Women's Volleyball Opens Season with Pepperdine Asics Classic

Pepperdine Seniors, Cash, Brown and Messing
Aug. 28, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The 2014 edition of the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team will open the season this weekend with the annual Pepperdine Asics Classic. Troy Tanner, who took over as head coach in January after 31-year veteran Nina Matthies stepped down to focus solely on coaching sand volleyball, embarks on his first year at the helm on Friday at 7 p.m. when the Waves host South Alabama.

Match 1: Pepperdine vs. South Alabama | August 29 | 7 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse | Malibu, Calif.  

Match 2: Pepperdine vs. Nevada | August 30 | 12 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse | Malibu, Calif.

Match 3: Pepperdine vs. Oral Roberts| August 30 | 7 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse | Malibu, Calif.

TICKETS: Each session (Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night) costs $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Tickets are free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID.

Promotions: The first 300 fans in attendance on Friday will receive the 2014 official volleyball game day t-shirt. Attend Saturday night’s match to participate in a Twitter photo contest for a chance to win an Asics jacket and shoes.

LIVE COVERAGE:  All 12 of the Waves’ home matches will be aired live -- 11 for free online via WaveCasts and one on ESPNU. Veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein returns in 2014 to serve as the voice of the Waves on WaveCasts. Additionally, several of Pepperdine’s away matches can be watched online and free of charge at TheW.tv, the official online station of the West Coast Conference. Want more coverage? Follow @PepperdineWVB on Twitter for live in-match updates. Live stats will also be available for all Pepperdine contests. Information and links to available coverage can always be found by visiting the Pepperdine women’s volleyball schedule page on PepperdineSports.com.

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: South Alabama, Nevada and Oral Roberts will all be in attendance at the 2014 Pepperdine Asics Classic. Head to the Tournament Central page (http://gowav.es/2014paclassic) for full tournament schedules, box scores and more!

A LOOK AT 2014: Pepperdine returns eight player from last year’s squad, including five starters, while bringing in six newcomers (four freshmen, one transfer, one redshirt) ... The Waves’ roster features three seniors, two juniors, five sophomores and four freshman ... The Waves return three of their top-five scorers from 2013 including senior outside hitter Katie Messing (2013: 3.54 kills/set, 2.25 digs/set), senior middle blocker Samantha Cash (2013: 2.29 kills/set, 1.31 blocks/set) and Becca Strehlow (2013: 10.25 assists/set, 1.04 kills/set, 0.90 blocks/set) ... Pepperdine will have to make up for the loss of Kelley Larsen (2013: 2.73 kills/set) and Taylor Racich (2.59 kills/set) ... For a more in-depth look at the team, check out the season outlook (http://gowav.es/1ryBk2g).

WCC PRESEASON POLL: Pepperdine was voted fourth in the annual WCC Preseason Coaches Poll ... The Waves picked up 53 points ... BYU was a unanimous No. 1 pick by the nine opposing coaches ... Pepperdine placed two student-athletes on the preseason All-WCC team, including senior middle blocker Samantha Cash and junior setter Becca Strehlow ... The Waves were one of three schools to place two players on the preseason team, joining BYU and Saint Mary’s.

LOOKING BACK: Pepperdine finished the 2013 season with a 15-11 record and tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference with a 9-9 record. Although the Waves graduated starters Kellie Woolever (Setter/DS) and Kelley Larsen (OH), the team returns the core starting lineup to the 2014 roster. Starters from last season include Becca Strehlow (S), Samantha Cash (MB), Katie Messing (OH) and Brooke Honeycutt (MB). Jillian Bergeson, who served as libero in 2013, also returns and is expected to contribute as an outside hitter.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Waves tournament season includes visits to UC Irvine, Creighton and Arizona State ... Next week, Pepperdine competes at the UC Irvine Invitational, facing the Anteaters, Utah State and Idaho.

NOTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine opens its 40th season as a program with a 757-44-2 all-time record ... The Waves are 320-90 all-time in 29 seasons of WCC play ... Pepperdine is 333-120 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

CHECK THE RECORD: Samantha Cash enters her senior campaign already ranked 10th in Pepperdine program history with 330 career blocks ... Cash is 19 blocks away from overtaking ninth place from Nicole Sanderson and likely to rank in the top-three by the end of the season ... Katie Messing enters her final season with 813 career kills and is on track to become the 17th Wave to reach the 1,000 kills milestone.

Troy Tanner: Pepperdine men’s volleyball alum Troy Tanner enters his first season with the Waves in 2014 ... Tanner was a three-time All-American as a player, and helped lead the 1985 Waves to the NCAA championship title ... Tanner went on to win a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul as part of the U.S. Men’s National Team ... Prior to coaching at Pepperdine, Tanner served coaching stints at TStreet Volleyball Club and BYU.

HAPPY (SEMI) RETIREMENT: Nina Matthies, head coach for the Waves since 1983, stepped down as head coach of the indoor volleyball team following the 2013 season. Matthies remains on staff, however, as coach of Pepperdine’s two-time national championship winning sand volleyball team. Matthies ended her 31-tenure with a 590-343 (.632) overall record and a conference record of 320-90 (.780).

INDOOR VOLLEYBALL HISTORY: The Pepperdine women’s volleyball program is synonymous with the word excellence, as the Waves are a perennial national power. The Waves have advanced to postseason play 27 times in 39 seasons, including 13 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 17 seasons. Pepperdine’s best finishes in recent years came when the team made the regional final of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and again in 2011. Ten players have earned AVCA or Volleyball Magazine All-American honors a combined 19 times, while six players have been dubbed the WCC Player of the Year nine total times.

#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.

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 17 schools to have accomplished this feat — and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment, is the only school without football and is the only university that has not been affiliated with a “major” conference. The Waves have won a total of 23 team or individual national championships in their history. Pepperdine has also 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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