Women's Volleyball Hosts Saint Mary's and Pacific

Samantha Cash

Nov. 5, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. - Just three more home matches are left for the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team, including contests vs. Saint Mary’s and Pacific this week inside Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves square off against the Gaels, who are receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. The week concludes on Saturday at 1 p.m. when Pepperdine attempts to sweep the season series vs. the Tigers.

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. To watch Matthies’ tribute video, 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.

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.

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 – The Waves were faced with two top-25 ranked opponents on the road last week, falling to both #8 San Diego and #21 BYU. Pepperdine pushed the Cougars to the limit, forcing a team that has not lost inside Smith Fieldhouse since 2011 to five sets. Although the Waves held a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission, BYU battled back to win 3-2. Kelley Larsen paced the Waves with 19 kills, while Katie Messing and Taylor Racich also reached double digit kill totals.

NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 10-11 all-time vs. Pacific ... The Waves have met with the Tigers just four times in the last decade, with Pepperdine winning all four contests ... Pepperdine won the first-ever conference match vs. the Tigers 3-2 on Oct. 10 in Stockton ... The Waves are 40-13 all-time vs. Saint Mary’s, including 22-4 when inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Gaels have won nine of the last 13 meetings, including a 3-0 decision in Moraga back in October ... Matthies celebrated her 900th match with the Waves on Nov. 1, 2012 vs. Saint Mary’s. Pepperdine, ranked #24 at the time, topped #25 Saint Mary’s 3-1.

UPDATING THE RECORD BOOK - Samantha Cash stands to break into the top-10 in several season record categories ... If Cash maintains a season hitting percentage of .335, she’ll rank 10th. Her current average stands at .339 ... Her blocks average of 1.29 is tied for second ... A 1.11 average would guarantee her a spot in the top-10 ... With 90 blocks to her credit thus far in 2013, Cash must reach a total of 117 to break into the top-10 for total blocks ... In the career category, Cash’s three seasons total of 301 is just 20 blocks shy of ranking in the top-10 ... Her block assists total of 279 already ranks 10th ... Six more would put her in a tie for seventh ... Kellie Woolever’s assists total of 3932 ranks fifth ... Woolever’s 1152 digs sits in seventh place on the career chart ... An additional 15 digs would move her into sixth.

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).

STREAKING - Katie Messing has reached double-digit kill totals 17 of the last 18 matches ... Messing has pounded down 10 or more kills in 18 of her season’s 20 starts ... Jillian Bergeson has collected at least 10 digs in her 10 starts as libero, including five 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 Chandler 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 - Eight total newcomers were added to the roster this season, including six 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 setter 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 586-342, 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.

WAVES IN THE PROS - After a successful run with the U.S. Women’s National team, which included gold medals at the Pan American Cup and NORCECA Championship, and a sixth-place finish at the FIVB World Grand Prix, Kim Hill is currently playing for Atom Trefl Sopot in the Polish Oren Liga. Hill is expected to reunite with Team USA later this month for the Grand Champions Cup on Nov. 12-17 in Japan before returning to Poland. Hill was a three-time AVCA All-American for the indoor squad from 2008-11 and led the sand volleyball team to the national title in 2011.

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 (9/2). 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.  In FIVB action, Ross and Day took home the silver medal as the No. 9 seed at the Phuket Open (11/3) in Thailand.

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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