MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team, currently #23 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, looks to get its season back on track with a non-conference contest at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Waves return to West Coast Conference action on Saturday, Oct. 6 when they host #15 San Diego.
MATCH 17 - Wednesday (Oct. 3) at the Thunderdome: #23 Pepperdine (10-6, 1-3 WCC) at UC Santa Barbara (8-9, 1-2) at 7 p.m.
MATCH 18 - Saturday (Oct. 6) at Firestone Fieldhouse: #15 San Diego (12-2, 4-0 WCC) at #23 Pepperdine at 1 p.m.
WAVECASTS - All Pepperdine women’s volleyball home matches, including Saturday’s vs. the Toreros, are broadcast live and for FREE via WaveCasts. In addition to live broadcasts, WaveCasts also offers a large selection of game highlights, interviews, features and more!
TICKETS - Single-session prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine home sporting events, with the exception of men’s basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.
COVERAGE - Pepperdine’s contest against UC Santa Barbara can be followed via live stats and an internet audio broadcast. On Saturday, both GameTracker and WaveCasts will be streaming live online. Links to all available media can be found on the Waves’ schedule page.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine’s tour of Northern California fell short of expectations, as the Waves suffered losses to both Saint Mary’s (2-3) and Santa Clara (1-3). The Waves five setter against the Gaels was a thriller, and saw a total of nine match points (six for SMC, three for Pepperdine) fought off before Saint Mary’s finally prevailed 23-21. Taylor Racich registered her first career double-double with 13 kills and a season-high 11 digs. In addition, Racich came up just three blocks short of the elusive triple-double and finished the night with seven. Kelley Larsen suited up as the libero for the first time and collected a career-high 25 digs. Against the Broncos, Katie Messing upped her career best in kills to 17.
LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine hosts three matches next week, beginning right away on Monday, Oct. 8. The Waves play Bucknell, before welcoming WCC rivals San Francisco (Oct. 11) and Santa Clara (Oct. 13) to Firestone Fieldhouse.
UC SANTA BARBARA - The Gauchos are 8-9 this season and most recently handed Cal Poly a straight-set loss ... Although UCSB is one game below .500 this season, the team has only suffered two 3-0 losses (Connecticut and Long Beach State) ... The Gauchos have played three ranked teams this season (UCLA, Oregon and San Diego) and lost 3-1 in each match ... Leah Sully paces the offense with 3.78 kill/set ... UCSB is led by long-time coach Kathy Gregory ... Taylor Formico covers the court with an impressive 5.47 kills/set.
SAN DIEGO - The Toreros are solid 12-2 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in the WCC ... San Diego’s only two losses are to Texas (3-0) and USC (3-2) ... USD is extremely balanced on offense with four players averaging over 2.40 kills/set including Katie Hoekman (2.80), Chloe Ferrari (2.73), Alaysia Brown (2.69) and Carrie Baird (2.41) ... San Diego is 0-2 vs. ranked opponents in 2012.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine opened the 2012 campaign listed at a season-best #11 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-25 Preseason Poll and is currently sitting at #23 in the rankings.
WCC/NCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Jazmine Orozco picked up the Waves’ first WCC Player of the Week award in 2012, on Sept. 17 after pacing the Waves with 4.25 kill/set and 3.33 kills/set in four matches last week. The junior outside hitter notched 12 kills earned on a spectacular .417 clip in the loss to UCLA before registering double-doubles in all three of Pepperdine’s straight-set victories at the tournament in Houston. Orozco hit .330 (51 kills-15 errors-109 attacks) on the week, and becomes the Waves’ 53rd overall player of the week selection. On Sept. 18, she earned NCAA Player of the Week honors, becoming the first player in program history to do so.
NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 732-428-2 all time and 304-76 in West Coast Conference play ... Nina Matthies is 565-326 and is in her 30th season at the helm.
CHECK THE RECORD - Victoria Adelhelm currently ranks second all-time at Pepperdine with 393 blocks, and will likely stay in that spot. Sophia Milo ranks first all-time with 517 blocks ... Kellie Woolever has dished 3,025 assists to rank sixth ... Adelhelm’s career hitting percentage entering her senior year as a Wave stood at .315 which counts as the seventh-highest clip all-time in Malibu. Her current career percentage of .326 ranks fifth ... With 142 blocks in 2011, Samantha Cash nearly set a new rally scoring era single-season record. Milo holds to top spot with 143 blocks in 2005.
HISTORY LESSON - Check out the complete Pepperdine women’s volleyball program’s record book online at here.
AGAINST TOP-25 - Pepperdine is 3-2 vs. opponents ranked in the AVCA top-25 in 2012. All three of the Waves’ wins have come in straight sets. Pepperdine has defeated Illinois, Florida State and Ohio State so far this season, and has match ups against top-25 teams in BYU and San Diego left on the schedule.
BEST OF THE WEST - As of the last West Coast Conference statistics release (Sept. 24), Pepperdine averaged the second most assists (13.68) of any WCC school ... The Waves are tied-for-second in kills (14.60), second in hitting percentage (.255), fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.200), fourth in digs (14.74), fourth in blocks (2.13) and eighth aces (0.94).
SINGLED OUT - As of Sept. 24, Victoria Adelhelm has the third highest hitting percentage (.409) in the West Coast Conference and 19th overall in the NCAA ... Adelhelm also ranks second in blocks (1.21) ... Kellie Woolever ranks third in assists (11.09) and 10th in digs (3.06) ... Woolever’s assists average ranks 37th in the NCAA ... Michaela Christiaansen ranks seventh in digs (3.83) ... Jazmine Orozco ranks fourth in kills (3.64).
PEPPERDINE ASICS CLASSIC - The Waves won their annual home tournament with wins over Cal State Fullerton and Arizona. Victoria Adelhelm was named Most Valuable Player after averaging 2.75 kills/set earned on a staggering .611 hitting percentage. The senior additionally led the team with 1.12 blocks/set. Jazmine Orozco (4.25 k/s, .307 hit. %) and Michaela Christiaansen (4.12 d/s) were named to the all-tournament team. Pepperdine also got A+ performances from Kellie Woolever (11.25 a/s, 5.38 d/s) and Taylor Racich (3.57 k/s).
TOURNAMENT RECAP - In addition to first-place showings at the Pepperdine Asics Classic and the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup, the Waves placed second at the Dayton Flyer Classic and the Rams Volleyball Classic behind host schools Dayton and Colorado State, respectively. Kellie Woolever has earned all-tournament team honors at every event with the exception of the Asics Classic. Victoria Adelhelm was MVP of the Asics Classic and an all-tournament team member at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. Jazmine Orozco earned MVP status at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup and was an all-tournament team member at the Colorado State and Pepperdine tournaments. Michaela Christiaansen made the all-tournament team at the Asics Classic.
STREAKING - Jazmine Orozco has reached double digits kill totals in the last nine consecutive matches ... Between Sept. 14-22, Orozco registered kills-digs double doubles in all five matches in that span ... Kellie Woolever has only missed one serve in missed a serve in 103 tries and boasts a team-high serve percentage of .991 (5 aces-2 error-229 attempts) ... Michaela Christiaansen has reached double-digit dig totals in eight-straight contests.
Jazmine Orozco - Illinois transfer Jazmine Orozco has made a huge impact for Pepperdine in her short time with the Waves. She leads the team with 3.54 kill/set and is the only player to have reached the 20+ kill milestone in a single match this season. Orozco tallied a tied-for-career-best 21 kills vs. Arizona. She was voted to both the Pepperdine Asics Classic and Rams Volleyball Classic all-tournament teams and picked up MVP honors at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. She was named WCC Player of the Week on Sept. 17 and NCAA Player of the Week on Sept. 18.
Victoria Adelhelm - Senior Victoria Adelhelm, who has been in the starting lineup since her freshman year in 2009, has put her veteran status on display in 2012 and has played at a consistently high level the entire season. She’s hitting .384 and ranks third on the team with a 2.36 kills/set average. She adds 1.25 blocks/set on defense and now ranks second all-time at Pepperdine with 393 career blocks. Against Cal State Fullerton, the senior pounded home 10 kills on 14 errorless attempts for a career-high .714 clip.
Kellie Woolever - Junior Kellie Woolever is back for her third season as the Waves’ starting setter. Dubbed “one of the best setters in the country” by Matthies, Woolever was an All-WCC preseason selection in 2012. She picked up AVCA All-American and All-Pacific Region honorable mention accolades, and was an All-WCC first team pick as a sophomore 2011. She earned all tournament team honors at the Dayton Flyer Classic, Rams Volleyball Classic and Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. Not only does the junior average 10.91 assists/set the southpaw proves to be a viable offensive threat as well with 1.30 kills/set while hitting .385. On defense, she picks up 3.12 digs/set and came one shy of her single match best with 25 digs against Arizona.
Taylor Racich - Freshman Taylor Racich made her first start of the season against Cal State Fullerton and did not disappoint. From the right side, Racich paced the Waves with 17 kills earned on a blazing .438 (17 kills-3 errors-32 attempts) hitting percentage. The freshman added five digs and five blocks for a match-high 19.5 points. In the follow-up match against Arizona, Racich came through with a clutch kill and service ace in back-to-back points to help lift Pepperdine to a 15-12 win in the fifth and deciding set. The freshman earned her first career double-double vs. Saint Mary’s last week with 13 kills and 11 digs.
Katie Messing - Although sophomore Katie Messing has established herself as a front-row only offensive weapon, the outside hitter got to show her defensive chops on Sept. 1 vs. Arizona. Messing shattered her previous career high with 15 digs. Along with 13 kills, it was her first-ever double-double. Messing averages 2.63 kill/set through 38 sets played and most recently set a new career-best with 17 kills at Santa Clara (9/29).
SOCIAL HUB - There are several ways to interact with the Waves online. Fans can follow the women’s volleyball team on Twitter @PepperdineWVB and “like” the team on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Volleyball. You can follow “PepperdineWaves” on Instagram, or subscribe to “Pepperdine Athletics” on YouTube. Visit PepperdineSports.com for the Waves’ complete social media directory.
Nina Matthies - Now in her 30th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies’ career record currently stands at 565-326 (.634), which includes 11 conference championships and 19 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC’s all-time winningest coach and is a 10-time WCC Coach of the Year, most recently winning the award in 2011. Matthies was among the world’s top players and is a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. In 2009, Dig Magazine rated her and former partner Linda Hanley as the second-best women’s beach team of all time. She won two AIAW national championships as a player at UCLA.
2012 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL - The Waves were picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference, behind Saint Mary’s and San Diego, who were tied for first in the vote. BYU was voted to finish fourth followed by San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, Portland and Gonzaga. Kellie Woolever and Samantha Cash were voted to the preseason all-conference team.
OLYMPIC CONNECTION - Pepperdine assistant coach Marcio Sicoli guided Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings to an unprecedented third gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012. He follows in the footsteps of the Waves’ Troy Tanner, who was May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings’ coach in 2008. In fact, a coach with Pepperdine ties has directed a gold-medal winning beach team at three of the last four Olympics.
2011 RECAP - The Waves had a banner year in 2011, finishing the season with a 25-7 record and ranked #6 in the final AVCA Coaches’ Poll. After winning the WCC title with a 15-1 record, Pepperdine played host to the NCAA first and second rounds. Pepperdine shut out Missouri State and North Carolina, before blanking Kansas State in the regional semifinals in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Waves nearly upset top-ranked USC in the regional final, but the Trojans escaped with a narrow 3-2 victory. Kim Hill was named an AVCA first team All-American, while Kellie Woolever earned a mention on the honorable mention squad. Pepperdine reaped several conference awards, including a WCC Player of the Year in Hill and a Freshman of the Year in Samantha Cash. All-WCC first team honors were given to Hill, Cash, Woolever and Lilla Frederick, while Stevi Robinson was voted to the honorable mention squad. Cash and Katie Messing were named to the WCC All-Freshman squad.
SAND VOLLEYBALL - In the inaugural season of collegiate sand volleyball, Pepperdine was unmatched among the first set of schools to adopt the NCAA emerging sport. Led by former beach great Nina Matthies, the Waves steam rolled the competition and posted a 14-0 overall record. At the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., the Waves posted wins in the double-elimination team event over College of Charleston and Long Beach State twice. It was Pepperdine’s 12th national championship by its teams, but first by a women’s program. Lilla Frederick, Kim Hill, Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross were named All-Americans. Racich and Ross won the pairs title a day later, fighting off three match points in the third and final set to beat the 49ers’ Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.