Pepperdine Wins Inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship

Nina Matthies

April 28, 2012

GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball team made history today on the beaches of Gulf Shores, winning the first-ever AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship. The Waves defeated Long Beach State in the finals, 5-0.

This is the 21tst national title, either by a team or an individual, for Pepperdine, but it is the first one captured by a women’s team.

The Waves, who finish their first season a perfect 17-0, downed College of Charleston to open the day, before defeating the 49ers 3-2 in the semifinals. Long Beach State fought its way out of the elimination bracket by beating Florida State for the second time today to advance to the finals.

In the championship match, Pepperdine shot out to an early lead by winning the first set on all five courts.

Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad Seaside Academy) and Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) were the first to finish, topping Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke, 22-15, 21-11.

It was a flurry of excitement after that, with the next three matches all finishing within about two minutes of one another.

Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) bounced back from a tough showing against Jocelyn Neely and Lauren Minkel in the semifinals to beat the 49er pair 21-16, 21-8 in the finals.

On court five, Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) and Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ari./Ironwood Ridge HS) took care of business, scoring a 21-16, 22-20 decision versus Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson.

Simultaneously, Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS) and Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) put the finishing touches on a 21-14, 21-18 triumph over Haleigh Hampton and Chelsea Cabrajac.

Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS) and Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS) won the first set 21-16, but trailed 17-18 in the second when Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Libby Fontanilla forfeited the match.

Hill, Frederick, Racich and Ross were named to the 10-player AVCA All-American team in a ceremony following the match. Other members of the inaugural class include Jane Croson (Hawaii), Ledoux, Roenicke, Brittany Tiegs (Florida State), Jekaterina Stepanova (Florida State) and Aurora Newgard (Florida State).

Pepperdine’s four All-Americans conclude the AVCA Collegiate Sand National Championship tomorrow with the pairs tournament. Hill and Frederick earned the top seed in the 16-team bracket, while Racich and Ross took the No. 2 seed.

Pepperdine 5, Long Beach State 0
1. Racich/Ross def. Ledoux/Roenicke, 21-15, 21-11
2. Frederick/Hill def. Hampton/Cabrajac, 21-14, 21-18
3. Larsen/Robinson def. Aigner-Swesey/Fontanilla, 21-16, 17-18, forfeit
4. Woolever/Adelhelm def. Neely/Minkel, 21-16, 21-8
5. Christiaansen/Cook def. Johnson/Jackson, 21-16, 22-20



Pepperdine Waves
Official online store