Volleyball Visits West Virginia for Three Matches
UPCOMING Â The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team (5-4) makes its third long non-conference trip in four weeks with its participation in the Blue/Green Classic, held in both Charleston and Huntington, W. Va., and co-hosted by Marshall and West Virginia. The Waves will face Akron and the two host schools this weekend.
MATCH #10 Â Friday (Sept. 14) at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W. Va.: Pepperdine vs. Akron (8-2) at 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET.
MATCH #11 Â Saturday (Sept. 15) at the Henderson Center in Huntington, W. Va: Pepperdine at Marshall (5-6) at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET.
MATCH #12 Â Saturday (Sept. 15) at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, W. Va: Pepperdine vs. West Virginia (7-2) at 2:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. ET.
OPPONENT INFO Â Pepperdine is 2-0 all-time against Akron with victories in 1995 at a tournament in Montana and in 1998 in Malibu ... These will be Pepperdine’s first meetings against both Marshall and West Virginia.
LAST WEEK Â The Waves went 1-2 last week, with both losses coming to top 10 teams on the road. Senior middle blocker Lecca Roberts had a career-best night in terms of hitting with a mark of .750 (12 kills and zero errors on 16 attempts), but it wasn’t enough as the Waves traveled to #4 USC and suffered a 30-22, 30-23, 30-28 loss on Wednesday night (Sept. 5). The Waves then made a quick trip to Austin, Texas for the Time Warner Cable Invitational for two matches on Friday. The Waves swept Cal State Bakersfield in the morning (30-23, 30-28, 30-28) as junior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein had 13 kills and 11 digs. In the nightcap, Pepperdine lost to #7 Texas, 30-24, 28-30, 30-23, 31-29. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Lumsden had 18 kills to lead the Waves.
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. Rubenstein leads the Waves with 4.4 kills and 3.3 digs per game. She should hit two career milestones this weekend, as she has 966 kills (34 to 1,000) and 497 digs (three to 500).
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 (.294), and service aces (1.91) and is second in kills (17.0) ... Kiah Fiers is second in assists (12.58) ... Julie Rubenstein is third in points (5.05) and kills (4.39) ... Lecca Roberts is second in hitting percentage (.404) and eighth in blocks (1.06) ... Cassi Chamberlain is sixth in hitting percentage (.323) and 10th in blocks (1.03) ... Kristen Seaton is fourth in service aces (0.44) and 10th in hitting percentage (.315) ... Rachel Lumsden is first in service aces (0.61).
DIG FOR THE CURE Â Dozens of women’s volleyball programs across the country have taken up the cause in the fight against breast cancer. Pepperdine’s home match on Oct. 11 against San Diego is the Waves’ designated "Dig for the Cure" night. The annual fundraising event gathers pledges and donations with the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. More details on how Pepperdine volleyball fans can get involved will be forthcoming.
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 Pepperdine will take a week off to get ready for its conference opener, a home match against local rival Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m.
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.