No. 12 UCLA, #14 Saint Mary's and San Francisco Await Waves
Oct. 25, 2004
MALIBU, Calif. -
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The Pepperdine women's volleyball team will begin the second half of West Coast Conference (WCC) play this weekend by hosting #14 Saint Mary's and San Francisco, Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, but first the Waves will head to #12 UCLA for a Tuesday-night match in Los Angeles, Calif.
Pepperdine (5-11) went 3-4 during the first go-around of league play, with five of the seven matches on the road. After playing nine of 16 contests away from Firestone Fieldhouse, Pepperdine will close out the 2004 campaign with five of its final nine matches at home.
Sophia Milo has come on strong of late and ranks fourth in the conference at 1.26 blocks-per-game. After posting 34 kills in two hard-fought losses last week, the Portland, Ore., native leads the Waves hitting .215. Outside hitter Katy Daly continues to pace the Pepperdine attack boasting a 4.19 kills-per-game average placing her third in the league.
A pair of Waves continue to move up the all-time ranks in Christina Hinds and Melissa Mehlhorn. With 27 digs against Santa Clara on Sunday, Hinds moved passed Jennifer Meredith (1990-94) into second all-time and is now 200 shy of breaking the school record of 1,371 established by Carolyn Hueth (1988-91). Mehlhorn ranks fourth all-time with 2,734 assists and is poised to pass Melissa Plass next season.
UCLA (13-5, 6-3 Pac-10) is 6-2 in its last eight contests and is led by Brynn Murphy and Brittany Ringel who are averaging 3.11 and 3.00 kills-per-game, respectively. As a team, the Bruins are limiting their opponents to a .159 hitting percentage, while the Waves are hitting a combined .174.
Saint Mary's has lost just two matches in 16 attempts on the season and enters the weekend second in the WCC with a 6-1 league record. The Gaels boast a strong presence at the net recording 3.35 blocks-per-game, second in the WCC. Saint Mary's snapped Pepperdine's 43-match conference win streak earlier this year with a 3-1 victory.
San Francisco (9-14, 2-5 WCC) will be looking to avenge a 3-0 loss to Pepperdine in the conference opener. The Dons are led by Stephanie Voelckers' 3.74 kills-per-game and Brynn Maurer's 4.48 digs-per-game.
HOME SWEET HOME During Matthies' head coaching tenure, Pepperdine is 194-57 in matches played at Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine's all-time 27-year record in matches played at Firestone Fieldhouse stands at 253-87. Pepperdine, which concluded the 2001 season with a 13-0 home mark, finished the 2002 campaign with a 12-1 home record and in 2003 was 13-1.
ROUGH STRETCH CONTINUES Pepperdine is in the middle of a four-match stretch where it faces all ranked opponents. The stretch started last Friday night when it dropped a 3-1 decision to #22 San Diego in San Diego. Sunday the Waves had the tall order of playing at #19 Santa Clara on CSTV, a match they lost 3-2. This week opens with a mid-week contest against #12 UCLA in Los Angeles and continues as it hosts #14 Saint Mary's and San Francisco. Pepperdine is 0-9 against top 25 teams this season.
SENIOR CLASS DROPS FIRST WCC MATCH Pepperdine's two seniors, Christina Hinds and Kristen Shultz, suffered their first taste of defeat in WCC play on Oct. 2 when the Waves lost to Saint Mary's 3-1 in Moraga, Calif. The loss ended what was a 43-match win streak which spanned three seasons and one match.
WIN STREAK FALLS SHORT OF RECORD The Waves' streak of 43 consecutive WCC wins came to an end on Saturday foiling Pepperdine's attempt to set the conference record for consecutive conference victories of 47. That record still belongs to the Waves who won the final six WCC matches of the 1988 season before going undefeated in league play from 1989-1991.
STUCK HERE IN THE MIDDLE The WCC's 2003 Freshman of the Year Sophia Milo is having an outstanding second half of the 2004 season. The Portland, Ore., native ranks fourth overall in the WCC with 1.26 block-per-game. In league contests, Milo is averaging 3.26 kills- (12th in WCC) and 1.33 blocks-per-game (6th).
10 YEARS IN THE MAKING After dropping two matches to the Rainbow Wahine, the Waves losing streak reached four-consecutive matches marking the first time since the start of the 1994 season Pepperdine was winless over a four match span. That season was also the last time the Waves finished the year with a losing record (9-17, 8-6 WCC).
DALY NEWS Junior Katy Daly is leading the way for the Pepperdine offense this season, recording a team-high 260 kills. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter has recorded nine double-doubles on the season and has the team high for kills in a three- (25), four- (22) and five-game match (22).
HINDS-IGHT Senior Christina Hinds continues to be one of the best defensive players in Division I. After earning the WCC Defensive Player of the Year award as a junior, the Beverly Hills, Calif. native is leading the conference in digs per game with 5.23 despite seeing action in several matches as an outside hitter. In the season opener against Georgia, Hinds tied the school record of 33 digs. With 27 in Sunday's contest she moved into second on the all-time digs list passing Jennifer Meredith (1990-94) and now stands at 1,175, 200 away from the all-time career record.
WCC BLOCK PARTY Pepperdine's trio of Sophia Milo (So.), Kristen McClune (So.) and Lecca Roberts (Fr.) have accounted for 81 blocks through seven WCC matches. Milo leads the way at 1.33, while Roberts and McClune are averaging 1.00 and 0.90, respectively.
MEHLHORN MOVES UP THE ASSISTS LIST With 744 assists this season, junior Melissa Mehlhorn now has 2,734 in her career. Most recently the Tempe, Ariz., native passed Carolyn Hueth (1988-91) to move into fourth all-time. Mehlhorn needs 865 more to pass Melissa Plass (1998-01) who ended her career with 3,599. The school record is held by Becci Roehl who recorded 5,020 from 1994-97.
FROM THE SIDELINES The Waves are only now starting to see some of its players make their way back onto the court after dealing with early-season injuries. Junior outside hitter Breegan Mulligan was a Fab 50 coming out of high school and has seen action in just eight matches this season, all on the back row. Sophomore Ali McCourt has seen just one game in her career after having a cancerous area removed from her neck over the summer. Freshman Lecca Roberts has seen limited action but wasn't able to practice until Sept. 1, while Megan Scheenstra's attempt to come back from a broken fibula was unsuccessful.
Ali McCourt had a cancerous area removed from her neck and is expected to get back to the court for light workouts sometime in November. Breegan Mulligan underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and will only be availible for limited action the remainder of the season. Megan Scheenstra is recovering from a stress fracture in her fibula and will sit the rest of the season.
A FALL FROM THE RANKINGS After starting the season with a No. 9 ranking the Waves have fallen out of the USA Today/AVCA's top 25. This marks the first time since the 1998 season Pepperdine has not been ranked -- a span of 81 consecutive weeks.
WAVES PICKED TO LEAD WCC Pepperdine enters the 2004 campaign having received five of the eight total first-place votes by WCC coaches. Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount tied for second with 50 total points although Santa Clara had two first-place votes, while San Diego, and Saint Mary's round out the top five. San Francisco, Portland and Gonzaga occupied the sixth-eight spots.
TOURNAMENT HONORS Christina Hinds notched 57 (7.12 per match) digs at the Courtyard Marriott Marina del Rey Beach Classic in earning Most Outstanding Libero honors during the first weekend of action. Hinds then added a second all-tournament team honor to her name at last weekend's Four Seasons University Plaza Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. The 6-foot defensive specialist was just one of three Pepperdine players who were tabbed all-tournament in week one as Melissa Mehlhorn and Sophia Milo also received tournament awards.
THE PROGRAM In its 30th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine women's volleyball program has compiled an overall record to date of 579-346. A total of 17 Pepperdine teams have posted 20-plus win campaigns, including last year's team that finished the regular season with a 27-3 overall mark. The Waves have earned a final national Top 20 ranking on 17 occasions since the program was instituted in 1975, earning a best-ever No. 4 ranking two seasons ago and a No. 6 final ranking last year. Last season, Pepperdine advanced to the Sweet 16. Pepperdine also advanced to the "Sweet 16" in 1999, 2001, and 2002. Pepperdine made its only appearance at the National Invitational Volleyball Championships in 1995. Since the WCC was formed in 1985, Pepperdine has captured ten of the 18 league championships and posted a cumulative conference mark to date of 228-40, including a conference record 47-match winning streak from 1988-92. Most recently, the Waves had a 43-match winning streak snapped which dated back to 2000. The Waves captured their 10th WCC title in 2003 and finished the conference schedule undefeated for the ninth time. Pepperdine has recorded perfect WCC records in 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2003. The Waves went 14-0 in each of those seasons except for 1985 when they went 12-0.
FOR MORE INFORMATION For additional information on the women's volleyball program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Michael Hawley at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4333.
SPORTS INFORMATION HOTLINE For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please call the Pepperdine Sports Information Hotline at 310-506-7373. The hotline will be updated on a regular basis throughout the course of the 2004-2005 school year.
ON THE WEB For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the Internet, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please bookmark the following address: www.pepperdinesports.com
Nina Matthies In her 22nd season as Pepperdine's head coach, Nina Matthies has compiled a career record to date of 414-247. Matthies has directed the Waves to 14 NCAA Championships berths (1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 2001, 2002, and 2003), one National Invitational Volleyball Championships appearance (1995) and nine WCC titles (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2001, and 2002. Additionally, Matthies has been tabbed the WCC "Coach of the Year" a league-record eight times--outright in 1985, 1991, 1998 1999, and 2002, and sharing the honor in 1990, 1991, 1998 and 2001. Matthies retired as an active beach player in September of 1992 following a highly acclaimed career, and was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1994. Named the Women's Professional Volleyball Association's "Most Inspirational Player" in 1992, Matthies was honored in 1997 as one of the "20 Legends of Beach Volleyball." As a collegian at UCLA, Matthies was the team captain in 1974 and 1975 when the Bruins captured two national AIAW titles, and her jersey was retired in 1987. Matthies began her coaching career in 1977, serving as an assistant to Andy Banachowski at UCLA. Matthies worked in that capacity for six seasons, helping the Bruins post a cumulative record of 192-64 (.750), before assuming the head coaching position at Pepperdine prior to the 1983 campaign.