Matthies Adds Talent to Indoor and Sand Volleyball Rosters

Gabriella Palmeri

Nov. 20, 2012

MALIBU, Calif.Nina Matthies, head coach of both the indoor and sand volleyball teams at Pepperdine, announced the addition of four student-athletes to her 2013-14 rosters. Jillian Bergeson, Ryann Chandler and Gabriella Palmeri have signed national letters-of-intent and will join the Waves’ indoor squad in 2013, while Delaney Knudson is the sand program’s first-ever NLI signee.

“We have a lot of fantastic kids coming to Pepperdine in 2013-14,” boasted Matthies of her newcomers. “They are an enthusiastic, vocal, athletic group. That’s really exciting as a coach.

“Off the court they are all smart, dedicated students. Each one really epitomizes what it means to be a ‘student-athlete.’”

Bergeson (Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood HS) and Palmeri (Davis, Calif./Saint Francis HS) will come to Malibu as outside hitters, while Chandler (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) will add depth at the setting position.

Knudsen (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) goes down as a member of the sand volleyball programs’ first recruiting class.

The Waves will lose just one indoor player in 2013 to graduation in middle blocker Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian HS). The four-year starter will go down in the Pepperdine annuals ranked No. 2 all-time in career blocks and in the top-10 in career hitting percentage.

Knudsen will join sand-only student-athletes Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS), Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian HS). The trio of sand veterans were instrumental in leading the Waves to the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship title back in the spring of 2012. Racich, Frederick and Hill were all named to the sport’s first-ever AVCA All-American class.



The Waves’ indoor team wraps up the regular season tonight, with a 4 p.m. match against North Dakota State. The NCAA Tournament begins with the first and second rounds next weekend, Dec. 1-2, and the selection show is scheduled for 1 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, Nov. 25 on ESPNU.

Jillian Bergeson
Friendswood, Texas | Friendswood HS | AVA of Texas
Outside Hitter | 6-2

Named to the 2012 UIL Volleyball State All-Tournament Team as selected by the Texas Girls Coaches Association Volleyball Committee … 2012-13 AVCA Under Armour Second Team All-America … Reached the semifinals of the Class 4A state volleyball championship … Paced the Mustangs with 30 kills and 23 digs in the state semifinal … Named the Houston Chronicle Girls Athlete of the Week after putting down 49 kills to go with 34 digs in two matches at the Class 4A Region III tournament, leading the Mustangs to the title and state berth … Ranked #90 on’s Senior Aces list … Also a standout basketball player at Friendswood … Plays club ball for the Absolute Volleyball Academy of Texas.

Matthies on Bergeson: “Jillian is a highly touted player in Texas and is used to being the go-to person on the court for both her high school and club teams. She has got a great jump and arm, and can pass and play defense. She’s a quick player so she’s going to be fun to watch and coach.”

Ryann Chandler
Del Mar, Calif. | Torrey Pines HS | Wave Volleyball Club
Setter/Defensive Specialist | 5-9

Notes: Palomar League second-team selection in 2011 … Earned all-tournament honors at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions in 2010 … Durango Fall Classic all-tournament team in 2012 … Plays for the Wave Volleyball Club … Most recently placed seventh in the 17-and-under open division at the USAV Junior Nationals … Spent the summer of 2009 playing with the Southern California High Performance team … Mentioned on the Under Armour High School All-American watch list … Father, Chris Chandler, played football for Washington and later played in the NFL for 17 seasons … Mother, Diane, played tennis at USC … Grandfather, John Brodie, played for the San Francisco 49ers for 17 seasons … Has an uncle who played tennis at California and later went on to play and coach at the professional level.

Chandler on Pepperdine: “I chose Pepperdine because right when I got to campus for the first time, I instantly fell in love with it. Ultimately, it was the environment, the coaching staff and the team that truly sold me”

Matthies on Chandler: “Ryann is a tremendous volleyball player, very competitive, and a true team player. She is going to come in and compete with (Waves’ setter) Kellie (Woolever) and learn from her. She’s capable of contributing in other spots besides setting and is going to be a great asset to both the indoor and sand teams.”

Delaney Knudsen
Valencia, Calif. | Valencia HS
Sand Volleyball | 5-10 

Notes: An accomplished sand and indoor player … As an indoor player, was voted an All-Foothill League first team member in 2011 … First-team All-SCSA in 2011 … Foothill League Player of the Year in 2011 … Picked up the all-tournament award at the La Jolla Beach City Invitational and the Redondo Power Classic … Has held a AAA rating in the California Beach Volleyball Association rankings since the age of 16 … Most recently finished third in September’s Santa Cruz Open … Father, Mark, played and coached indoor volleyball at UCLA and also was a long-time boys’ volleyball coach at Valencia High School … Both parents played beach volleyball professionally.

Knudsen on Pepperdine: “Playing sand volleyball is my favorite thing and the opportunity to be a part of a national championship program with such amazing coaches is a dream come true.”

Matthies on Knudsen: “I’m really excited about my first sand volleyball recruiting class. Delaney is a very focused young lady and has set lofty goals for herself. I’m excited to be a part of her future and help her fulfill some of those goals. Her work ethic is amazing and she is going to be an incredible leader for our young kids.”

Gabriella Palmeri
Davis, Calif. | Saint Francis HS | Northern California Volleyball Club
Outside Hitter | 6-0

Notes: Two-time Delta-River League Most Valuable Player … Two-time Delta-River League first-time selection … Sacramento Bee Rising Star … Led high school team in both kills and blocks as a junior and as a senior … Ranked #67 on’s Senior Aces list … Won a silver medal at the USAV Junior Nationals in the 16 National division, and was named to the all-tournament team … Captured the bronze medal in the 18 National division … Member of the 2010 USA Volleyball Girls Youth A2 team … Was invited to the Youth National Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Palmeri on Pepperdine: “Pepperdine is perfect environment for athletic competiveness and intellectual growth. The option to study abroad, the amazing coaches, and the unbeatable location were important positive features I considered while making my decision.”

Matthies on Palmeri: “Gaby is a terrific outside hitter. She has the potential to come in and make an immediate impact on the team. She has a tremendous amount of club experience – winning experience – and could become an integral part of the starting lineup. It will be a step up for her in college, but not a huge step. Gaby and Jill are polar opposites in terms of playing style and they should complement each other very well on the court.”

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