Portland.
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 23 times in 32 seasons, including nine trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 10 seasons. Pepperdine’s best finishes in recent years came when the team made the regional final of the 2002 NCAAs, and then in 2003 the Waves set a school record with 27 victories.
2006 RECAP Â The Waves finished with a 16-12 overall record and took second in the WCC with an 11-3 mark. Pepperdine advanced to the NCAA Championships but lost in the first round to Long Beach State. Sophia Milo, Kekai Crabbe and Julie Rubenstein earned All-WCC first team honors and Crabbe was voted WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Kiah Fiers was the WCC Freshman of the Year and also was All-WCC honorable mention. Rachel Lumsden and Kayla Walker were also on the All-Freshman team and Lumsden also claimed All-WCC honorable mention notice.
UP NEXT Â The Waves make another trip back east for the Marshall Blue/Green Classic, where they’ll face the host school, Akron and West Virginia on Sept. 14-15.
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.