Waves Wrap Regular Season with Road Matches at San Francisco and Santa Clara
Nov. 19, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - After sending Nina Matthies out of Firestone Fieldhouse with a win in her final home appearance, the Pepperdine women's volleyball team will look to do the same this week on the road, with matches at San Francisco and Santa Clara. The Waves enter the final week of the regular season on a three-match win streak.
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Becca Strehlow was awarded West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors after posting a triple double in a 3-2 win vs. Loyola Marymount in the home finale. Strehlow was credited with 49 assists, 13 digs and 10 blocks. Strehlow is just the 10th Wave to reach double digits in blocks in a single match since the rally scoring era began in 2001, and the only setter in a list dominated by middle blockers.
BLOCK PARTY IN MALIBU - Pepperdine was able to outlast the Lions in the five set thriller thanks in large part to the team's 19.0 total blocks. That number ranks fourth in program history during the rally scoring era. In 2005, the Waves set the record with 24.0 blocks against San Diego. Samantha Cash assisted on 11 of those blocks to set a new career best. Additionally, that number ranks tied for fourth the Waves' annals and is just two off the mark Lyndsey Hache' set in 2003 with 13 blocks in a match vs. Gonzaga.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT - Nina Matthies, head coach for the Waves since 1983, announced last week that the 2013 indoor volleyball season would be her last. Matthies will remain on staff, however, to coach Pepperdine's national championship winning sand volleyball team. Matthies enters the contest with a 589-342 all-time record, and finished her career with a 279-93 (.750) tally inside Firestone Fieldhouse.
#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its "Competing with Purpose" campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built. To learn more about the campaign, click here.
WAVES' SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the women's volleyball team on Twitter @PepperdineWVB ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women's Volleyball ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves continued their winning ways, topping LMU 3-2 on Senior Day last week Saturday. Senior Kelley Larsen put down a tied for career-best 20 kills, followed by Katie Messing with 12. Five players reached double figures in digs include Jillian Bergeson (22), Messing (14), Larsen (13), Kellie Woolever (13) and Becca Strehlow (13).
NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 52-5 all-time vs. USF but lost the last meeting in Malibu 3-2 ... It was San Francisco's second win in a row vs. the Waves ... Pepperdine is 37-27 all-time against Santa Clara but just 14-14 when playing on the road ... Nina Matthies celebrated her 900th match with the Waves on Nov. 1, 2012 vs. Saint Mary's. Pepperdine, ranked #24 at the time, topped #25 Saint Mary's 3-1 ... Matthies' match vs. the Broncos will be her 933rd and final match.
UPDATING THE RECORD BOOK - Samantha Cash stands to break into the top-10 in several season record categories ... If Cash maintains a season hitting percentage of .335, she'll rank 10th. Her current average stands at .343... Her blocks average of 1.36 ranks second ... A 1.11 average would guarantee her a spot in the top-10 ... With 113 blocks to her credit thus far in 2013, Cash must reach a total of 117 to break into the top-10 for total blocks ... In the career category, Cash's three season total of 324 currently ranks 10th all-time ... Her block assists total of 301 already ranks fifth ... Kellie Woolever's assists total of 3935 ranks fifth ... Woolever's 1189 digs sits in fifth place on the career chart.
STREAKING - Katie Messing has reached double-digit kill totals 20 of the last 21 matches ... Messing has pounded down 10 or more kills in 21 of her season's 23 starts ... Jillian Bergeson has collected at least 10 digs in her 13 starts as libero, including seven 20+ digs performances.
COMEBACK QUEENS - The "never-say-die" Waves were the comeback queens of the Bluegrass Battle. Back in September vs. #19 Kentucky, Pepperdine rallied from a 12-16 deficit in set one to win 26-24. They did so again in set three, scoring eight unanswered points to win 25-23 after finding themselves down 17-23. Against Louisville, the Waves found themselves in danger of going five sets after the Cardinals took a 24-22 lead in set four. Pepperdine put down four consecutive kills to clinch the set and match 26-24. A week later, they stormed back from down 9-16 vs. San Francisco to win the set 26-24. Most recently, Pepperdine rallied back from an 0-2 deficit to beat Gonzaga 3-2 (including setbacks of 6-10 and 11-13 in set five).
TOURNAMENT SEASON - The Waves placed second at both the Asics Classic and Pepperdine Invitational to open 2013. In both instances, Pepperdine won its first two matches before falling 3-1 in the finales. Katie Messing earned all-tournament status at both events. Kellie Woolever and Ryann Chandler earned all-tournament nods at the Asics Classic, while Taylor Racich and Samantha Cash received accolades at the Pepperdine Invitational.
RETURNERS - Five student-athletes, all starters, return in 2013 in including seniors Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) and Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), juniors Samantha Cash (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy) and Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) and sophomore Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS).
YOUTH MOVEMENT - Eight total newcomers were added to the roster this season, including six freshmen. Rookies include outside hitters Jillian Bergeson (Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood HS) and Gabi Palmeri (Davis, Calif./St. Francis HS), middle blockers Brooke Honeycutt (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS ), Emma Fuzie (Carmel, Calif./Carmel HS) and Reegan Dennis (Newport Beach, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) and setter Monique Domme (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain HS). In addition to the freshmen, two transfers joined Pepperdine this season including setter Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) and middle blocker Olivia Okoro (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron HS/Tennessee). Okoro will redshirt in 2013.
Nina Matthies - Now in her 31st and final season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies' career record currently stands at 589-342, which includes 11 conference championships and 20 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. In May of 2013, she was honored as the inaugural winner of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year award. Matthies was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20.
INDOOR VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - 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 27 times in 38 seasons, including 13 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 16 seasons. Pepperdine's best finishes in recent years came when the team made the regional final of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and again in 2011. Nine players have earned AVCA or Volleyball Magazine All-American honors a combined 16 times, while six players have been dubbed the WCC Player of the Year nine total times. Check out the complete program record book here.
WAVES IN THE PROS - After a successful run with the U.S. Women's National team, which included gold medals at the Pan American Cup and NORCECA Championship, a silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Championship, and a sixth-place finish at the FIVB World Grand Prix, Kim Hill is currently playing for Atom Trefl Sopot in the Polish Oren Liga. Hill was a three-time AVCA All-American for the indoor squad from 2008-11 and led the sand volleyball team to the national title in 2011.
SAND VOLLEYBALL NEWS - Summer Ross, who helped the Waves win both the team and individual titles at the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship, won the AVP Cincinnati Open (9/2). She and partner Emily Day entered the tournament as the No. 14 seed and beat No. 2-seeded pair Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik twice en route to the title. A week later, Ross and Day placed second at the AVP stop in Atlantic City, followed by a tie for first (finals canceled due to weather) in St. Petersburg, Fla. In FIVB action, Ross and Day took home the silver medal as the No. 9 seed at the Phuket Open (11/3) in Thailand.
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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.