#18 Pepperdine Opens NCAA Tournament Vs. Missouri State
Waves host Missouri State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. A win would pit them against either #10 Cal or North Carolina on Friday.
Nov. 29, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - The #18 Pepperdine women’s volleyball team opens the 2011 NCAA Tournament this Thursday, Dec. 1 at home versus Missouri State. This is the 21st time the Waves have advanced to NCAA postseason play and the fourth time they have hosted.
MATCH #29 - Thursday (Dec. 1) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Missouri State (22-8, 15-3 Missouri Valley Conference) at #18 Pepperdine (22-6, 15-1 WCC) at 7:30 p.m.
JUST BEFORE - Thursday (Dec. 1) at Firestone Fieldhouse: North Carolina (23-8, 15-5 ACC) vs. California (26-6, 16-6 Pac-12) at 5 p.m.
JUST AFTER - Friday (Dec. 2) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Winners of Thursday’s matches play at 7 p.m.
WHAT’S NEXT - The winner of the Friday night contest moves onto the Honolulu Regional on Dec. 9-10. USC, Hawaii and Nebraska are the other host institutions that feed into the regional. The 2011 NCAA Tournament concludes inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Dec. 15-17 when a national champion will be crowned.
TICKETS - Tickets for first and second rounds can be purchased at the Firestone Fieldhouse box office, or by calling (866) WAVE-TIX. An all session pass, which includes all three matches, is available for $15 for adults and $9 for students/seniors/children. A single-session ticket, good for just one night, is also available for $10 for adults and $6 for students/seniors children.
SIGHT & SOUND - All three matches will be broadcast live and for free via PepperdineSports.com. Al Epstein will be calling the action for both of Thursday’s matches, while Sam Lagana takes over as the play-by-play announcer on Friday.
ALL-WCC - Pepperdine raked in several WCC awards last week, including three of the four league’s top honors. Kim Hill was named WCC Player of the Year, Samantha Cash was dubbed Freshman of the Year, and Nina Matthies was voted Coach of the Year. Earning first team honors along with Hill and Cash were Lilla Frederick and Kellie Woolever. Stevi Robinson appeared on the honorable mention roster, while Cash and Katie Messing earned All-Freshman Team accolades.
MISSOURI STATE - The Bears are 22-8 overall and finished with a 15-3 record in the Missouri Valley Conference ... Although Missouri State lost in the first round of the conference tournament, its RPI of 44 earned the team the at-large bid into the tournament ... The Waves have only faced the Bears three times in program history, winning all three. At the time of the match, the Bears went by ‘Southwest Missouri State’ ... Missouri State is 1-9 all time in the NCAA Tournament with its only win coming versus Arkansas in 2006 ... Karen Rivatto paces the Bears with 3.05 kills/set ... Olivia Brand follows with 2.69 kills/set ... Ashley Mason leads the defense with 4.69 digs/set ... Missouri State is 0-4 when facing ranking teams this year.
CALIFORNIA - The Golden Bears went 26-6 overall and a third-place 16-6 in Pac-12 play ... Cal spent the first four weeks of the season ranked #1 in the AVCA Coaches Top-25 poll and have remained in the top-10 all year long ... Senior Tarah Murrey was voted to the All Pac-12 squad and leads the Golden Bears with 4.27 kills/set ... That stat ranks 24th in the NCAA ... Robin Rostratter collects 5.17 digs/set to rank 38th in the NCAA ... Elly Barrett quarterbacks the offense with 11.66 assists/set to help Cal hit .265 as a team ... The Golden Bears are 5-5 versus ranked teams this season.
NORTH CAROLINA - The Tar Heels are 23-8 and placed third in the ACC with a 15-5 record ... UNC is 7-12 all-time in NCAA Tournament play ... UNC is 1-4 versus ranked opponents this season, with its only victory coming against Miami ... Emily McGee tags down 3.96 kill/set to pace North Carolina ... As a team, UNC tallies 16.24 digs/set led by Kaylie Gibson who picks up 4.66 digs/set.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE - Of the four times the Waves have hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, they have advanced to regionals on three occasions. Pepperdine hosted during the 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003 seasons and is 7-1 all-time at home during NCAA postseason action.
WCC POW #6 - In the final week of WCC play, Pepperdine senior Kim Hill played a significant role in clinching the program’s 11th league title. The opposite side hitter averaged 4.29 kills/set and 3.86 digs/set to lead the Waves to victories against San Francisco and #20 San Diego. Hill has now won Player of the Week honors four times this season -- the most of any Wave in program history.
WCC CHAMPS - The Waves secured first place in the West Coast Conference with a win over San Francisco in Senior Day (Nov. 17). The senior trio of Kim Hill, Lilla Frederick and Stevi Robinson played their roles to perfection. Hill tagged down a match-best 21 kills, while Frederick picked up a career-high 23 digs. Robinson added 20 digs to help lift Pepperdine to a 3-1 victory.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine entered the AVCA Coaches’ Top-25 Poll for the first time since the 2007 season, on Sept. 19 at #21 and continue to climb. The Waves have been listed as high as #14 and currently sit in the 18-spot.
NOTING THE WAVES - Pepperdine is 719-421-2 all time and 303-73 in West Coast Conference play ... Nina Matthies is 552-319 and is in her 29th season at the helm ... Kim Hill became the Waves’ 15th member of the 1,000 kills club against Portland on Sept. 22. She currently ranks eighth all-time at Pepperdine with 1,241 career kills ... Lilla Frederick met the 1,000 kills milestone on Oct. 15 at San Francisco and the 1,000 digs milestone on Oct. 20 at BYU. She’s just the fourth Wave in program history to meet the benchmark in both categories ... The Waves set a record when Frederick was awarded the teams’ fourth-consecutive WCC Player of the Week award on Oct. 17. The longest streak prior to that was three by Pepperdine (1997, 2001, and 2002) and Santa Clara (1998).
WCC POW #5 - Kim Hill earned her third WCC Player of the Week nod on Nov. 7 after leading Pepperdine to a 3-0 shutout versus Santa Clara. The senior collected 18 kills earned on a season-high .643 clip.
1,000 KILLS/1,000 DIGS CLUB - Senior outside hitter Lilla Frederick met the 1,000 career digs milestone on Oct. 20 vs. BYU -- just one game after achieving the same feat in the kills category. She’s just the 16th member of the 1,000 kills club, the ninth to tally 1,000 digs, and just the fourth student-athlete in program history to do so in both. She has been a consistent two-way volleyball player for the Waves this season, hitting 3.03 kills/set and picking up 3.15 digs/set.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS - Senior Kim Hill was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The winner is determined by a combination of fan , coach and media votes. Vote daily at www.seniorclassaward.com.
KIM HILL’S RESUME - Kim Hill has collected a long laundry list of awards this season, including WCC Player of the Year honors. She picked up WCC Player of the Week four times, was the WCC October Player of the Month, a WCC All-Academic selection, a Capital One Academic All-District second team honoree and a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. She leads the Waves with 3.90 kills/set earned on a .295 clip. She’s dished 27 service aces so far this season and collects 2.34 digs/set.
FOUR IN A ROW - For a record fourth week in a row, a member of the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team earned WCC Player of the Week honors. Lilla Frederick was named the winner on Oct. 17 after leading Pepperdine to wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco. She opened the week with 19 kills earned on a .567 clip, 10 digs and a career-best seven blocks vs. the Broncos. Against the Dons, she paced the Waves with 13 kills. Her final put away of the match was career kill No. 1,000.
WCC POW #3 - Kellie Woolever was tabbed WCC Player of the Week on Oct. 10 after leading the Waves to wins over LMU and BYU. Versus the Lions, the sophomore setter scattered 31 assists while nailing down five kills on a .571 hitting percentage. Later in the week against the Cougars, she collected 21 digs and dished 54 assists. She came through in the clutch, recording three blocks in the final five points to give Pepperdine the come-from-behind fourth-set win to clinch the match.
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - PARTS 1 & 2 - Senior Kim Hill earned her second consecutive West Coast Conference Player of the Week award on Oct. 3. Hill catapulted the Waves to a 3-2 victory over Saint Mary’s on Sept. 29 with a career-high 25 kills. The week prior, she averaged 3.67 kills/set versus both Portland and Gonzaga. She tallied a team-best 33 total kills in two matches, highlighted by her 10th kill of the contest versus Portland which counted as career kill No. 1,000. Hill has led the Waves all season long with a kills average of 3.85.
WARM WELCOME - Pepperdine signed three top-notch players to a National Letter of Intent a week ago including outside/right side Taylor Racich and middle blockers Alyssa Mason and Matalee Reed.
CHART TOPPERS - When counting only league matches, the Waves rank first in every statistical category with the exception of service aces and blocks. Pepperdine ranks first in kills (114.95), hitting percentage (.275), opponent hitting percentage (.139), digs (15.84) and assists (13.86). They rank second in blocks (2.97) and third in service aces (1.29). Individually, Kim Hill leads the league in kills (4.05), Kellie Woolever ranks first in assists (11.71) and Samantha Cash is tied for first in blocks (1.40)
WCC STAT COMPARISON - When counting all matches, both conference and nonconference, Kim Hill boasts the second highest average in the WCC with 3.90 kills/set, and her 25 put aways versus Saint Mary’s counts as the most by any WCC student-athlete in a single match this season. Her hitting percentage of .295 ranks eighth. Stevi Robinson ranks seventh with 3.55 digs/set. Lilla Frederick sits in seventh with 3.03 kills/set, 10th with 3.15 digs/set and 10th with 0.27 service aces/set. Samantha Cash leads the Waves and ranks second in the conference with 1.25 blocks/set (37th in the NCAA), and fourth with a .343 hitting percentage. Kellie Woolever dishes 11.16 assists/set to lead the conference (and 26th in the NCAA). Victoria Adelhelm sits in eighth place with 1.01 blocks/set
Samantha Cash - Freshman middle blocker Samantha Cash has been a force for the Waves this season, with notable signs of improvement since conference play started in September. Cash is tied for first in the WCC with 1.40 blocks/set in league matches, while overall she ranks second with 1.25 blocks/set. Her hitting percentage is top notch with a .343 clip (.370 in WCC matches) and she averages 2.14 kills/set. In the Pepperdine single-match record book, Cash hit the fifth-best clip in rally scoring era history versus Air Force on Nov. 22. After 13 swings, 10 kills and no errors, the freshman calculated a hitting percentage of .769.
HERE’S TO YOU, MISS ROBINSON - Defensive specialist/libero Stevi Robinson became Pepperdine’s all-time leader in digs with her first pick-up versus Michigan on Sept. 10. It was career dig No. 1,405 for the senior, breaking Christina Hinds’ (2002-04) previous record of 1,404. Robinson’s current career tally stands at 1,687 while her average of 4.33 digs/set ranks second all-time at Pepperdine.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PepperdineWVB or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.
WAVES OVER BRUINS - Pepperdine handed the previously undefeated and then #8-ranked UCLA a 3-2 loss on Sept. 7 inside Firestone Fieldhouse. The last time Pepperdine defeated UCLA was on Oct. 24, 2004 when the unranked Waves defeated the #12 Bruins 3-2. The last time the Waves defeated a top-10 ranked team was on Nov. 25, 2003 when #4-ranked Pepperdine topped #7 UCLA 3-2. Since 1982, Pepperdine has defeated top-10 ranked opponents four times without being ranked themselves.
WINS OVER TOP-25 - In addition to defeating UCLA, the Waves have gone toe-to-toe with seven AVCA Top-25 teams thus far in 2011. They defeated #23 Dayton and #24 Florida State at the Flyers Classic during the final tournament of the preconference portion of the season, and swept #17/#20 San Diego twice in league play Pepperdine has played three of current top-5 ranked teams including #3 Hawaii, #4 UCLA and #5 Texas, and defeated the Bruins at home on Sept. 7.
Nina Matthies - Now in her 29th season as head coach of the Waves, Nina Matthies’ career record currently stands at 552-319 (.632), which includes 10 conference championships and 18 NCAA Tournament appearances. She is by far the WCC’s all-time winningest coach and is a nine-time WCC Coach of the Year. 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.
SAND VOLLEYBALL - The Pepperdine University Department of Athletics added women’s sand volleyball as an intercollegiate sport, and will begin competing for the first time in the spring of 2012. Matthies and Marcio Sicoli will coach the Waves, who are one of around 20 schools to sponsor the emerging sport. Caitlin Racich was Pepperdine’s first sand volleyball scholarship recipient for Pepperdine, and will forego her junior season of indoor volleyball to compete with the U.S. Junior National Beach team in preparation for this spring.
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 25 times in 36 seasons, including 11 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 14 seasons. Pepperdine’s best finishes in recent years came when the team made the regional final of the 2002 NCAAs, and then in 2003 when the Waves posted 27 victories (most in the Nina Matthies era).
2010 RECAP - It was another solid year for the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team. Hill earned AVCA All-American honorable mention honors for the second-consecutive season. The Waves finished the league in third place after posting an 11-3 record and finished with an overall record of 20-8. They were the only team to get the better of WCC championship San Diego. Hill and Frederick claimed All-WCC first team recognition, while Robinson was listed on the honorable mention squad, and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Joining her on the honorable mention list was Woolever, Adelhelm and Clark. Woolever made a second appearance, being named to the All-Freshman squad, along with Cook.
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. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine’s 75th anniversary.