Pepperdine Battles at Annual USAV Collegiate Challenge at Hermosa Beach

Becca Strehlow

April 10, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #2 Pepperdine sand volleyball team battles against a tough lineup of opponents this weekend at the annual USAV Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach. The Waves have been competing at this event dating back to 2009, before sand volleyball was even an ‘NCAA Emerging Sport.’

MATCH 12 - #2 Pepperdine (10-1) vs. Arizona (6-5) | Saturday, April 12 | 11 a.m. | Hermosa Beach

MATCH 13 - #2 Pepperdine vs. CSU Bakersfield (5-6)| Saturday, April 12 | 1 p.m. | Hermosa Beach

MATCH 14 - #2 Pepperdine vs. #3 Hawaii (13-2) | Saturday, April 12 | 3 p.m. | Hermosa Beach

PAIRS - A pairs championship will be contested on Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. ... Pairs from all eight schools in attendance will be divided into a Gold, Silver or Bronze bracket, based on dual lineup position.

DUAL DAY LOWDOWN - The eight squads competing at the USAV Collegiate Challenge, #1 USC, #2 Pepperdine, #3 Hawaii, #6 UCLA, Arizona, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara, will be divided up into two pools ... The teams will play everyone in their pool round robin style ... Different from last season, the winners of the two pools will not face off in a championship match at the conclusion of the day.

COVERAGE - Follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppSandVolley for available in-match updates and other news surrounding the team ... Use the hashtag #USAVSand to post and search for news on Twitter.

EVENT HISTORY - The Waves have experienced tremendous success in Hermosa Beach, even before sand volleyball was added to the NCAA’s list of emerging sports ... Lilla Frederick and Kiah Fiers won the pairs title in 2009, while Fiers and Caitlin Racich placed second a year later ... The Waves tied for first in the team standings with USC in 2010 ... Racich won alongside Kim Hill in 2011 before winning again with Summer Ross in 2012 -- the first season the event was “official” by NCAA standards ... Pepperdine won the team event in both 2011 and 2012 ... In 2013, the Waves edged Long Beach State 3-2 to win the team event ... Hill and Frederick won the gold pairs bracket, Kellie Woolever and Kelley Larsen placed second in the silver bracket, and Emily Cook and Katie Messing claimed victory in the bronze bracket.

HOME COOKIN’ - Senior Emily Cook, with a 9-1 record from the No. 4 spot in the lineup, could face her sister Allie this weekend ... Allie is a junior at Arizona and plays from the No. 4 and 5 positions for the Wildcats ... Lara Dykstra’s younger sister Skylar is a freshman on the UCLA squad, although it is not likely they will face each other ... Lara can usually be found playing at No. 1 or 2, while Skylar plays at No. 4 for the Bruins.

The Last Meeting
CSU Bakersfield0
March 14, 2014
Chula Vista, Calif.
#1 Waves Take Care of Business vs. Roadrunners
The #1 Pepperdine sand volleyball rolled past CSU Bakersfield 5-0 to open action at the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge at the Olympic Training Center. The Waves won all five matches in straight sets.

The Last Meeting
March 15, 2014
Chula Vista, Calif.

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

SCOUTING THE FIELD - Pepperdine faced both #3 Hawaii and CSU Bakersfield at the USAV Challenge in Chula Vista, and beat both squads by a 5-0 tally ... The Rainbow Wahine lost to USC 3-2 on March 19 but have posted nine-consecutive shutouts since.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine hosted Long Beach State last week at Zuma Beach and emerged with a 4-1 victory ... Kellie Woolever and Kelley Larsen avenged their sole loss in 2013, topping Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson in straight sets from the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine wraps up the 2014 regular season on April 19, hosting a doubleheader featuring Pacific and Saint Mary’s.

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 … He is currently training with 2016 Olympic hopefuls Walsh Jennings and April Ross.

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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