Waves Win at Zuma Beach vs. Long Beach State

Caitlin Racich

April 3, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #2 Pepperdine sand volleyball team successfully defended the home sand of Zuma Beach with a 4-1 win over #5-ranked Long Beach State on Thursday afternoon. With the victory, the Waves have swept the season series versus the 49ers and improve to 11-0 all-time when playing at home.

The Waves move now to 10-1 on the season. Pepperdine split the season series versus USC, currently atop the AVCA rankings. The Waves won 5-0 in Malibu, while the Trojans chalked a 4-1 decision in Los Angeles.

"This was a must win for us," said head coach Nina Matthies. "I feel like we are in a pretty close race right now at the top. There are several really good teams in the West and they're (the AVCA selection committee) only going take three (to the AVCA National Championship).  The pressure is on right now and this wasn't a match we could afford to lose.

"The kids played really well today. I think we are getting better, getting the different pairings set and just working really well together," Matthies stated.

In a near replica of their first meeting, Sophie Asprey (Southlake, Texas/Liberty Christian School/Tulane) and Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS) beat twin sisters Ciana and Morea Wagner 21-10, 21-17. Asprey and Adelhelm had won the March 18 meeting in Long Beach by a score of 21-8, 21-18.

After falling behind 1-4 in the second frame, the Waves' No. 5 duo battled back and closed out the match with a 7-3 run.

Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) and Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) extended Pepperdine's lead with a 21-18, 21-7 win vs. Alex Reid and Jenelle Hudson.

Messing and Cook broke out to an early 5-2 lead in the first set, and later increased the lead to 15-10 after back-to-back kills and a service ace by Messing. The 49ers closed the gap to two points at 16-14, but the Waves held on for a 21-18 win.

Pepperdine got off to a dominant start in the second set, going up 11-1 behind two service aces apiece from Cook and Messing. A 6-0 run made it 18-5, and Cook polished the set and match off with two consecutive aces.

Seniors Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) and Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) played at No. 1 today against Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson, who played at No. 2 during the first meeting between Pepperdine and Long Beach State back in March.

Team Kell(i)ey went a near-perfect 27-1 in 2013, with the sole blemish on their record coming courtesy of Johnson and Jackson.

Woolever and Larsen would not lose again to the formidable foes, edging the 49ers 21-19, 21-17. Woolever tallied up 17 kills and 10 digs, while Larsen produced 11 kills and four aces.

"Kellie and Kelley played really great last weekend in Atlanta and I wanted them to have that No. 1 spot today because they earned it. We've been going back and forth all season," Matthies said.

Woolever and Larsen and Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska) have been flip-flopping between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup all season long.

Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) posted the Waves' final point of the day, earning a 21-19, 21-18 win against Bre Mackie and Chelsea Cabrajac. It was just the second time the 49er duo had lost in dual action this year.

The visiting squad avoided the shut out thanks to Bojana Todorovic and Delainey Aigner-Swesey, who outlasted Dykstra and Strehlow in three sets at No. 2.

Pepperdine resumes action next weekend, competing at the USAV Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach on April 12-13. Other teams in attendance include #1 USC, #3 Hawaii, #6 UCLA, Arizona, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara and CSU Bakersfield.

Dual | #2 Pepperdine 4,  #5 Long Beach State 1 
April 3, 2014 | Malibu, Calif. (Zuma Beach)
No. 1  Kelley Larsen/Kellie Woolever (PEP) def. Tyler Jackson/Janisa Johnson (LBSU) 21-19, 21-17
No. 2  Delainey Aigner-Swesey/Bojana Todorovic (LBSU) def. Lara Dykstra/Becca Strehlow (PEP) 18-21, 22-20, 15-10
No. 3  Delaney Knudsen/Caitlin Racich (PEP) def. Chelsea Cabrajac/Bre Mackie (LBSU) 21-19, 21-18
No. 4  Emily Cook/Katie Messing (PEP) def. Jenelle Hudson/Alex Reid (LBSU) 21-18, 21-7
No. 5  Sophie Asprey/Victoria Adelhelm (PEP) def. Ciana Wagner/Morea Wagner (LBSU) 21-10, 21-17

Extra Match: Joy Miley/Makayla Taylor (LBSU) def. Samantha Cash/Taylor Racich (PEP) 21-19, 21-18



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