The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team hosts the 20th annual Asics Classic in Firestone Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday, welcoming 8th-ranked Washington, Wyoming and Missouri State, a team receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
In the 19-season span of the tournament, the Waves have tallied a 43-13 record against opponents and have gone undefeated on five separate occasions.
MATCH #7 — Friday (September 8) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Wyoming at 12 p.m. (PT) | Watch live on TheW.tv.
MATCH #8 — Friday (September 8) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. No. 8 Washington at 7 p.m. (PT) | Watch live on TheW.tv.
MATCH #9 — Saturday (September 9) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Missouri State at 4:30 p.m. (PT) | Watch live on TheW.tv.
LIVE — All matches will have live stream and live stats available. All Pepperdine home matches will stream live on TheW.tv. Direct links for all matches, including live statistics can be found on PepperdineWaves.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA — Follow @WavesVolleyball on Twitter for updates and check out PepperdineWaves.com and Facebook (/WavesVolleyball) for releases and more information.
TICKETS — Each session (Friday morning, Friday night, Saturday morning,Saturday night) costs $10 for adults and $8 for alumni, children, seniors and non-Pepperdine students. Tickets are free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. No tournament pass will be offered. Purchase tickets in advance at 866-WAVE-TIX, at gowav.es/WVBTix2016, or at the ticket office on game day.
#NCAATOP10 — For the first time in its short history, the Pepperdine women’s volleyball team cracked the NCAA Top 10 lists at No. 8. Junior setter Blossom Sato made a series of digs that earned her the NCAA Top Play nod as well as West Coast Conference Top Play Tuesday recognition.
BY THE NUMBERS — With two tournaments under the team’s belt, Pepperdine has gone 4-2 overall with a 2-0 record at home and neutral locations. As a team, the Waves produce 321 kills with only 118 errors on 875 swings for a .232 offensive success rate. Pepperdine averages 13.96 kills/set, 13.22 assists/set, 1.65 aces/set, 16.43 digs/set and 2.20 blocks/set against opponents. The team allows competitors a .189 hitting percentage with 12.00 kills/set, along with 11.04 assists/set, 1.13 aces/set, 15.83 digs/set and 2.28 blocks/set.
RETURNING IMPACT — The Waves have a wealth of returning impact this season with juniors Heidi Dyer and Nikki Lyons and sophomores Hannah Frohling, Jasmine Gross and Hana Lishman all hitting the hardwood. Frohling and Lyons each hit above the 3.0 kills/set mark with 3.74 and 3.00 kills/set respectively. Frohling leads the waves and ranks first in the WCC with 0.48 aces/set and adds 2.78 digs/set and 0.48 blocks/set to the stat sheet. Lyons also produces 2.10 digs/set. Dyer is once against instrumental to the Waves’ success with 2.95 kills/set on a .253 clip, while adding 1.50 digs/set and 0.50 blocks/set. Gross leads the team with 1.17 blocks/set, while tallying 2.83 kills/set on a team-best 0.362 success rate. Lishman is key to the back row, leading the squad with 3.70 digs/set and adding 1.09 assists/set to the mix.
NEWCOMER TALENT — There were also some big additions to the roster this season, as head coach Scott Wong welcomed junior transfer Blossom Sato and impacting freshmen Alli O’Harra and Lexi Barker to the mix. Sato leads in the playmaking duties and has helped the Waves amass a .232 hitting percentage this season with 13.96 kills/set. She leads the team and ranks 24th nationally with 11.35 assists/set and has produced 0.35 aces/set, 3.09 digs/set and 0.39 blocks/set. Barker has made big strides in the back row for the Waves, posting 2.19 digs/set and adding 0.29 aces/set towards the Waves’ effort. O’Harra has amassed 1.50 kills/set on a .242 clip, while adding 0.71 blocks/set.
ASICS CLASSIC — This year marks the 20th season that Pepperdine has hosted the Asics Classic, beginning the tradition with the inaugural tournament in the 1997 season. The Waves went 23-6 that year, starting out with three-straight wins at the Classic against Fresno State (3-2), Tulane (3-1) and Northern Arizona (3-2). In the 19-season span of the tournament, the Waves have tallied a 43-13 record against opponents and have gone undefeated on five separate occasions including most recently the 2015 season. The 2015 start was the first time the Waves had gone undefeated since the 2009 campaign.
PEPPERDINE-CSUN CHALLENGE — The Waves went 2-1 while cohosting the Pepperdine-CSUN Challenge with Cal State Northridge. Pepperdine defeated Northeastern and Weber State at home and fell to the Matadors on the road. In the first match-up, the Waves outhit Northeastern with a .237 hitting percentage on 57 kills compared to the 47 kills on a .113 clip the opposition posted. Pepperdine also tabbed 50 assists, three aces, 87 digs and 12.5 team blocks, compared to the Huskies 45 assists, three aces, 86 digs and 6.0 team blocks. Four players hit for double-figure kills and Hannah Frohling and Blossom Sato each posted a double-double. Frohling led the team with 17 kills and added 12 digs and added three blocks and an ace, while Sato produced 44 assists, 19 digs and three blocks. Jasmine Gross, Heidi Dyer and Alli O’Harra each added 12, 11 and 10 kills respectively on .370, .281 and .364 clips. O’Harra led with six blocks, while Gross and Dyer and five and four. Lexi Barker and Hana Lishman led in the back row with 22 and 17 digs respectively.
In the tough four-set loss at CSUN, the Waves hit for a .095 success rate with 43 smashes, while adding four aces, 57 digs and 7.0 team blocks. The opposition posted 57 kills on a .252 clip along with two aces, 70 digs and 12.0 blocks. Dyer and Nikki Lyons led the team with 11 and 10 kills on .250 and .292 hitting percentages respectively. Sato added another double-double with 34 assists and 15 digs. She and Frohling also marked two aces, while Frohling added nine kills and 10 digs. Gross had a team-high four blocks along with her eight kills.
In the final match, a three-set sweep over Weber State, the Waves excelled in all facets of the game. Four players once again hit for double-figures with Sato, Lyons and Dyer posting double-doubles throughout the match. The team produced a .304 hitting percentage with 49 kills, while adding nine aces, 59 digs and eight blocks. The Wildcats were good for a .163 output on 26 kills as well as two aces, 45 digs and 7.0 blocks. Sato led the team with 41 assists and added 11 digs, two aces and two blocks. Lyons posted a team-best 13 kills and added 11 digs. Dyer led the team with 13 digs and three aces along with her 11 kills on a .429 attack output. Gross led the team with three blocks and marked 11 kills with no errors on 15 swings for a career-best .733 hitting percentage.
THE COMPETITION — Pepperdine has winning all-time records against all three upcoming competitors. Washington enters the weekend ranked No. 8 in the AVCA Coaches Poll and Missouri State is receiving votes. AgainstWyoming, the Waves have gone 4-1 since the first-ever match in 1984 which was a 3-1 Waves’ win. In the most recent match-up in 2015, the opposition took a 3-0 win over Pepperdine. This season, the Cowgirls have gone 3-3 overall with all matches taking place at home. The squad most recently took No. 21-ranked Purdue to a five-set match, losing the fifth 7-15. The Waves also have gone 4-1 against Washington all-time, dating back to 1979 when the teams first faced and the Waves won 2-0. The most recent competition occurred in 1991 when the Waves hit the road and lost in a five-set battle. This season, the Huskies have gone 5-1 overall to earn the team’s current national ranking, with all six matches taking place at home. The team’s only loss has been to No. 9 Creighton in a four-set bout. Pepperdine has gone 4-0 all-time against Missouri State, dating back to 1977 when the teams first faced. All four wins have been concluded with sweeps. This season, the Bears have posted a 4-2 overall record with a 3-0 away output and 1-2 record on neutral courts. The team defeated No. 20 Ohio State and fell to then-No. 8 Kansas, each in four-sets.
SCOTT WONG — Pepperdine alum Scott Wong was named head coach in December 2014, becoming the fifth head coach in program history. In first two seasons at the helm of the Waves, he amassed a 30-31 overall record for Pepperdine. He was an assistant with the Waves’ men’s program from 2005-09 (and was part of the 2005 NCAA championship-winning team) before moving back to his home state of Hawaii and serving as associate coach with the Rainbows’ women’s squad for five seasons. He was also Hawaii’s sand volleyball head coach. Wong was a three-time All-American with the Waves between 1998-01.
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 42 seasons, including 13 trips to the NCAA Championships in the last 20 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. Ten players have earned AVCA or Volleyball Magazine All-American honors a combined 19 times, while six players have been dubbed the WCC Player of the Year nine total times. Nina Matthies, who stepped down after the 2013 season, was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in December, 2015.
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.
Press Release courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics.