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Waves Sweep UCSB in Home Opener


MALIBU, Calif. ­— Senior outside hitter Julie Rubenstein had match highs of 15 kills and 15 digs to lead the #14/#21 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of UC Santa Barbara on the first night of the 2008 Pepperdine Asics Classic at Firestone Fieldhouse.


The Waves (10-0) defeated the Gauchos (3-7) by scores of 25-21, 25-18, 25-16 in Pepperdine’s 2008 home opener. In the first match on Friday, Texas State (7-8) outlasted Cal State Northridge (5-6), 25-15, 25-27, 24-26, 25-23, 15-11.


Saturday’s schedule has three matches: Pepperdine vs. Cal State Northridge at 11 a.m., UC Santa Barbara vs. Texas State at 1 p.m. and Pepperdine vs. Texas State at 7:30 p.m.


Pepperdine’s 10-0 record is tied for the school’s second-best start in history, behind only a 13-0 mark in 1997 and matching a 10-0 start in 1976.


Freshman outside hitter Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) also had a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs, while junior outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) also had 10 kills. Junior setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Peninsula HS) had 38 assists and led the Waves to a .304 team hitting percentage. Freshman libero Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) had 12 digs and junior middle blocker Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS) had eight kills and seven digs.


“I don’t know if we were nervous to start, or if because we had been on the road for so long and we wanted to play really well in front of all of our fans and parents, but we started a little slow,” Pepperdine Coach Nina Matthies said. “But then we settled down and played really well. Cassi was fantastic in the first set. Rachel kept us rolling in the second. The third was everyone doing well. It was a great team effort tonight, the same as it’s been for the last few weeks. The home crowd was unbelievable tonight and it was the best home opener we’ve had.”


The Gauchos, who hit .130 as a team, were led by 11 kills and 11 digs by senior outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin.


The first set was tied 16-16 when the Waves ran off four straight points, three on kills by Lumsden. At 23-21, the Waves ended the set with back-to-back blocks, with freshman middle blocker Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) in on both of them. Lumsden finished with five kills without an error in the set as Pepperdine outhit the Gauchos, .289 to .154.


The Waves took a 9-6 lead in the second set, though the Gauchos ran off four straight points, two on kills by sophomore outside hitter Charlene DeHoog, to take a 10-9 advantage. Pepperdine immediately went on its own 4-0 run, two points on kills by Chamberlain to go back up 13-10, and the Waves never trailed again. Frederick, Lumsden and Rubenstein each had four kills as the Waves had a .282-.111 edge in hitting.


Tied 9-9 in the third set, the Waves ran off six straight points, three on kills by Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) and two by Frederick. The Gauchos got no closer than five points the rest of the way. Rubenstein had seven kills on eight errorless swings in the third set as the Waves had a .355-.121 advantage in hitting.


Pepperdine is ranked #14 by Molten/Volleyball Magazine and #21 by the AVCA.




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