Pepperdine to Face #19 Kentucky & Louisville at Bluegrass Battle

Samantha Cash

Sept. 11, 2013


MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team hits the road for the first time in 2013, traveling to Lexington, Ky. for the Bluegrass Battle. The Waves will be faced with a pair of tough opponents in #19 Kentucky and Louisville, which is currently receiving votes in the AVCA poll.

WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the women’s volleyball team on Twitter @PepperdineWVB ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Women’s Volleyball ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.

TICKETS - Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Admission to regular-season home events is free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. The Pepperdine All-Sports Pass includes admission to all 2013-2014 regular-season home athletics events at excluding all men’s basketball competitions.

NEXT BEST THING - Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams. WaveCasts broadcasts most home matches for free on your computer or for a monthly subscription on mobile devices. Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the schedule page. The Pepperdine mobile app is also available for iPhone, Android and iPad users. Download the free app today!

LOOKING BACK - The Waves earned their second-consecutive second place finish last weekend at the Pepperdine Invitational. Pepperdine took 3-1 decisions versus UC Santa Barbara and Virginia before falling in four sets to Colorado State. Samantha Cash (1.67 b/s), Taylor Racich (3.00 k/s, .342 %) and Katie Messing (3.83 k/s) were voted to the all-tournament team. Cash paced the entire tournament field with 20 total blocks.

ASICS CLASSIC RECAP - The Waves shut out Delaware and Iona before suffering a narrow 3-1 setback to Wisconsin in the ASICS Classic finale. Taylor Racich posted kills-digs double-doubles vs. the Badgers and Gaels, which included a career-best 15 dig effort against Iona. Ryann Chandler, an all-tournament selection, averaged 7.00 digs/set (21 total) in her collegiate debut vs. the Blue Hens, and ended the weekend with a 4.00 digs/set average. Kellie Woolever (11.70 assists/set; .316 team hit. %) and Katie Messing (3.29 kills/set) were also all-tournament selections

RETURNERS - Five student-athletes, all starters, return in 2013 in including seniors Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS) and Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif./Christian HS), juniors Samantha Cash (San Diego, Calif./Canyon Crest Academy) and Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) and sophomore Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS).

YOUTH MOVEMENT - Nine total newcomers were added to the roster this season, including seven freshmen. Rookies include outside hitters Jillian Bergeson (Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood HS) and Gabi Palmeri (Davis, Calif./St. Francis HS), middle blockers Brooke Honeycutt (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS ), Emma Fuzie (Carmel, Calif./Carmel HS) and Reegan Dennis (Newport Beach, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) and setters Ryann Chandler (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) and Monique Domme (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain HS). In addition to the freshmen, two transfers joined Pepperdine this season including setter Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif./Woodrow Wilson HS/UCLA) and middle blocker Olivia Okoro (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron HS/Tennessee). Okoro will redshirt in 2013.

NINA MATTHIES - Now in her 31st season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies’ career record currently stands at 579-334, which includes 11 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, 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. In May of 2013, she was honored as the inaugural winner of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year award. Matthies will be inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20. For more information on attending the Hall of Fame Ceremony, contact

IN THE RECORD BOOK - Kellie Woolever entered this season with 3,761 career assists, good enough for fifth place all-time at Pepperdine ...  With 118 assists this season, she needs just 123 more to overtake Lee Hoven (1984-87) for fourth place ... Woolever also is poised to rank in the top-10 in career hitting percentage and digs average ... Samantha Cash enters her junior campaign with a .322 hitting percentage, tied for eighth all-time …  Check out the complete program record book here.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves hit the road for the first time in 2013 next weekend, traveling to Lexington, Ky. for the Blue Grass Battle. Pepperdine faces Kentucky on Friday, Sept. 13, before taking on Louisville on Saturday, Sept. 14. Both the Wildcats and Cardinals are currently listed in the AVCA Top-25.

NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 0-2 all-time vs. Kentucky (last meeting in 1993) ... The Waves lost to Louisville 3-1 in the only meeting in 2004 ... The last time Pepperdine beat a ranked team was on Nov. 1, 2012 with a 3-1 win over #25 Saint Mary’s (Pep ranked #24 at the time) ... The last time an unranked Pepperdine team topped a ranked team was on Sept. 7, 2011 vs. UCLA ... The Bruins were undefeated at the time and went on to win the NCAA title. The Waves reached the NCAA Regional Final that same year and ended the season ranked #6 ... Pepperdine is 26-13 all-time in season openers after the win vs. Delaware ... Matthies celebrate her 900th match with the Waves on Nov. 1, 2012 vs. Saint Mary’s.

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 38 seasons, including 13 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 16 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. Nine players have earned AVCA or Volleyball Magazine All-American honors a combined 16 times, while six players have been dubbed the WCC Player of the Year nine total times.

SAND VOLLEYBALL NEWS - Summer Ross, who helped the Waves win both the team and individual titles at the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship, won the AVP Cincinnati Open on Monday. She and partner Emily Day entered the tournament as the No. 14 seed and beat No. 2-seeded pair Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik twice en route to the title. A week later, Ross and Day placed second at the AVP stop in Atlantic City.

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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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