Waves Clash with Rams, Aggies and Golden Panthers
Pepperdine looks to win its second-straight tournament at the Rams Volleyball Classic this weekend.
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team, ranked #12 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, plays Colorado State, New Mexico State and Florida International this weekend, Sept. 7-8, at the Rams Volleyball Classic in Fort Collins, Colo. The Waves placed second at their first tournament of the season, the Dayton Flyer Classic, before winning the Pepperdine Asics Classic last weekend.
MATCH 6 - Friday (Sept. 7) at Moby Arena: #12 Pepperdine (4-1, 0-0 WCC) at Colorado State (4-3, 0-0 Mountain West) at 6 p.m. (PT)
MATCH 7 - Saturday (Sept. 8) at Moby Arena: #12 Pepperdine vs. New Mexico State (5-1, 0-0 WAC) at 10 a.m. (PT)
MATCH 8 - Saturday (Sept. 8) at Moby Arena: #12 Pepperdine vs. Florida International (2-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) at 4 p.m.
COVERAGE - Live stats will be available for all three of the Waves’ matches. Additionally, a free audio and fee-based video broadcast is scheduled for Friday’s match against Colorado State. For links to all available media, results and more, visit the Tournament Central.
GRAND FINALE - The final week of the preconference schedule could prove to be the toughest for Pepperdine. The Waves open the week with a Wednesday night match at #3 UCLA, before challenging #6 Florida State, Ohio State (rv) and Houston at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Sept. 14-15.
PEPPERDINE ASICS CLASSIC - The Waves won their annual home tournament last weekend with wins over Cal State Fullerton and Arizona. Victoria Adelhelm was named Most Valuable Player after averaging 2.75 kills/set earned on a staggering .611 hitting percentage. The senior additionally led the team with 1.12 blocks/set. Jazmine Orozco (4.25 k/s, .307 hit. %) and Michaela Christiaansen (4.12 d/s) were named to the all-tournament team. Pepperdine also got A+ performances from Kellie Woolever (11.25 a/s, 5.38 d/s) and Taylor Racich (3.57 k/s).
COLORADO STATE - The Rams are 4-3 after going 0-3 at the Shocker Volleyball Classic. Colorado State, ranked #24 at the time, lost to Wichita Sate, #14 Tennessee and BYU before rebounding with a 3-1 home victory against Oklahoma. CSU owns a 4-0 home record this season, having won its first tournament of the year in Moby Arena with wins against Virginia, Denver and Rhode Island. Dana Cranston paces the offense with 3.46 kills/set while Megan Plourde, who recently tallied career-block No. 500, has averaged 1.50 blocks/set this season.
NEW MEXICO STATE - The Aggies are 5-1 in 2012, with their only loss coming to Northwestern last Saturday. New Mexico State won the Northern Illinois tournament, defeating not only the hosting Huskies, but also Wichita State and North Dakota State. Meredith Hays is by far the favorite offensive weapon for New Mexico State, averaging 4.67 kills/set. Hays has taken nearly 100 more attempts than Preslie Alexander, who averages 2.54 kills/set. The Aggies’ defense is led by Desiree Scott, who averages 1.21 blocks/set.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL - FIU comes into the tournament 2-4 after facing some tough in-state competition. Both of FIU’s victories have come against Florida A&M. The Panthers’ offense is averaging 11.62 kills/set and is led by senior outside hitter Marija Prsa (3.57 k/s). Prsa also helps anchor the defense with a team-leading 2.86 digs/set.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine opened the 2012 campaign listed at #11 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-25 Preseason Poll and is currently sitting at #12 in the polls.
NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 726-423-2 all time and 303-73 in West Coast Conference play ... Nina Matthies is 559-321 and is in her 30th season at the helm ... The Waves have out-killed their opponents in all five matches this season.
BEST OF THE WEST - Pepperdine averages the most kills (14.56) and digs (15.94) of any West Coast Conference school. The Waves rank third in hitting percentage (.244), second in opponent hitting percentage (.160), second in assists (13.28), fifth in blocks (2.17) and seventh in service aces (1.00).
SINGLED OUT - Victoria Adelhelm by far has the highest hitting percentage (.500) in the West Coast Conference ... Adelhelm also ranks second in blocks (1.28) ... Kellie Woolever ranks third in assists (11.06) and seventh in digs (3.83) ... Michaela Christiaansen ranks sixth in digs (3.89) ... Jazmine Orozco ranks seventh in kills (3.39).
DAYTON FLYER CLASSIC RECAP - The Waves had a solid start to 2012, shutting out Ohio and #7 Illinois in three sets before suffering a 3-1 set back to Dayton. Victoria Adelhelm was named to the all-tournament team after registering a team-best 2.70 kills/set, a .420 hit. % and 1.40 blocks/set. Kellie Woolever, with 10.90 assists/set and 2.60 digs/set, was also voted to the all-tournament team.
Victoria Adelhelm - Senior Victoria Adelhelm, who has been in the starting lineup since her freshman year in 2009, has put her veteran status on display in 2012 and has played at a consistently high level the entire season. She’s hitting a WCC-leading .500 and ranks second on the team with a 2.72 kills/set average. Against Cal State Fullerton, the senior pounded home 10 kills on 14 errorless attempts for a career-high .714 clip. In fact, Adelhelm did not commit a single attacking error all weekend. Adelhelm’s last miscue was during the third set of the Dayton Match on Aug. 25.
Jazmine Orozco - Illinois transfer Jazmine Orozco has made a huge impact for Pepperdine in her short time with the Waves. She leads the team with 3.39 kill/set and is the only player to have reached the 20+ kill milestone in a single match this season. Orozco tallied a tied-for-career-best 21 kills vs. Arizona. She was voted to the Pepperdine Asics Classic All-Tournament Team.
Kellie Woolever - Junior Kellie Woolever is back for her third season as the Waves’ starting setter. Dubbed “one of the best setters in the country” by Matthies, Woolever was an All-WCC preseason selection in 2012. She picked up AVCA All-American and All-Pacific Region honorable mention accolades, and was an All-WCC first team pick in as a sophomore 2011. She was named to the Dayton Flyer Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 10.90 assists/set and 2.60 digs/set. This past weekend at the Asics’ Classic, she averaged over 11.38 assists/set and 5.38 digs/set, including a 25-dig performance against Arizona.
Taylor Racich - Freshman Taylor Racich made her first start of the season against Cal State Fullerton and did not disappoint. From the right side, Racich paced the Waves with 17 kills earned on a blazing .438 (17 kills-3 errors-32 attempts) hitting percentage. The freshman added five digs and five blocks for a match-high 19.5 points. In the follow-up match against Arizona, Racich came through with a clutch kill and service ace in back-to-back points to help lift Pepperdine to a 15-12 win in the fifth and deciding set.
Samantha Cash - Middle blocker Samantha Cash had a phenomenal rookie season in 2011. She ranked second in the West Coast Conference with a season average of 1.18 blocks/set. Counting only league matches, Cash tied for first with 1.40 blocks/set. Her hitting percentage of .343 finished in fourth place amongst all WCC student-athletes and was by far highest of all the freshmen. She was voted WCC Freshman of the Year -- the Waves’ first since the 2008 season and 11th overall. Her season block total of 142 fell just two rejections shy of setting a new rally scoring era single-season record at Pepperdine. Prior to the start of the 2012 campaign, Cash was voted to the All-WCC preseason team.
CHECK THE RECORD - Victoria Adelhelm currently ranks ninth all-time at Pepperdine with 346 blocks. With 349, the senior will move up into the eight spot and 353 would move her to seventh place ... Kellie Woolever has dished 2,613 assists to rank seventh. With 70 more assists, the junior takes over sixth place ... Adelhelm’s career hitting percentage entering her senior year as a Wave stands at .315 which counts as the seventh-highest clip all-time in Malibu ... With 142 blocks in 2011, Samantha Cash nearly set a new rally scoring era single-season record. Sophia Milo holds to top spot with 143 blocks in 2005.
SOCIAL HUB - There are several ways to interact with the Waves online. Fans can follow the women’s volleyball team on Twitter @PepperdineWVB and “like” the team on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Volleyball. You can follow “PepperdineWaves” on Instagram, or subscribe to “Pepperdine Athletics” on YouTube. Visit PepperdineSports.com for the Waves’ complete social media directory.
WAVECASTS - All Pepperdine women’s volleyball home matches are broadcast live and for FREE via WaveCasts. In addition to live broadcasts, WaveCasts also offers a large selection of game highlights, interviews, features and more!
TICKETS - Single-session prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine home sporting events, with the exception of men’s basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.
Nina Matthies - Now in her 30th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies’ career record currently stands at 559-321 (.635), which includes 11 conference championships and 19 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC’s all-time winningest coach and is a 10-time WCC Coach of the Year, most recently winning the award in 2011. 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.
OLYMPIC CONNECTION - Pepperdine assistant coach Marcio Sicoli guided Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings to an unprecedented third gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012. He follows in the footsteps of the Waves’ Troy Tanner, who was May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings’ coach in 2008. In fact, a coach with Pepperdine ties has directed a gold-medal winning beach team at three of the last four Olympics.
2011 RECAP - The Waves had a banner year in 2011, finishing the season with a 25-7 record and ranked #6 in the final AVCA Coaches’ Poll. After winning the WCC title with a 15-1 record, Pepperdine played host to the NCAA first and second rounds. Pepperdine shut out Missouri State and North Carolina, before blanking Kansas State in the regional semifinals in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Waves nearly upset top-ranked USC in the regional final, but the Trojans escaped with a narrow 3-2 victory. Kim Hill was named an AVCA first team All-American, while Kellie Woolever earned a mention on the honorable mention squad. Pepperdine reaped several conference awards, including a WCC Player of the Year in Hill and a Freshman of the Year in Samantha Cash. All-WCC first team honors were given to Hill, Cash, Woolever and Lilla Frederick, while Stevi Robinson was voted to the honorable mention squad. Cash and Katie Messing were named to the WCC All-Freshman squad.
SAND VOLLEYBALL - In the inaugural season of collegiate sand volleyball, Pepperdine was unmatched among the first set of schools to adopt the NCAA emerging sport. Led by former beach great Nina Matthies, the Waves steamrolled the competition and posted a 14-0 overall record. At the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., the Waves posted wins in the double-elimination team event over College of Charleston and Long Beach State twice. It was Pepperdine’s 12th national championship by its teams, but first by a women’s program. Lilla Frederick, Kim Hill, Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross were named All-Americans. Racich and Ross won the pairs title a day later, fighting off three match points in the third and final set to beat the 49ers’ Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke.
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 enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. 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 #55 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.