Press Release courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics
The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team will have the final home match of the 2017-18 campaign on Saturday with a PCH Cup rival bout against Loyola Marymount in Firestone Fieldhouse. The match will stream live with Wavecasts on TheW.tv.
MATCH #30 — Saturday (November 18) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Loyola Marymount at 12 p.m. (PT).
LIVE — The match 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 match 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. Purchase tickets in advance at 866-WAVE-TIX or at the ticket office on game day.
PCH CUP — An annual all-sport competition between two local rivals that are separated by just 19.1 miles of scenic coastline, the PCH Cup is in its eighth season of existence. Pepperdine won the first five cups. A home win is worth one point, a road victory is worth 1.5 points. In the eight years since the cup first began, the Waves have won six-out-of-eight years, including the Waves 2015-16 win at 11.5 to 7.5. Earlier this season, Pepperdine defeated LMU on the road with a 3-1 victory.
SENIOR DAY — Saturday’s match will mark Pepperdine women’s volleyball senior day. Ashley Harris and Adria Johnson will be honored for their committment to the program prior to the national anthem and starting lineups before the match.
BY THE NUMBERS — This season, Pepperdine has posted a 16-13 overall record and an even 8-8 West Coast Conference record. At home, the Waves have amassed a 9-5 record, while amassing a 4-7 record on the road and 3-1 output on neutral courts. Pepperdine averages 13.60 kills/set on a .222 output, along with 12.83 assists/set, 1.45 aces/set, 16.64 digs/set and 2.67 blocks/set this season.
RECORD-BREAKING GROSS — Jasmine Gross broke the Pepperdine women’s volleyball all-time single season block record (including both sideout and rally scoring eras) with her 167th block of the season against Santa Clara on November 9. That record has stood at 158 blocks since the 1991 and 1992 seasons when Lesli Asplund and Barbara Stross broke it in 111 and 109 sets respectively.
Gross also broke Pepperdine women’s volleyball program’s single season block record for the rally scoring era the Waves’ match against Gonzaga on November 4, a record she had set in her 2016 freshman campaign at 154 blocks last season. Before 2016, the record stood at 143 blocks by Sophia Milo which happened in 2005.
Also, against San Francisco, Gross surpassed the Pepperdine women’s volleyball all-time record for best hitting percentage in a single-match after putting up 13 kills with no errors on 15 swings. The previous rally scoring record has stood at .833 (16-1-18) when Sophia Milo did it in 2005 against San Francisco. The sideout scoring record has stood at .857 when Barbara Blizzard did it against Saint Mary’s in 1988. Last season, she overcame the most-blocks in a single match record with 15 against Portland on October 29, 2016.
AMONG THE RANKS — Pepperdine ranks in the top-31 nationally in six statistical categories. The Waves collectively rank 13th with 294.0 total team blocks, 22nd with 38.37 team attacks/set, 23rd with 2.67 blocks/set and 1,411 team assists, 30th with 4,221 total attacks and 31st with 1,496 team kills at this point in the season. Pepperdine also ranks atop the West Coast Conference statistical charts in digs/set (16.64), team assists, team attacks/set, team digs (1,830), team kills and total attacks.
Among individual ranks on the national charts, Jasmine Gross leads the Waves and conference by ranking 3rd nationally with 170 blocks and 7th with 1.55 blocks/set. Gross and Hannah Frohling collectively rank nationally in 12-separate statistical categories.
RETURNING IMPACT — Pepperdine has a wealth of returning players this season, including sophomores Jasmine Gross, Hannah Frohling and Hana Lishman, junior Heidi Dyer and senior Ashley Harris.
Gross is a leader on the court for the Waves, producing 1.55 blocks/set after posting 170 total blocks (26 solos) this season thus far. She also has marked 2.97 kills/set on a .349 success rate, 0.15 aces/set and 0.96 digs/set. Frohling leads the Waves’ offensive with 3.66 kills/set on a .208 output and 0.30 aces/set. She also has put up 2.55 digs/set and 0.44 blocks/set. Lishman is big in the back row with 4.20 digs/set after tabbing 412 total digs. She also adds 0.28 aces/set with 27 aces.
Dyer is an all-around impact for Pepperdine, whether she’s playing outside, right side or setting. She posts 1.64 kills/set, 5.02 assists/set, 0.18 aces/set, 2.28 digs/set and 0.70 blocks/set for the Waves this season. Harris is strong outside or on the right, putting up 1.88 kills/set and adding 0.86 blocks/set.
NEWCOMER TALENT — Newcomers Blossom Sato and Alli O’Harra have made quite the impact this season. Junior transfer Sato leads the team with 9.69 assists/set after putting up 688 assists. She adds 0.27 kills/set, 0.23 aces/set, 2.97 digs/set and 0.27 blocks/set for the Waves. Freshman O’Harra serves the Waves in the middle, posting 1.58 kills/set on a .240 success rate, along with 0.95 blocks/set.
LAST WEEK — The Waves split the team’s final long road trip of the season, falling to Santa Clara in four sets before sweeping San Francisco. Against Santa Clara, the Waves posted 56 kills on a .139 success rate, while adding 53 assists, six aces, 99 digs and 14.0 blocks. The opposition was good for 49 kills on a .097 hitting percentage, as well as 48 assists, six aces, 102 digs and 10.0 team blocks. Hannah Frohling, Ashley Harris and Heidi Dyer hit for double-figure kills with Frohling leading the team with 19. Jasmine Gross marked 11 blocks including two solo rejections to break the all-time Pepperdine women’s volleyball single-season block record. Hana Lishman added a career-best 32 digs as well ranking third in the single-match Waves’ record books for most digs in a four-set match.
In the three-setter at USF, the Waves marked 46 smashes on an impressive .404 hitting percentage, while posting 39 assists, five aces, 45 digs and 6.0 team blocks. Pepperdine allowed the Dons only 29 kills on a .101 output, as well as 28 assists, four aces, 40 digs and 2.0 team blocks. Gross and Frohling led the offensive with 13 and 11 kills respectively. Gross’ 13 kills with no errors on 15 swings earned her a new record. The .867 hitting percentage ranks atop the all-time women’s volleyball record books for highest hitting percentage in a single match. Blossom Sato dished out 38 of the Waves’ 39 total assists and Lishman led with 13 digs.
THE COMPETITION — Pepperdine leads Loyola Marymount all-time with a 54-23 overall record, including the 3-1 win in Los Angeles to kick of West Coast Conference action this season. The team’s first faced off in 1976 when the Waves won the first three, including two by straight-set decisions. Pepperdine then went on a few winning-streaks including seven-consecutive wins from 1984-85, 10 from 1987-91, six from 2001-03 and 12 from 2006-12. This season’s win was the first time Pepperdine defeated LMU since the 2015 season.
SNAPCHAT FAMOUS — The NCAA rolled out a new initiative highlighting a day in the life of a student-athlete on Snapchat for the first time on the Waves’ game day with Long Beach State. Pepperdine, with Hannah Frohling at the helm, took over the controls of @ncaasports Snapchat on September 12 and showed the masses what it is to be a student-athlete in Malibu.
HEIDI DYER, THE TITANIUM WOMAN — Junior Heidi Dyer had an interesting road to NCAA Division I athletics and AVCA Beach All-American status. When she was 12, a major scoliosis curve of over 60 percent forced her to get corrective surgery. She had two titanium rods fused to her spine to keep her back straight. Despite her parents being told she would never play volleyball again and may never walk again, she defied all odds and became one of Pepperdine beach and indoor volleyball student-athletes. During the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships last season, TurnerSports and NCAA.com did a feature piece on her that streamed throughout the NCAA tournament and aired on TBS. It was voted one of the top-10 features on NCAA.com last season.
SATO NATION — Junior Blossom Sato comes from the very well-known Sato volleyball dynasty. Her mother Liane was a member of the US Women’s National Team in 1988 and 1992 when the team captured the Olympic Games bronze medal. She now coaches Santa Monica High School. Her uncles Eric and Gary were also standouts in the sport, playing or coaching alongside legendary Pepperdine men’s volleyball coach Marv Dunphy for Team USA when the squad won the gold in 1988. Eric was a member of the 1988 US Men’s National Team that claimed gold and the 1992 squad that earned bronze. Gary, who is now an assistant for USC, served as the United States’ Head Coach for the 1985 FIVB World Cup gold medal finish and served as an assistant for the US Men’s National Team from 1984-88, 1992 and 2009-12.
GROSS’ IN COLLEGE ATHLETICS — Sophomore Jasmine Gross is the daughter of Aaron Gross and Susan Campbell, who both are the head coaches of West Coast Conference competitors University of Portland men’s and women’s tennis teams respectively.
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.