Pepperdine Derails #8 UCLA in Five Set Thriller
Kim Hill tags down a career-best 24 kills in upset win over #8 UCLA.
Sept. 7, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's volleyball team got its four-match week off to a fantastic start, handing #8-ranked UCLA its first loss of the season. The Waves (4-2) got an All-American performance out of senior Kim Hill, who pegged down career-high 24 kills while picking up 10 digs.
"Kim really stepped up and played the way we know she is capable of," praised head coach Nina Matthies after the win. "Tonight she played the way a senior and two-time All-American should."
Hill (Portland, Ore./Portland Christian) took 57 swings tonight against the Bruins, and finished the night with a solid .281 hitting percentage.
Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif./Cornelia Connelly HS) was another top contributor for Pepperdine with 14 kills and 13 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.
"Lilla is just steady, and has been all season long," continued Matthies.
In addition to Frederick and Hill, two other players reached double digits in digs for the Waves. Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Costa Mesa HS) led the team with 14, while Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge HS) dug up 10. Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) collected nine digs, while quarterbacking the offense with 49 assists.
Rachael Kidder led UCLA with 25 kills, nine digs and five blocks.
The Waves got off to a bit of a slow start in set one, but recovered and kept the score close the duration of the frame. After falling behind by four points in the early going, Pepperdine rallied to take the lead 14-13 following a Bruin attack error. UCLA kept the pressure on with some momentum-killing blocks, however, and were able to claim the first set 25-21.
The roles reversed in set two, as the Waves were the ones to claim the early advantage. With the home team holding a 14-10 lead, the Bruins went on a 6-3 run to tie the set at 17. From there it was anybody's match, as neither team was able to build a lead larger than two points. UCLA appeared to be on its way to taking a 2-0 lead after scoring four unanswered points to go up 22-20, but the Waves kept their composure and scored on four consecutive plays to give themselves a double match point.
The advantage was erased by the relentless Bruins, but Hill and Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) came up with back-to-back kills to give Pepperdine the 26-24 win.
Samantha Cash (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy), who finished the evening with 11 kills and six blocks, delivered three put aways on four swings and three blocks in the second set alone.
The trading of the lead continued in the third set, but it was UCLA's proficient hitting that won the visitors set three. Although the Waves nailed down 16 kills, their eight attack errors proved to be costly. Led by Kidder's eight kills, the Bruins totaled 12 put aways in the stanza and fired just two miscues to win 25-21.
Pepperdine returned the favor, and hit for a .325 clip in the fourth set compared to UCLA's .220 hitting percentage. The game remained in the balance until Frederick took to the service line. Her laser shot serves kept the Bruins out of system, and allowed the Waves to take a 17-13 lead. Although UCLA threaten to overtake the Waves' lead, Pepperdine maintained the advantage to take set four 25-20.
In their first five-set battle of the season, the Waves got off to a rough start and found themselves down 5-1. Despite the setback, Pepperdine battled for ever point and got back in the set. Down 10-7, Frederick posted a kill that would lead to two more unanswered points to knot the score at 10. Two remarkable digs from Robinson ultimately set up an opportunity for Hill to put the ball away and give Pepperdine its first lead of the set. Five side outs later and tied at 13, Woolever took advantage of a free ball and dished a perfect set to Cash, who was credited with the kill.
At match point, Hill took to the line to serve up a ball that Bruin reserve Bojana Todorvic handled nicely to setter Lauren Van Orden. Van Orden went to outside hitter Kidder, who had already stifled the Waves' defense with 25 kills. Kidder was denied this time, however, as Woolever and Cash teamed up for a block that punctuated the 15-13 win.
Other notable performances for the Waves included middle blocker Victoria Adelhelm (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Santa Fe Christian), who posted eight kills and five blocks, and Messing, who concluded her evening with six put aways.
There's no let up for Pepperdine, as they travel to Dayton, Ohio for the Flyers Classic on Sept. 9-10. The slate includes tangles with #23 Dayton, #20 Michigan and #24 Florida State.
Post Match Notes: Pepperdine is 701-417-2 all time ... Stevi Robinson overtook Carolyn Hueth for second place in the Pepperdine annuls in the career digs category tonight. With 1,379, Robinson needs just 26 more to take over the top spot ... The last time Pepperdine defeated UCLA was on Oct. 24, 2004 when the unranked Waves defeated the #12 Bruins 3-2 ... The last time the Waves defeated a top-10 ranked team was on Nov. 25, 2003 when #4-ranked Pepperdine topped #7 UCLA 3-2 ... Since 1982, Pepperdine has defeated top-10 ranked opponents four times without being ranked themselves.