Women's Volleyball Takes Three-Match Win Streak into Pacific Northwest Road Swing

Katie Messing

Oct. 16, 2012

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MALIBU, Calif. - After emerging with three home victories last week, the #23 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team hits the road for West Coast Conference matches against Portland and Gonzaga. The Waves square off with the Pilots at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, before a noon matinee meeting with the Bulldogs on Saturday.

MATCH 22 - Thursday (Oct. 18) at Chiles Center: #23 Pepperdine (14-7, 3-4 WCC) at Portland (6-15, 0-7 WCC) at 7 p.m.

MATCH 21 - Saturday (Oct. 20) at Martin Centre: Pepperdine at Gonzaga (9-11, 1-6 WCC) at 12 p.m.

COVERAGE - Live stats will be available for both matches, while a free video broadcast will be provided for Thursday’s match vs. the Pilots. Links to all available coverage can be found on the Waves’ schedule page.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves went a perfect 3-0 last week, defeating Bucknell, San Francisco and Santa Clara inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Jazmine Orozco led the Waves with a 4.10 kills/set average last week, while Taylor Racich delivered a well-rounded performance with 2.42 kill/set, 0.83 aces/set and 0.92 blocks/set. Michaela Christiaansen and Victoria Adelhelm paced the defense with 4.00 digs/set and 1.27 blocks/set, respectively.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves return to Firestone Fieldhouse next week when they will host Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Oct. 25. The match will not only count for points in the PCH Cup standings, but it will serve as the team’s annual Dig Pink match in recognition of breast cancer awareness month.

PORTLAND - The Pilots are 6-15 overall and yet to win a conference match ... The Waves won the first match of the series 3-1 at home on Sept. 22 ... Autumn Wedan leads the squad with 3.03 kills/set ... Ariel Usher follows with 3.00 kills/set.

GONZAGA - The Bulldogs are 9-11 overall and 1-6 in league action ... The Zags lone WCC victory was against Portland ... Savannah Blinn is Gonzaga’s top offensive producer with 3.44 kill/set ... Blinn also averages 0.49 service aces/set.

RANKINGS - Pepperdine opened the 2012 campaign listed at a season-best #11 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-25 Preseason Poll and is currently sitting at #23 in the rankings. The Waves RPI is currently 30.

NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 736-429-2 all time and 306-77 in West Coast Conference play ... Nina Matthies is 567-327 and is in her 30th season at the helm ... Katie Messing’s next kill will be career No. 400.

DOUBLE UP - Jazmine Orozco and Taylor Racich have been consistently delivering both offensive and defensive support for Pepperdine ... Orozco has registered 10 kills-digs double doubles this season and has tallied at least 10 kills in the last 13 matches in which she played the entire match ... Racich has had four kills-digs double doubles this season, two of which were achieved last week vs. San Francisco and Santa Clara.

BEST OF THE WEST - Amongst the eight other WCC schools, Pepperdine averages the third most assists (13.41) ... The Waves are second in kills (14.45), second in hitting percentage (.251), fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.207), second in digs (15.45), fifth in blocks (2.24) and eighth aces (1.08).

SINGLED OUT - Victoria Adelhelm has the second highest hitting percentage (.394) in the West Coast Conference ... Adelhelm also ranks second in blocks (1.21) ... Kellie Woolever ranks third in assists (10.92) ... Michaela Christiaansen ranks sixth in digs (3.91) ... Jazmine Orozco ranks fifth in kills (3.61) ... Taylor Racich ranks tied for fourth in service aces (0.39).

Jazmine Orozco - Illinois transfer Jazmine Orozco has been the go-to offensive option for Pepperdine since day one and leads the team with 3.61 kills/set and is the only player to have reached the 20+ kill milestone in a match this season. On the defensive end she picks up 2.69 digs/set. 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 and NCAA Player of the Week on Sept. 18.

WCC/NCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Jazmine Orozco picked up the Waves’ first WCC Player of the Week award in 2012, on Sept. 17 after pacing the Waves with 4.25 kill/set and 3.33 kills/set during a four match 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. On Sept. 18, she earned NCAA Player of the Week honors, becoming the first player in program history to do so.

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 .394 (21st highest hitting percentage in NCAA) and ranks fourth on the team with a 2.32 kills/set average. She adds 1.21 blocks/set on defense and now ranks second all-time at Pepperdine with 414 career blocks. Against Cal State Fullerton, the senior pounded home 10 kills on 14 errorless attempts for a career-high .714 clip. She recently set a new season-bests with 15 kills vs. USD on Oct. 6 and nine blocks against Santa Clara on Oct. 13.

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 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 10.92 assists/set the southpaw proves to be a viable offensive threat as well with 1.41 kills/set while hitting .417. On defense, she picks up 3.18 digs/set and came one shy of her single match best with 25 digs against Arizona. On Oct. 3 against UC Santa Barbara, she achieved the kills-digs-assists triple double with 41 assists, 12 kills and 18 digs.

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 earned her first career double-double vs. Saint Mary’s on Sept. 27 with 13 kills and 11 digs and has since delivered three more double-doubles. She set a personal career-record with five aces vs. San Diego on Oct. 6 and since then has averaged 0.94 service aces/set.

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 2.56 kill/set through 54 sets played and most recently set a new career-best with 17 kills at Santa Clara (9/29).

PIN PLAYERS - Coach Nina Matthies has eight players at her disposal to play the outside and opposite side hitting positions. Jazmine Orozco has been a main-stay starter on the outside, while 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, with Racich emerging as the full time starter. Lexi Weldon and Natalie Riddering have provided support coming off the bench.

CHECK THE RECORD - Victoria Adelhelm currently ranks second all-time at Pepperdine with 414 blocks, and will likely stay in that spot. Sophia Milo ranks first all-time with 517 blocks ... Kellie Woolever has dished 3,244 assists to rank sixth ... 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 .331 ranks fifth ... With 142 blocks in 2011, Samantha Cash nearly set a new rally scoring era single-season record. Milo holds to top spot with 143 blocks in 2005.

HISTORY LESSON - Check out the complete Pepperdine women’s volleyball program’s record book online at: http://www.pepperdinesports.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/w-volley-media-guides.html

AGAINST TOP-25 - Pepperdine is 3-3 vs. opponents ranked in the AVCA top-25 in 2012. 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.

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).

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.

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.

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 569-327 (.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.

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



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