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Others on Nina Matthies

When Nina Matthies collected her 500th win at Pepperdine during the 2009 season, several people paid their respects to her accomplishment. Here's what they had to say about Coach Matthies:

"Nina is a phenomenal teacher of the sport and mentor to the student-athletes. Reaching 500 wins is remarkable. She is enthusiastic and dedicated to the sport and it has transcended to her players. She has had the unique opportunity to be an athlete herself and be a teacher, coach, and mentor to others. Nina's leadership and commitment to Pepperdine and women's volleyball has been tremendous."
Dr. John Watson, Pepperdine Director of Athletics
"I'd like to pass along my congratulations to Nina on reaching her 500 wins. Nina's competitive spirit was and is the energizing force that drove her to be such a successful player and coach. Congrats Nina, May there be many more wins and successes."
Andy Banachowski, UCLA Head Coach
"It is such a great accomplishment. It is awesome to think there have been so many great players that have been a part of Nina's teams all along the way. This is an incredible accomplishment for her. It is no surprise that she has reached this milestone as she has won many WCC championships, been to the NCAA Tournament year after year, numerous winning seasons, and so on. To reach 500 wins at one university is a rare thing, but like I said, no surprise that Nina has done it. Nina's competitive fire, strong desire to win, compete hard at all times, and love for her players and the game are just some of the ways Nina has had a positive influence on her players. I'm happy she has done this, and hope she will rack up many more wins."
Julie Rubenstein, Former Player
"Nina has been an incredible influence on my career as a professional athlete. She always believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. Nina was able to impart her knowledge, skills, and work ethic learned in her own career to me and for this I will be forever grateful. My time at Pepperdine was amazing and being a `Wave' under such a strong, knowledgeable, and caring influence as Nina shaped the player I became. Nina has played a very big part in my life, not only as a volleyball coach, but as my friend and I would like to send her a huge congratulations on her 500th win and a giant hug from the other side of the globe in thanks for all that she has done for me over the years. Love ya Nina!"
Nicole (Sanderson) Hannan, Former Player
"Back playing for Nina, I went and followed her as a player. It was an incredible opportunity. I felt fortunate to play for such a fierce competitor. She trained us to compete relentlessly. She was a wonderful role model to me. I developed under her guidance and became a coach that I am today. She was a mentor outside of the gym. She prepared us well for competition while balancing a family life. It gave me hope. Overall, we had a great appreciation for her hard work. I wanted to run through a wall for her. She was down to earth and so real. She prepared me for the rest of my life."
Carolyn (Hueth) Zimmerman, Former Player
"Nina exudes greatness. She brings out the best in those around her by setting a standard of greatness herself. Nina takes 18 year old girls and turns them into confident, successful young women who are ready to take her standards of excellence into their lives and careers. Her success on the court is a tribute to her ability to inspire her players to achieve more than they ever should have been capable of. Thank you Nina, for your time, your wisdom, and your friendship. I cherish every step of every run, every lesson you made me learn, and every memory you helped me make."
Becci (Roehl) Twombley, Former Player
"Nina has had always my full respect! Nina's dedication to sport influenced me to want to become better and more committed to achieve success not only in volleyball but in life as well. She leads by example. Nina can create the right atmosphere and motivate players, getting athletes to believe in themselves, and have fun but still have discipline on the court. She respects the players, their individuality, their strength and their weaknesses. She has amazing skills how to put a unique team together. Nina has deep understanding of the sport from the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategy. With all the knowledge and experience, positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game, the player and life, she motivates us."
Aida (Krascenicova) Lennaerts, Former Player
"Nina is a true champion in all aspects of life; mom, wife, athlete, coach, friend. She has been an inspiration to me all these years. I strive to be as driven, determined, and passionate in all I do."
Jennifer Meredith, Former Player
"Nina inspired me to give back to the wonderful sport that gave me so much. After leaving Pepperdine, I was a head coach for a girls program for 11 years, and now currently teach PE at El Segundo High School. Playing for her while she was still competing was an inspiration in and of itself. The team used to love it when she played with us in drills. We liked the competitive edge it gave us ... no one wanted to get tooled by our coach, but it always happened. She taught us that you didn't have to hit the ball straight down to be a force at the net ... she taught us to be smart and use what you had to get the job done. I consider it an honor to have played for such an icon of the sport. Congrats, Nina, on this amazing accomplishment!"
Rainy (Chrisman) Smith, Former Player
"My time under Coach Matthies has shaped me profoundly. I feel so proud and privileged to have been a part of Nina's program. To this day, they are some of my best memories and I reflect on them often. I remember Nina coming to my home in the spring of '84 so I could sign my letter of intent and knowing immediately that playing for her at Pepperdine was going to be a perfect fit. I think back to her sitting across from me at my parent's kitchen table with her big, warm, and enthusiastic smile sharing her plans for the program and for me. I was thrilled. A couple of things that come to mind that impacted me the most about Nina was her work ethic and athleticism. When Nina walked in the gym she gave it her all and she expected her athletes to do the same. At the time I was playing for Nina, she was enjoying a hard-earned and very successful career on the pro beach tour. Nina would often jump in and train with us. She would never expect us to do the work that she would not do herself. She led by example. If we had a two mile run, Nina was leading the fray. If we had to do sprints, Nina was right there. Stadiums, weight-lifting, hill training ... she did it right alongside the team. You knew she was working hard, so you had to work hard. Our team enjoyed competing with each other, but if my teammates and I could come close to beating coach that was even better. She challenged and stretched me to accomplish things that I didn't think I was capable of accomplishing. Learning this work ethic from her has served me well in all areas of my life. In my four years with Pepperdine Volleyball, I think I beat Nina ONCE in a two mile team race and I consider that one of best and more memorable accomplishments. My time with Nina has influenced and shaped me not only as an athlete, but as a wife and mother. My teammates and I got to see first-hand how Nina juggled being a wife, mother, friend, pro-beach player, and head coach at Pepperdine and do it successfully and with class. She set an amazing example and standard. I am so thankful and blessed to have had Nina for a coach and more importantly as a friend. To me, she embodies what it means to be a woman athlete and I think of her often. Today, I am a mother of six children ranging from college to preschool. Most of my children are hardworking, student-athletes and they can attest to my many stories about `my glory days' as a Pepperdine Volleyball player. And of course, most of those stories feature Nina. I wish her a huge congratulation on her milestone of `500 wins'. Well done!!"
Julie (Evans) Castillo, Former Player

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