Waves Faced with Two Ranked Opponents in this Week's WCC Road Trip

Katie Messing

Oct. 28, 2013


MALIBU, Calif. - Perhaps the toughest road trip of the season is in store for the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team this week, with matches at #8 San Diego and #21 BYU. The Waves have momentum on their side, however, coming off of two come-from-behind victories against Gonzaga and Portland last week inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

HALL OF FAME – Head coach Nina Matthies was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20, making her the first women’s volleyball coach in school history to be enshrined. Matthies shared several anecdotes of wisdom in her acceptance speech, telling the crowd that “Today is always a good day” and to “Always be yourself, and know that it is good enough.” Matthies went on to thank her husband, Dan, her sons, Marty and Morgan, and the rest of her family and friends. To watch Matthies’ tribute video, as well as a recap of the event, click here.

#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. To learn more about the campaign, click here.

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.

NEXT BEST THING - Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineSports.com 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 – Pepperdine fell behind 0-2 vs. Gonzaga before clawing its way back to force a fifth set ... Although the Bulldogs held leads of 10-6 and 13-11, the Waves made key plays down the stretch to win 15-13 ... Katie Messing paced the match with 20 kills. Taylor Racich nailed down four kills in set five, all after the Waves fell behind 6-10, to bring her match total to 15 ... Although Portland came out hot and won the first set 25-16 on Saturday, the Waves bounced back to win 25-11, 25-23, 25-19 to come back within one match of .500 in WCC play.

NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine holds a 39-22 all-time record vs. the Toreros, including 15-13 at San Diego ... USD has won the last three meetings, however, and 12 of the last 19 ... The Waves are 7-15 against BYU and have a 2-2 record when playing in Provo ... The last time the Waves won at BYU was during the 2011 season ... Matthies celebrate her 900th match with the Waves on Nov. 1, 2012 vs. Saint Mary’s.

COMEBACK QUEENS - The “never-say-die” Waves were the comeback queens of the Bluegrass Battle. Back in September vs. #19 Kentucky, Pepperdine rallied from a 12-16 deficit in set one to win 26-24. They did so again in set three, scoring eight unanswered points to win 25-23 after finding themselves down 17-23. Against Louisville, the Waves found themselves in danger of going five sets after the Cardinals took a 24-22 lead in set four. Pepperdine put down four consecutive kills to clinch the set and match 26-24. A week later, they stormed back from down 9-16 vs. San Francisco to win the set 26-24. Most recently, Pepperdine rallied back from an 0-2 deficit to beat Gonzaga 3-2 (including setbacks of 6-10 and 11-13 in set five).

THE LAST TIME - The last time Pepperdine came back from down 0-2 in the match to win 3-2 was Sept. 22, 2011 at Portland (Waves ranked #19 at the time) ... Before that the Waves' last 0-2 comeback was on Oct. 26, 2004 when the unranked Waves def. #12 UCLA 24-30, 28-30, 30-24, 33-31, 15-11.

STREAKING - Katie Messing has reached double-digit kill totals 15 of the last 16 matches ... Messing has pounded down 10 or more kills in 16 of her season’s 18 starts ... Jillian Bergeson has collected at least 10 digs in her eight starts as libero, including four 20+ digs performances.

TOURNAMENT SEASON - The Waves placed second at both the Asics Classic and Pepperdine Invitational to open 2013. In both instances, Pepperdine won its first two matches before falling 3-1 in the finales. Katie Messing earned all-tournament status at both events. Kellie Woolever and Ryann Chander earned all-tournament nods at the Asics Classic, while Taylor Racich and Samantha Cash received accolades at the Pepperdine Invitational.

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 586-340, 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 was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20.

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.  Check out the complete program record book here.

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, followed by a tie for first (finals canceled due to weather) in St. Petersburg, Fla.  She is currently competing on the FIVB Tour.

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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have 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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