Courtesy: Pepperdine Athletics
MALIBU, Calif. — The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team returns to Malibu this week, to host a pair of West Coast Conference matches against Pacific and Saint Mary’s in Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
MATCH #16 — Thursday (October 4) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Pacific at 7 p.m. | Watch: TheW.tv
MATCH #17 — Saturday (October 6) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s at 12 p.m. | Watch: TheW.tv.
LIVE — All home matches will stream live on TheW.tv. Direct links for all matches, including live statistics can be found on PepperdineWaves.com.
SQUAD GOALS — With a 4-1 record to open West Coast Conference play, the Waves have opened league action with the best record since 2011. In that year, the team went 15-1 overall to win the title outright, and kicked things off with a 13-match winning streak to start. Pepperdine is 10-5 overall this season.
As a team, Pepperdine produces 13.96 kills/set on a .265 success rate along with 13.24 assists/set, 1.61 aces/set, 14.51 digs/set and 2.02 bocks/set. The Waves have allowed opponents 11.53 kills/set on a .188 output, along with 11.10 assists/set, 1.04 aces/set, 13.96 digs/set and 2.20 blocks/set.
As a team, the Waves rank in the top-26 of three statistical categories: 19th with 13.24 assists/set, 20th with 0.265 hitting percentage and 24th with 13.96 kills/set. Blossom Sato ranks 22nd nationally after averaging 11.18 assists/set in 15 matches.
CANNONS — Hannah Frohling, Shannon Scully and Rachel Ahrens lead the Waves with 3.27, 3.20 and 3.16 kills/set averages respectively. All three have totaled over 100-kills so far this season as has middle Tarah Wylie. Frohling has amassed 157 kills with 48 errors on 396 swings for a .275 success rate. Scully has amassed 160 smashes with 62 errors on 457 attempts for a .214 hitting percentage and Ahrens has added 158 kills with 47 errors on 342 total attacks for a .325 clip. Wylie has posted 105 smashes with 29 errors on 234 swings for a .325 success rate and 2.06 kills/set. Frohling also leads the Waves with 22 total aces on the season, averaging 0.46 aces/set, while adding 1.17 digs/set and 0.52 blocks/set. Scully produces 0.34 aces/set, 2.88 digs/set and 0.36 blocks/set and Ahrens adds 1.34 digs/set and 0.70 blocks/set for the Waves.
MALIBU ROOFING COMPANY — Alli O’Harra and Tarah Wylie have been the main managers in the Malibu Roofing Company, amassing 1.11 and 0.86 blocks/set respectively. O’Harra has marked 49 total blocks with five solo rejections, and adds 1.66 kills/set on a .257 success rate, 0.14 aces/set and 0.41 digs/set. Wylie has been solid with 44 total rejections, including three solo jobs, while adding 2.06 kills/set on a .325 clip as well as 0.51 digs/set.
PLAYMAKERS — Blossom Sato is Pepperdine’s primary playmaker, ranking 22nd nationally with 11.18 assists/set. She has dished out 570 total assists this season thus far, while ranking third on the team with 13 total aces for 0.25 aces/set. She also has helped her team to 13.96 kills/set and a .265 success rate on the offensive, which both rank nationally. She has marked 0.37 kills/set and 2.20 digs/set.
CAN YOU DIG IT? — Hana Lishman has started in the libero position in all matches this season, totaling 188 digs for 3.69 digs/set. She has also added 38 assists for 0.75 assists/set and nine aces for the Waves. In her first match this season, she was solid in the back line with 26 digs, while against Santa Clara in the middle of the season she posted 21. In 11 matches this season she has marked double-figure digs with two over the 20-dig mark. Madison Shields, Jaiden Farr and Julia DiBona have also entered matches for defensive support, amassing 1.34, 0.96 and 0.88 digs/set respectively.
LAST WEEK, TODAY — The Waves went 2-1 last week, dropping a battle to top-ranked BYU before hitting the road to defeat San Francisco in four and Santa Clara in three. Against the Cougars, Pepperdine marked 31 kills on a .170 output, with three aces, 27 digs and 3.0 team blocks. The opposition posted 43 kills on a .356 clip, along with five aces, 40 digs and 9.0 blocks. For the Waves, Hannah Frohling and Shannon Scully each marked nine kills. Frohling’s came with two aces, three digs and a block. Rachel Ahrens added six kills and an ace and Alli O’Harra led the team with two blocks. Blossom Sato had a team-high 24 assists, while Hana Lishman marked nine digs for the team-best.
Against USF, the Waves were good for 60 smashes on a .328 hitting percentage, with four aces, 52 digs and 12.0 team blocks. The Dons posted 51 kills on a .223 clip with four aces, 48 digs and eight team blocks. Ahrens led the Waves with a career-best 20 kills on a staggering .531 success rate, while adding an ace, three blocks and three digs. Frohling, Scully and Tarah Wylie added 11 kills apiece with Wylie highlighting with a .526 hitting percentage. Sato led again with 56 assists and led the team with two aces, while amassing eight digs as well. Scully also marked a double-double with 16 digs on top of her double-figure kill effort. O’Harra posted nine blocks with one solo rejection, one shy of her career-best effort. Lishman was good for 10 digs.
In the final matchup at Santa Clara, the team produced 48 kills on a .273 success rate with seven aces, 62 digs and 7.0 blocks. The Broncos were good for 39 kills on a .171 clip with one ace, 63 digs and seven blocks. Frohling and Ahrens led the team with 13 kills, while Scully added 12 herself. Frohling did so on a .400 hitting percentage, with a team-high three aces in tow. Ahrens put up a .423 output with seven digs, four blocks and an ace. Scully was good for nine digs and an ace as well. Sato marked a double-double with 37 assists and 13 digs, while adding two aces as well. Lishman posted her second double-figure match above 20-digs this season with a 21-dig performance. She also marked 23 successful service receptions without a single error. O’Harra led at the net for the fourth-straight match after marking seven blocks with two being solo denials.
THE COMPETITION — This week, Pepperdine will host both Pacific and Saint Mary’s. The Waves hold a 16-14 all-time record against the Tigers, dating back to the 1977 campaign when the Waves won 2-0 on a neutral court. After that, Pepperdine won three-more before Pacific went on a 10-match winning streak. However, from 1996-2017, the Waves have posted a 12-4 record against the Tigers, with a pair of five-match winning streaks mixed in between 2003-13 and 2015-17. Last season, Pepperdine and Pacific split with the Waves winning 3-1 at home and falling 3-1 on the road. This season, the Tigers have gone 6-9 overall with a 1-3 output in WCC action. The team posts 13.45 kills/set on a .209 success rate, with 1.33 aces/set, 14.35 digs/set and 1.48 blocks/set against opponents.
Pepperdine holds a 47-15 overall record against Saint Mary’s, dating to the 1987 season when the Waves won the first match on the road 3-0. After that, the Waves won the following 13-straight matches, including 11 by straight-set decisions. Pepperdine went on another winning streak against SMC from 1994-2003 when the team won 19-consecutive matches including 13 by straight-set results. Since 2012, the Waves have gone 8-3 against the Gaels, including a current three-match winning streak since 2016 with two straight-set wins. This season, Saint Mary’s has posted an 11-3 overall record and a 3-1 WCC record, ranking just one below Pepperdine at #3 in the West Coast Conference standings this week.