Waves Picked No. 1 in First Ever AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Preseason Poll
Pepperdine earns the top ranking in the first-ever issue of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball poll.
March 4, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - With the second season of collegiate sand volleyball just days away, the Pepperdine women's sand volleyball team was voted #1 in the AVCA Preseason Poll, it was announced today. This is the first time the AVCA has released rankings in the short history of the sport.
The Waves, the defending AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Champions, went a perfect 14-0 last season chalking wins over Long Beach State, USC, Hawaii, College of Charleston, UAB, Loyola Marymount, Mercer and North Florida.
Pepperdine returns eight letterwinners from last season's squad, including seven who were regulars in the 10-person lineup.
Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS), a 2012 AVCA All-American and defending national pairs champion, is back for her senior season, as well as fellow All-Americans Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS).
Frederick and Hill held down the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the Waves last season with a 25-9 overall record. The duo reached the semifinals of the 2012 AVCA Pairs Championship.
To date, Hill is the first and only student-athlete to earn AVCA All-American first team honors in both indoor and sand volleyball in a single season.
Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS), Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS), and Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) return, along with Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) who redshirted her first season with the sand team in 2012.
Pepperdine added two mid-year transfers to the roster including Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union HS/Nebraska), who joins the Waves as a redshirt freshman after serving as the starting libero for Nebraska for two season. Lauren Sieckmann (Omaha, Neb./Elkhorn South HS/Wayne State College) is also expected to make a positive impact for the team this year.
The roster also includes Caitlin's sister Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood HS/Illinois). Natalie Riddering (Sacramento, Calif./El Camino Fundamental HS) is also a member of the 2013 squad, but will sit out the year due to injury.
Following Pepperdine in the rankings in local rival Long Beach State, who finished runner-up to the Waves in both the team and individual championships in 2012.
USC, Florida State and Hawaii - all schools who fielded a team during the inaugural season - round out the top five.
UCLA ranks in at #6 and is the highest ranked team that did not compete in 2012.
Seven of the nine other schools listed in the top-10 appear on the Waves' regular-season schedule.
The 2013 AVCA Collegiate Sand National Championships will once again be held in Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 3-5.
Pepperdine opens their second season of sand volleyball this Saturday, March 9 at Zuma Beach. The Waves take on #8 Florida International at 10 a.m.
2013 AVCA Collegiate Sand Preseason Poll
2. Long Beach State
4. Florida State
7. College of Charleston
8. Florida International