RENO, Nev. Â The #13/#24 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team ran its season record to 7-0 with a three-set sweep (26-24, 25-15, 25-17) of UC Davis in the first match of the Nevada AT&T Invitational on Friday evening.
The Waves, who are off to their best start since the 2000 season when they opened with nine straight victories, play two more matches on Saturday (Sept. 13), facing Missouri at 10 a.m. and host Nevada at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine is ranked #13 by Molten/Volleyball Magazine and #24 by the AVCA.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) had 12 kills and five blocks with a .435 hitting percentage (12-2-23) to lead Pepperdine, while freshman outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) had 10 kills and nine digs. Senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS), who was leading the nation in kills, was held to eight but also had five service aces, three digs and three blocks.
Junior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) had 18 assists in two sets. She gave way in the third set to sophomore Kealohilani Kea (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS), who had nine assists. The two combined to lead Pepperdine to a .271 hitting percentage.
It was a sparkling defensive performance by the Waves, who held the Aggies to a .031 hitting percentage (28 kills and 25 hitting errors), a season low by a Pepperdine opponent. The Waves had a season-high 11 blocks.
“Davis is a team that’s well-trained and well-coached, and they gave us everything that they had,” Pepperdine assistant coach Tim Jensen said. “Rachel was fantastic all night. You can’t say enough about how she played. She carried us in the first set and made a couple of key plays at the end. They really keyed on Julie, but she still did a good job serving and blocking. In games two and three we just served them off the court and were playing more our style. We kept them out of their system. Kea came in for the third set and changed the whole tempo of the match and really kept Davis off-balance.”
The Waves had a 20-14 lead in the first set, but the Aggies rallied to tie it at 20-20. It was still tied at 24-24 when a Lumsden kill and a Frederick solo block gave Pepperdine the first-set victory.
Pepperdine put together a big run in the second set, as an 8-0 run with Rubenstein serving made it 21-11, and the set eventually ended on a Frederick kill.
With a 14-13 lead in the third set, the Waves scored four straight points, two on kills by Rubenstein, and weren’t challenged again. The match ended on a kill by senior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS).