The Pepperdine women’s sand volleyball team won the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. Saturday by defeating Long Beach State 5-0 in the tournament finals.
The title is the first to be won by a women’s team at Pepperdine and the 20th overall.
The Waves came into the tournament as the top seed, having a perfect 14-0 record during the regular season. The double elimination team championship included Florida State, Long Beach State and College of Charleston, in addition to Pepperdine.
In the final match, Pepperdine’s pair of Summer Ross and Caitlin Racich defeated Long Beach pair Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke, 22-15, 21-11.Victoria Adelhelm and Kellie Woolever followed suit for the Waves, with a 21-16, 21-8 win against Jocelyn Neely and Lauren Minkel. Emily Cook and Michaela Christiaansen took their dual 21-16, 22-20 against Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson, while Kim Hill and Lilla Frederick scored a 21-14, 21-18 win against Haleigh Hampton and Chelsea Cabrajac.Stevi Robinson and Kelley Larsen were in the midst of their flight against Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Libby Fontanilla, when the 49er pair forfeited the match at 21-16, 17-18.
Pepperdine reached the title match after defeating College of Charleston 5-0 in the first round of the tournament, followed by a 3-2 win against Long Beach State in the semis. The Waves forfeited their last two flights against the 49ers in the semifinal match in anticipation of their final.
The Waves are coached by Nina Matthies, a member of the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame who just finished her 29th season as the Waves indoor coach. Matthies coaching record of 553-319 (.632), includes 10 conference championships and 19 NCAA Tournament appearances
Pepperdine players Hill, Frederick, Racich and Ross were named to the 10-player AVCA All-American team after the championship match .
The AVCA Collegiate Sand National Championship continues today with the 16-team pairs tournament. Hill and Frederick are the No.1 seeds and Racich and Ross are the second seed.