Waves Wrap Regular Season at Zuma Beach on Saturday

Caitlin Racich

April 17, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #2 Pepperdine sand volleyball team concludes the 2014 regular season this Saturday, April 19 at Zuma Beach. The Waves host Pacific at 10 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. dual vs. #6 Saint Mary’s. This will be Pepperdine’s final opportunity to impress before the AVCA makes their national championship selections on Monday, April 21.

MATCH 15 - #2 Pepperdine (13-1) vs. #6 Saint Mary’s (10-0) | Saturday, April 19 | 10 a.m. | Zuma Beach

MATCH 16 - #2 Pepperdine vs. Pacific (8-1) | Saturday, April 19 | 11 a.m. | Zuma Beach

COVERAGE - Follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppSandVolley for available in-match updates and other news surrounding the team.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SELECTIONS - The AVCA will announce the six teams selected to compete at the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships on Monday, April 21 ... The championships return to Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 2-4.

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.

SENIOR SEND OFF - It will be the last time competing on the sand of Zuma Beach for fifth year seniors Victoria Adelhelm and Caitlin Racich ... Both were members of the inaugural team that took home the AVCA National Championship in 2012 ... Racich additionally was the first-ever pairs national champion, along with 2012 partner Summer Ross ... Adelhelm enters this week with 55 career victories, while Racich currently ranks No. 1 at Pepperdine with 74.

SCOUTING THE FIELD - Pacific is 8-1 as it heads into its first trip to Southern California this season ... The Tigers’ only loss is to Saint Mary’s, also the only ranked opponent Pacific has faced in 2014 ... SMC owned the NorCal competition, going a perfect 10-0 to climb to #6 in the AVCA rankings ... The Gaels face #5 Long Beach State on Thursday before engaging the #2 Waves on Saturday ... This is also Saint Mary’s first trip to SoCal for sand volleyball competition this season.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine had a solid outing at last weekend’s USAV Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach ... The Waves swept their pool, shutting out Arizona, CSU Bakersfield and #3 Hawaii 5-0 ... Sunday’s pairs championship was divided into four brackets based on lineup position ... Kellie Woolever and Kelley Larsen finished runner-up in the gold bracket, Becca Strehlow and Lara Dykstra reached the semifinals of the silver bracket, Victoria Adelhelm and Sophie Asprey won the bronze bracket, and Taylor Racich and Samantha Cash were crowned winners in the copper bracket.

LOOKING AHEAD - The 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship will take place in Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 2-4.

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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