The Waves faced the 49ers twice this season, winning both.
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.
BVB: NCAA Championships Round One vs. Long Beach State
BVB: NCAA Championships Round Two: UCLA
Beach Volleyball: No. 2 Pepperdine vs. Grand Canyon, No. 5 Long Beach State
Beach Volleyball: Pepperdine vs. CSUN, Colorado Mesa
Pepperdine def. Florida State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the AVCA National Championship (Photos by Bobby McDuffie)
An expert in both indoor and beach volleyball, Marcio Sicoli enters his 10th season with the Waves in 2017-18.
Sicoli was a member of the indoor volleyball coaching staff for six seasons from 2008-13. He now focusses solely on the beach game, where he has been Nina Matthies’ assistant coach since the sport emerged in the spring of 2012.
In his five seasons on the beach, the Waves have taken home the AVCA National Championship title twice.
In the 2016 campaign, Pepperdine earned a berth in the inaugural 2016 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, making history as one team in the first-ever field of eight. The Waves advanced through the opening round and finished out the season ranked 5th overall in the final AVCA Coaches Poll.
A year later in the 2017 season, the Waves finished as runners-up at the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, while also taking home the second-consecutive WCC tournament and regular season crown.
The 2017 team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, while amassing a 27-5 overall record. The squad went 17-5 against nationally ranked opponents with a 9-1 record at home, 6-2 record on the road and 14-2 output on neutral sand. In the NCAA Tournament, Pepperdine opened action with a 3-0 sweep over No. 6-seeded Long Beach State, followed by a 3-1 win over No. 2-seeded UCLA to advance to the day two winners bracket. After falling to USC, the Waves returned through the contender’s bracket to sweep No. 5-seeded Hawai’i 3-0 and earn a spot in the NCAA Championship match-up against the Trojans.
In the match, the Waves and women of Troy split the opening wave as Deahna Kraft and Anika Wilson bested their opponents on court four and USC took court five. In the final wave, all three matches went to a third set, with Corinne Quiggle and Brittany Howard winning their match at the No. 2 position to put the Waves up 2-1. After USC evened the match 2-2 with a win on court one, the decider fell on court three. With an even 13-13 tie in the third set, the Trojans took the next two points to win the title.
Among the ranked defeats in 2017, the Waves handed Florida State the team’s first-ever loss at home with a 4-1 defeated in Tallahassee on April 15. To open the season on March 4, Pepperdine tabbed a 3-2 upset win over then-ranked No. 3 UCLA.
In the 2016 season, 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.
The 11th and 12th Pepperdine AVCA All-American acclaim came in 2017 as Madalyn Roh and Delaney Knudsen earned the rights. Roh, Knudsen, Corinne Quiggle and Brittany Howard also garnered Volleyball Magazine All-American nods with Roh and Knudsen earning first team honors. Six Waves tabbed All-WCC recognition with four first team selections and two second team nods.
Sicoli also served as the coach for two back-to-back Olympic Games, first in 2012 with Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor and again in 2016 with Walsh Jennings and April Ross.
He tutored Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor, arguably the best beach volleyball duo of all time, during the 2012 Olympics in London. Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor entered the Games as the No. 3 seed, and went a perfect 7-0 to claim an unprecedented third-straight gold medal. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, Walsh Jennings and Ross took home the bronze medal.
Prior to London, Sicoli served as the assistant coach for the Waves during the inaugural year of collegiate sand volleyball. After an undefeated season, Pepperdine captured the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. The team’s top pair of Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross won the individual pairs championship.
Pepperdine reached the finals of the sand national championship once again in 2013 after finishing the regular season with an 18-0 record.
Since joining the Waves’ staff in 2008, the indoor squad has posted a record of 116-57 (.671), won one West Coast Conference Championship and reached the NCAA Tournament three times.
Pepperdine has gone a combined 85-13 (.867) in beach volleyball with Sicoli on the sidelines.
Sicoli, a native of Brazil, boasts an impressive international resume, as he was an assistant coach for the Brazilian Olympic women’s beach volleyball team from 2000-04. One of their duos earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“His wisdom is well beyond his years,” Walsh Jennings said of Sicoli. “There’s also a youthfulness and enthusiasm that is really contagious. He makes practice every single day really fast, really challenging.”
He has coached various other indoor and beach volleyball teams, including serving as the head coach for women’s beach volleyball legend Holly McPeak and as head coach of the AVP women’s beach volleyball team of Tatiana Minello and Semirames Marins during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In 2007, Sicoli served as head coach for the women’s beach team of Minello and Carrie Dodd and as coach of the men’s beach team of Casey Jennings and Matt Fuerbringer.
Sicoli has also coached at the Beverly Hills-based Sports Shack Volleyball Club. He received the Sports Shack Coach of the Year Award in 2007 as the coach of the 18-2 team. Sicoli also recently served as the head coach of the Southern California Volleyball Club’s South Bay 12-1 indoor team in 2007, and assisted USC men’s head coach Bill Ferguson with the 17-1s.
Sicoli received his bachelor’s of physical education degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2001 and competed for the men’s volleyball team as the setter from 1999-2002. He holds a specialization in sports training (earned in 2002-03) and holds a Brazilian Beach Volleyball Level II coaching credential (earned in 2001).