Waves to Compete at USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge

Becca Strehlow

March 12, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - After opening the season with shut-out victories over Cal State Northridge and #2 USC, the #1 Pepperdine sand volleyball team continues the 2014 campaign this weekend, March 14-16, with the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge. Held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., the Waves will face Cal State Bakersfield, #5 Hawaii and Grand Canyon before engaging in a pairs championship.

MATCH 3 - #1 Pepperdine vs. Cal State Bakersfield | March 14 | Chula Vista, Calif. | 4:30 p.m.

MATCH 4 - #1 Pepperdine vs. #5 Hawaii | March 15 | Chula Vista, Calif. | 10 a.m.

MATCH 5 - #1 Pepperdine vs. Grand Canyon | March 15 | Chula Vista, Calif. | 2 p.m.

PAIRS - Pairs championship action will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday ... Play will resume on Sunday at 9 a.m. with the championship match in the single-elimination tournament scheduled for around 2:30 p.m. ... In addition to Cal State Bakersfield, Hawaii and Grand Canyon, pairs from Cal State Northridge will also be competing in the bracket.

WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the women’s volleyball team on Twitter @PeppSandVolley ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Volleyball ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.

COVERAGE - Draws and results will be available on the USAVolleyball.org website as well as PepperdineSports.com ... Use the hashtag #USAVcollegesand to search for photos and other coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

SCOUTING THE FIELD - Cal State Bakersfield opened the season with a 1-1 record, with a 5-0 sweep over Irvine Valley College and a 3-2 loss to UCLA ... Grand Canyon is also 1-1, after splitting with Arizona Christian (W, 5-0) and Arizona (L, 3-2) last week at the Arizona Invitational ... #5 Hawaii, under the direction of Pepperdine men’s volleyball alum Scott Wong, is 3-0 in 2014 with wins over #10 Stanford (5-0), LMU (5-0) and #3 Long Beach State (3-2).

SERIES SCORECARD - Pepperdine is 3-0 all-time vs. Hawaii and 1-0 against Grand Canyon ... All four wins came by a 5-0 score ... The Waves have never faced Cal State Bakersfield in dual play.

LOOKING BACK - It was a clean sweep for the Waves during their season opener at Zuma Beach last week Saturday ... Pepperdine swept both Cal State Northridge and #2 USC, 5-0 ... Nine of the team’s 10 individual match victories came in straight sets ... In the lone three-set match, Victoria Adelhelm and Sophie Asprey stormed back from a 12-14 deficit in the third to win 17-15.

LOOKING AHEAD - Next week Pepperdine opens the week at #3 Long Beach State on Tuesday,  March 20 in the first meeting between the schools since the 2013 AVCA National Championship title match ... The Waves then host Loyola Marymount on Thursday, March 20 at Zuma Beach ... First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m.

ROSTER - Pepperdine boasts an experienced lineup made up of 10 student-athletes with at least one season of collegiate sand volleyball experience and four newcomers ... Five members of the 2014 squad were there in the beginning, when Pepperdine won the inaugural AVCA National Championship in 2012 ... Those student-athletes include Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS), Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS), Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS.).

#PURPOSE – Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built. 

ZUMA BEACH - The Waves call Zuma Beach “home,” practicing and hosting all home events at one of Malibu’s most picturesque locations. Courts are located just west of Point Dume, between Towers 2 & 3 or at the 29800 block of the Pacific Coast Highway

Nina Matthies - Nina Matthies’ retired from coaching the indoor game following the 2013 season and finishes her 31-season run with a career record of 590-343 (.632). In the span, Matthies led the Waves to 10 conference championships and 20 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC’s all-time winningest coach and is a 10-time WCC Coach of the Year. Matthies was among the world’s top players and is a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. In 2009, Dig Magazine rated her and former partner Linda Hanley as the second-best women’s beach team of all time. She won two AIAW national championships as a player at UCLA. In 2013, she was honored by her peers as the inaugural winner of the AVCA Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year award.

Marcio Sicoli Marcio Sicoli is in his third season assisting Matthies in the sand after just completing his sixth and final season on the sidelines for the indoor team. Sicoli is highly lauded for his approach to training and served as head coach for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings during their gold-medal run at the 2012 London Olympics. Sicoli also served as the assistant coach for the Brazilian Olympic Women’s Beach Volleyball Team from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, his team of Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede took home the silver medal in Athens.

JON DAZE - The Waves’ volunteer assistant coach was recently recognized as one of the AVCA’s Thirty Under 30 Award recipients ... He was the only volunteer assistant coach honored this year and just the second in the history of the award ... Established in 2009, the award honors emerging coaching talent younger than 30 years old at all levels of volleyball.

WHAT’S AN EMERGING SPORT? - Collegiate sand volleyball is an “emerging sport.” It has 10 years to gain the minimum 40 sponsoring institutions for two years in a row to be considered an NCAA Championship sport. Participation in sand volleyball has grown incrementally since the inaugural season in 2012, and more than 40 schools are expected to field programs this season. Such rapid growth makes sand volleyball the fastest-growing ‘Emerging Sport’ in NCAA history.

SAND VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball program has been at the forefront of the sport since it was introduced in 2012. The Waves went a perfect 14-0 in dual match play and won the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Team Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. Pepperdine’s Caitlin Racich -- the program’s first-ever scholarship recipient -- and partner Summer Ross took home the pairs national crown as well. In 2013, the Waves marched back to the national title match but fell 3-2 while playing shorthanded. The Waves boast a nation-best eight AVCA All-Americans: Lara Dykstra (2013), Lilla Frederick (2012, 13), Kim Hill (2012, 13), Racich (2012, 13) and Ross (2012). Hill stands as the first, and to date only, student-athlete to earn AVCA All-American first team honors in both indoor and sand volleyball in a single season. Racich is the only two-time AVCA All-American active in 2014.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports – one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat – and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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