The Waves have winning all-time records against both USC (8-7 since 2012) and UCLA (3-2 since 2013).
Delaney Knudsen, Corinne Quiggle, Skylar Caputo, Madalyn Roh and Heidi Dyer all earned spots on the Preseason All-WCC Team.
USC, Florida State, UCLA, Pepperdine and Hawai'i round out the top-five.
The Waves have won two AVCA national championships in 2012 and 2014.
The 2016 season opens on March 5-6 at Zuma Beach in Malibu.
Beach Volleyball: No. 2 Pepperdine vs. Grand Canyon, No. 5 Long Beach State
Beach Volleyball: Pepperdine vs. CSUN, Colorado Mesa
Gustavo Rocha joined the Pepperdine beach volleyball squad as a volunteer assistant coach in January 2016. He begins his second year with the team in the 2016-17 season.
Over the summer, he helped coach the U.S. Olympic duo Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross under Marcio Sicoli, training the athletes for seven months leading up to and during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Also throughout the summer, Rocha was the head coach for professional competitors Bill Kolinske and Avery Drost in preparation for, and during, professional beach volleyball tournaments in the AVP 2016 tour. He helped lead the pair to a 3rd place best finish in New York.
In his premier season with the Waves, he helped lead the Waves to the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships set in Gulf Shores, Ala. The team advanced through the opening rounds as the third seed and finished out the 2016 campaign ranked 5th in the final AVCA Coaches Poll.
The Waves finished 20-5 overall with a .867 winning percentage with Rocha on the sidelines. Senior Taylor Racich and freshman Heidi Dyer earned AVCA All-American status.
Pepperdine also won the first-ever West Coast Conference Championship crown in Santa Monica, going 3-0 to take the honor. Six Waves picked up All-WCC accolades, including three first team selections. Three Waves also were tabbed to the WCC All-Freshman squad for their efforts on the sand.
After the Waves premier NCAA season, he worked as a coach with the Elite Beach Volleyball Club in Manhattan Beach, Calif., training young athletes who aspire to continue into the collegiate ranks.
Prior to joining the Pepperdine coaching ranks, Rocha worked at Whole Sports, Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif. beginning in August 2012. He served as the liaison between parents and Whole Sports, Inc., promoting the business with individual recruiting, management of group recruiting functions and club member maintenance in addition to administrative functions for business operations.
Throughout his tenure, Rocha helped athletes find successful placement at Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Hawai’i, Tulane, Louisiana State, Long Beach, South Carolina, Arizona, USC, UCLA and Texas Christian.
He served as a professional beach volleyball coach with the San Diego Beach Volleyball Club, where he was in charge of aspirations of college athletic scholarships and college team placement. He worked with college coaches and recruiters, while also developing programs for individual athletes.
He was also the head coach for the indoor 14-2 volleyball squad and assistant coach for the 16-1 and 18-1 indoor teams at Genuine Volleyball Club. He served with the San Diego Beach Volleyball Club as the Director of Independent Study Physical Education (ISPE) in the beach volleyball program, providing compliance with program requirements and student performance reporting guidelines for multiple school districts.
Also during that time, Rocha worked at Diegueno Middle School, serving as the head coach for 7th and 8th grade girls’ volleyball, where he led both teams to 2014 championships.
Prior to his stint at Whole Sports, Inc., Rocha was the head coach for University of California San Diego men’s volleyball club team in La Jolla, Calif. from 2006-09. He was an assistant men’s volleyball coach at Holy name University in Oakland, Calif. in 2005 and at Park University in Parkville, Mo. In 2004-05.
Before joining the volleyball coaching ranks, Rocha earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Park University in Parkville, Mo. in 2006 and his Master of Business Administration from National University in San Diego, Calif. in 2009.
While playing for Park from 2001-04, he led the squad to a MAMVIC National Championship in 2003 and a MISAR National Championship in 2001. Rocha was named All-Conference in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and to the All-Tournament team and MVP in 2003. He tabbed All-Tournament team status at the NAIA National Invitational in 2003 and 2004. He also picked up a MISAR National Tournament MVP honor in 2001.
In his senior campaign in 2004, Rocha averaged 11.8 assists/set and 1.4 digs/set.
In the classroom, Rocha earned the Dr. Dorothy Howell Student Leadership Award in 2004 and was honored on the Dean’s List.
Directly out of college, Rocha served as the General Manager at Museum Café G Ciuffa Inc. in La Jolla from 2008-12. He primarily interviewed, hired, trained and evaluated staff, while scheduling employee shifts including managing labor hours and payroll.
From 2007-08, he worked with Blue Wave Mediterranean Kitchen in La Jolla as the assistant manager, responsible for weekly labor schedules, inventory and managed employee hours and payroll.
Originally from Goiania, Brazil, Rocha is fluent in English, Portuguese and proficient in conversational Spanish.