The 2nd-ranked Pepperdine beach volleyball team will close out the regular season in Tallahassee, Fla., competing at the Florida State Invitational against No. 4 Florida State, No. 9 Stetson and No. 14 Florida International on Friday and Saturday at the FSU Beach Volleyball Courts.
DUAL 21 – No. 2 Pepperdine (18-2) vs. No. 9 Stetson (14-4, 10-0 ASUN) | Friday, April 14 at the FSU Beach Volleyball Courts in Tallahassee, Fla., at 7 a.m. (PT).
DUAL 22 – No. 2 Pepperdine at No. 4 Florida State (18-6, 7-0 CCSA) | Friday, April 14 at the FSU Beach Volleyball Courts in Tallahassee, Fla., at 12 p.m. (PT)
DUAL 23 – No. 2 Pepperdine vs. No. 14 Florida International (18-10, 8-4 CCSA) | Saturday, April 15 at the FSU Beach Volleyball Courts in Tallahassee, Fla., at 10 a.m. (PT).
DUAL 24 – No. 2 Pepperdine at No. 4 Florida State | Saturday, April 15 at the FSU Beach Volleyball Courts in Tallahassee, Fla., at 1 p.m. (PT).
COVERAGE – Live stats will be available for all matches. All links available onPepperdineWaves.com. Follow @WavesBeachVB on Twitter and Facebook for live updates before, during and after matches. Also, go to PepperdineWaves.com for updates, recaps, results and more.
LOOKING AHEAD – After capping off the regular season, the Waves will head down to Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica, Calif. to compete at the West Coast Conference Championships from April 21-22.
MARCH WCC PAIR OF THE MONTH – Graduate student Brittany Howard and junior Corinne Quiggle tabbed the West Coast Conference Pair of the Month honor after their performances on the sand in March. Since the first-ever award was given out in last year’s inaugural season, the Waves have earned all three accolades available. Howard and Quiggle were instrumental to the Waves’ success from the No. 2 position in March, helping the team climb to No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll for four-consecutive weeks.
The pair faced 14 opponents in March, earning a 13-1 overall record, including a 6-1 record against nationally ranked opposition. The pair has won 26-of-30 total sets played after the Waves’ 14 matches this season, including 11 with two-set victories and two with three-set wins. The duo helped Pepperdine record eight-consecutive sweeps in the back-half of March, while clinching two overall matches for the team this season.
Statistics are only kept for home events. Howard leads the pair at home with 113 total kills, 15 blocks and 18 service aces this season, averaging 3.8 kills/set, 0.5 blocks/set and 0.6 service aces/set after 14 matches and 30 total sets played at Zuma Beach. Quiggle averages 3.3 kills/set and 0.37 aces/set after amassing 99 kills and 11 aces at home this season thus far.
THE NO. 2 WAVES – Pepperdine has gone 18-2 overall this season, with a 9-1 record at home, a 6-0 record on neutral sand and a 5-1 output on the road. The Waves have also posted a 9-2 record against nationally ranked teams and as a result, have been ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll for five-consecutive weeks. In dual action, the Waves have gone 78-22 as pairs for a .780 success rate against opponents. Delaney Knudsen and Madalyn Roh lead the team in the top-spot with a 14-6 overall record against opponents, while Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle have amassed a solid 18-2 record in the No. 2-spot for the team. Skylar Caputo and Heidi Dyer and Anika Wilson and Deahna Kraft have been instrumental to the Waves success at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions respectively, each pair tabbing a 16-4 record this season. Kaity Bailey and Gigi Hernandez have sported the best record at the No. 5-position with a 7-1 output, although several different partnerships have seen time in the spot throughout the season.
OPPONENT NOTES – Pepperdine holds a 6-0 record against No. 4 Florida State all-time, dating back to the first-ever match-up in 2013. Since then, the Waves have won four-matches by 3-2 decisions and two matches with 4-1 results. Earlier this season at the East Meets West Invitational, the Waves bested then-ranked No. 2 FSU with a 3-2 mark. This season, the Seminoles have gone 18-6 against opponents and 7-0 in the CCSA. All of the team’s losses have been from top-ranked teams, including Pepperdine once, UCLA twice and USC on three occasions. All-time, FSU holds a 23-0 record when playing at home.
The Waves have never faced Stetson. The Hatters currently have a 17-10 overall record and a 10-0 record when playing ASUN competition to ranked No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The team faced fellow WCC opposition Loyola Marymount twice, dropping both matches 3-2. The team is currently on a 10-match winning streak with most recent 4-1 and 5-0 wins taking place against Florida Gulf Coast University.
Pepperdine has a 3-1 record against Florida International, dating back to the 2013 campaign when the Waves won both matches with 5-0 sweeps. In 2015, the Panthers earned the team’s first win over Pepperdine with a 3-2 bout on neutral soil, but later that season, the Waves got redemption with a 4-1 win, also on neutral ground. This season, FIU ranked No. 14 in the AVCA Coaches Poll with an 18-10 overall record and an 8-4 CCSA record. Last weekend, the Panthers fell to South Carolina 5-0 and TCU 3-2, before downing Georgia State 4-1.
#NCAATOP10 – Pepperdine is not only the sole beach volleyball team that has been featured on the #NCAATop10 lists in social media, but the Waves have earned a spot in four of the last five weeks. This week, sophomore Anika Wilson and freshman Deahna Kraft earned a spot at No. 9 on the list as the pair made a diving play for the dual-clinching dig/kill combo against 12th-ranked Grand Canyon. In previous weeks, Pepperdine’s No. 1 pair senior Delaney Knudsen and sophomore Madalyn Roh, the No. 2 duo graduate student Brittany Howard and junior Corinne Quiggle, and No. 5 pair Nikki Lyons and Tiffany Morales have also earned the honor, as the one and two pairs earned the No. 7-slot and the No. 5-pair took a No. 9-spot honor.
PRESEASON HONORS & POLLS – The Waves ranked 4th in the AVCA preseason poll and were picked as the favorite to finish as the West Coast Conference Champions again by the WCC coaches. Pepperdine was also charted in the No. 4 spot on DiG Magazine. Five Waves, senior Delaney Knudsen, junior Corinne Quiggle and sophomores Heidi Dyer, Skylar Caputo and Madalyn Roh earned Preseason All-WCC accolades.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL HISTORY – The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball program has been at the forefront of the sport since it was introduced in 2012. The Waves went a perfect 14-0 in dual match play and won the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Team Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. Pepperdine’s Caitlin Racich — the program’s first-ever scholarship recipient — and partner Summer Ross took home the pairs national crown as well. In 2013, the Waves marched back to the national title match but fell 3-2 while playing shorthanded. The Waves returned with a vengeance in 2014, going 18-1 in route to the national championship title. The Waves boast a nation-best 14 AVCA All-Americans: Lara Dykstra (2013, 14), Lilla Frederick (2012, 13), Kim Hill (2012, 13), Kelley Larsen (2014, 15), Racich (2012, 13), Ross (2012), Becca Strehlow (2014) and Kellie Woolever (2014, 15). Hill stands as the first, and to date only, student-athlete to earn AVCA All-American first team honors in both indoor and sand volleyball in a single season. . Last season, the Waves worked a position in the field of eight for the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., finishing 5th overall. The Waves enter the 2017 season with an 85-13 record.
NCAA STATUS – This season marks the second season which beach volleyball will be an NCAA-sanctioned sport, with the NCAA Championships to be held again in Gulf Shores, Ala. from May 5-7. Last season in the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores after an eight-team field of competition, USC took the first-ever championship title. Previously, collegiate sand volleyball, completed the fourth and final year as an “emerging sport” in the 2015 season. It was given 10 years to gain the minimum 40 sponsoring institutions for two years in a row to be considered an NCAA Championship sport. With requirements met in record time, sand volleyball was voted into NCAA Championship Sport status in 2015. The NCAA will host only a team championship, and not a pairs championship.
MATTHIES – Nina Matthies’ retired from coaching the indoor game following the 2013 season and finishes her 31-season run with a career record of 590-343 (.632). In the span, Matthies led the Waves to 10 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. Matthies was among the world’s top players and is a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame and in 2015 was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame and earned the USA Volleyball’s All-Time Great Female Beach Player award. 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 2013, she was honored by her peers as the inaugural winner of the AVCA Sand Volleyball Coach of the Year award. She enters the 2017 beach season, her sixth at the helm, with a 85-13 record. She will be assisted this season once again by Marcio Sicoli, along with second-year volunteer coach Gustavo Rocha.
SICOLI – Marcio Sicoli is in his sixth season assisting Nina Matthies in the sand, after spending six season with her as assistant indoor volleyball coach. Sicoli is highly lauded for his approach to training and served as head coach for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings during their gold-medal run at the 2012 London Olympics as well as the Walsh Jennings and April Ross bronze medal run at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympica. Sicoli also served as the assistant coach for the Brazilian Olympic Women’s Beach Volleyball Team from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, his team of Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede took home the silver medal in Athens. He currently serves as coach to 2016 Olympic hopefuls Walsh Jennings and April Ross.
ZUMA BEACH – The Waves call Zuma Beach “home,” practicing and hosting all home events at one of Malibu’s most picturesque locations. Courts are located just west of Point Dume, between Towers 2 & 3 or at the 29800 block of the Pacific Coast Highway.
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 17 schools to have accomplished this feat — and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment, is the only school without football and is the only university that has not been affiliated with a “major” conference. The Waves have won a total of 25 team or individual national championships in their history. Pepperdine has also 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 No. 50 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.