July 10, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - Prepvolleyball.com ranks Pepperdine's incoming 2006 women's volleyball class of freshman as the No. 7-ranked class in the nation and the top class among the eight-team West Coast Conference (WCC).
This year's class includes three true-freshmen in setter Kiah Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), outside hitter Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) and outside hitter/middle blocker Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) as well as transfer defensive specialist Nina Baltimore (Santa Ana, Calif.). (Note: Baltimore was not included as part of the incoming class as only student-athletes making their "initial appearance" in a four-year program are included in the class rankings.)
About Pepperdine's class, Prepvolleyball.com remarked, `The Malibu campus welcomes three players expected to make waves immediately for Pepperdine. The key player is Fiers, a lefty setter who should start Day 1 with the graduation of Melissa Mehlhorn. She is smart, athletic, intense and a winner currently setting the nation's top club team, Long Beach Mizuno. Graduation took OH Katy Daly, meaning that Walker and Lumsden will have opportunities immediately to play opposite last year's freshman sensation Julie Rubenstein. Walker, at 6-6, is an imposing force on the left and surprisingly good in serve-receive, while Lumsden can play left or right equally well and possesses a terrific jump float serve as well. Transfer libero Nina Baltimore, though not part of the class for ranking purposes, is the cherry on top for this new group in Malibu.'
Both Fiers and Lumsden had strong showings in last week's USA Junior Olympics Girls' Volleyball Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. Fiers led her team (Mizuno LB) to the Silver Medal. Lumsden, a 6-2 outside hitter from Brea, Calif., helped her team (Golden Bear 18) to the quarterfinal round where it fell to eventual champions TCA 18 Third Degree. For their efforts, both were tabbed All-Tournament.
The Waves are coming off a successful 2005 season in which they posted a 10-4 conference record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament by defeating BYU and USC in the first and second rounds.
Penn State Pulled in the recruiting site's top class for '06, while Santa Clara's class landed at No. 17 as the only other WCC school in the top 30. Both Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary's had classes which were listed as `High Honorable Mention.'
Prepvolleyball.com ranks the top 30 classes in division I as well as `Highest Honorable Mention', `High Honorable Mention' and `Honorable Mention.' For a complete list please visit www.Prepvolleyball.com.