Waves Open WCC Season with Road Test at BYU on Thursday, Return Home on Saturday vs. Portland

Taylor Racich

Sept. 18, 2012

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MALIBU, Calif. - After winning the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup and finishing the preconference season with a 9-3 record, the #14 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team jumps head first into the West Coast Conference season, facing the undefeated and #16-ranked BYU on Thursday, Sept. 20. The Waves’ return to Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 22, and tangle with Portland.

MATCH 13 - Thursday (Sept. 20) at Smith Fieldhouse: #14 Pepperdine (9-3, 0-0 WCC) at #16 BYU (12-0, 0-0 WCC) at 7 p.m. (MT) Television: BYUtv

MATCH 14 - Saturday (Sept. 22) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Portland (6-8, 0-0 WCC) at #14 Pepperdine at 1 p.m.

COVERAGE - The Pepperdine vs. BYU match will air live on BYUtv as well as streamed live on www.byutvsports.com. A radio broadcast is also available on www.byuradio.org or on Sirius XM channel 143. Live stats are available for both the BYU and Portland matches and can be accessed through the women’s volleyball schedule page.

WAVECASTS - All Pepperdine women’s volleyball home matches, including Saturday’s vs. Portland, 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..

LOOKING BACK - In the grand finale of the preconference season, the Waves, ranked #18 at the time, faced four opponents – three of them ranked in the AVCA top-25 – in four days. After suffering a loss to then-#2 UCLA, Pepperdine rebounded with three consecutive 3-0 victories to win the Flo Hyman Colleigate Cup. On Friday, the Waves downed #11 Florida State and #21 Ohio State before sweeping Houston on Saturday. Jazmine Orozco posted kills-digs double-doubles in the three wins and was named not only the tournament MVP, but the WCC Player of the Week.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Jazmine Orozco picked up the Waves’ first WCC Player of the Week award in 2012, after pacing the Waves with 4.25 kill/set and 3.33 kills/set in four matches last week. The junior outside hitter notched 12 kills earned on a spectacular .417 clip in the loss to UCLA before registering double-doubles in all three of Pepperdine’s straight-set victories at the tournament in Houston. Orozco hit .330 (51 kills-15 errors-109 attacks) on the week, and becomes the Waves’ 53rd overall player of the week selection.

WEEKEND NOTABLES - In addition to Jazmine Orozco’s MVP status, Kellie Woolever and Victoria Adelhelm were named to the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup all-tournament team. Adelhelm ranked second behind Orozco with 2.78 kills/set and first on defense with 1.44 blocks/set. Woolever handed in an errorless 18-for-30 on the attack to hit a team-high .600, while distributing 11.11 assists/set and picking up 3.33 digs/set.

LOOKING FORWARD - Pepperdine hits the road for matches at Saint Mary’s (Sept. 27) and Santa Clara (Sept. 29) next week.

BYU - The Cougars are a perfect 12-0 after a flawless run through the tournament season. As a team, BYU ranks seventh in the NCAA and first in the WCC with 14.78 kills/set. Kathryn LeCheminant leads the league with a .438 hitting percentage while Jennifer Hamson ranks second in the WCC with 4.10 kills/set. Notable victories for BYU include Colorado State (3-1), Tennessee (3-1) and Wichita State (3-2). The Cougars have not lost as much as a set since Sept. 1 vs. the Lady Vols and have won the last six consecutive matches by a 3-0 decision.

PORTLAND - The Pilots are 6-8 entering Saturday’s match in Malibu. Although Portland has not defeated Pepperdine in the last 34 tries, they have battled the Waves to five sets in two of the last three matches. Autumn Wedan leads the Pilots with 3.24 kills/set (10th in the WCC), while Rachel Femling ranks eighth in the league with 0.95 blocks/set.

NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 731-425-2 all time and 303-73 in West Coast Conference play ... Nina Matthies is 564-323 and is in her 30th season at the helm ... The Waves have out-killed their opponents in all 11 of the 12 matches this season.

AGAINST TOP-25 - Pepperdine is 3-1 vs. opponents ranked in the AVCA top-25 in 2012. What’s more is that all three of the Waves’ wins have come in straight sets. Pepperdine has defeated Illinois, Florida State and Ohio State so far this season, and has match ups against top-25 teams in BYU and San Diego left on the schedule.

BEST OF THE WEST - Pepperdine averages the most assists (13.73) of any West Coast Conference school ... The Waves are ranked second in kills (14.70), second in hitting percentage (.258), fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.191), fifth in digs (15.00), fourth in blocks (2.10) and eighth aces (0.93). BYU is a numbers favorite in the league, pacing the WCC in kills (14.78), hitting percentage (.330), opponent hitting percentage (.144) and blocks (2.65).

SINGLED OUT - Victoria Adelhelm has the third highest hitting percentage (.421) in the West Coast Conference and 17th overall in the NCAA ... Adelhelm also ranks third in blocks (1.20) ... Kellie Woolever ranks third in assists (11.02) and eighth in digs (3.28) ... Michaela Christiaansen ranks seventh in digs (3.72) ... Jazmine Orozco ranks fifth in kills (3.67).

PEPPERDINE ASICS CLASSIC - The Waves won their annual home tournament 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).

RANKINGS - Pepperdine opened the 2012 campaign listed at #11 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-25 Preseason Poll and is currently sitting at #14 in the polls.

TOURNAMENT RECAP - In addition to first-place showings at the Pepperdine Asics Classic and the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup, the Waves placed second at the Dayton Flyer Classic and the Rams Volleyball Classic behind host schools Dayton and Colorado State, respectively. Kellie Woolever has earned all-tournament team honors at every event with the exception of the Asics Classic. Victoria Adelhelm was MVP of the Asics Classic and an all-tournament team member at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. Jazmine Orozco earned MVP status at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup and was an all-tournament team member at the Colorado State and Pepperdine tournaments. Michaela Christiaansen made the all-tournament team at the Asics Classic.

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 3.67 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 both the Pepperdine Asics Classic and Rams Volleyball Classic all-tournament teams and picked up MVP honors at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. She was named WCC Player of the Week on Sept. 17.

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 .421 -- third in the WCC and 17th in the NCAA -- and ranks second on the team with a 2.47 kills/set average. Against Cal State Fullerton, the senior pounded home 10 kills on 14 errorless attempts for a career-high .714 clip.

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 earned all tournament team honors at the Dayton Flyer Classic, Rams Volleyball Classic and Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. Not only does the junior average 11.02 assists/set -- second in the WCC and T-40th in the NCAA -- the southpaw proves to be a viable offensive threat as well with 1.29 kills/set while hitting .340. On defense, she picks up 3.28 digs/set and came one shy of her single match best with 25 digs 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. The freshman lefty leads the Waves with a 0.28 service ace/set average.

Katie Messing - Although sophomore Katie Messing has established herself as a front-row only offensive weapon, the outside hitter got to show her defensive chops on Sept. 1 vs. Arizona. Messing shattered her previous career high with 15 digs. Along with 13 kills, it was her first-ever double-double. Messing averages 2.68 kill/set through 26 sets played.

PIN PLAYERS - Coach Nina Matthies has eight players at her disposal to play the outside and opposite side hitting positions. So far in 2012, Jazmine Orozco has emerged as one of the starting outside hitters. Other players to have gotten the start on the left side are Katie Messing, Kelley Larsen and Emily Cook. Taylor Racich and Alyssa Mason have shared starting duties on the right side. Lexi Weldon and Natalie Riddering have provided support coming off the bench.

CHECK THE RECORD - Victoria Adelhelm currently ranks fouth all-time at Pepperdine with 371 blocks. With 377, the senior will move up into the third place ... Kellie Woolever has dished 2,855 assists to rank sixth. With 745 more assists, the junior takes over fifth place ... Adelhelm’s career hitting percentage entering her senior year as a Wave stood at .315 which counts as the seventh-highest clip all-time in Malibu. Her current career percentage of .328 ranks fifth ... 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.

Nina Matthies - Now in her 30th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies’ career record currently stands at 564-323 (.636), 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.

2012 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL - The Waves were picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference, behind Saint Mary’s and San Diego, who were tied for first in the vote. BYU was voted to finish fourth followed by San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, Portland and Gonzaga. Kellie Woolever and Samantha Cash were voted to the preseason all-conference team.

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.



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