Aug. 29, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. -
The Pepperdine women's volleyball team will open the home portion of its schedule with what could be a barn burner at Firestone Fieldhouse Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (PDT). The 19th-ranked Waves welcome No. 8 Texas in the second match of this weekend's Asics Classic as the first of three matches in two days for the youthful squad.
The Waves (0-2) have yet to taste victory this season but looking at wins and loses at this point in the season is not what head coach Nina Matthies is judging this team's success on in just the second week of the season.
"I am looking for this team to build on last weekend," said the West Coast Conference's all-time wins leader. "There are a few things we need to clean up but we are on a good track. We need to continue to improve no matter who our opponent is. I may have put the team in a tough position with the schedule we have, but we need to stay on course no matter what our record shows."
It was a baptism by fire for Pepperdine's youngsters who began their collegiate careers in a hostile Stan Sherrif Center against No. 7 Hawaii last weekend, but Matthies was pleased with how her team, especially the freshmen and sophomores, handled the pressure.
"I couldn't be happier with how they played and responded last weekend. And there was no let down today despite all the distractions of school starting and the long trip home. We had a great practice and [the freshmen] have been handling it all very maturely."
Pepperdine's offense is led by the trio of Sophia Milo, Julie Rubenstein and Rachel Lumsden. Milo is averaging 3.30 kills per game to go along with a team-leading 1.30 blocks per game. Rubenstein pounded out 37 kills in the two matches against the Rainbow Wahine, while averaging 2.70 digs per game and recording a team-high six aces. Lumsden exploded onto the college scene with a team-best 44 kills - breaking the 20-kill mark in each of the first two contests - while adding 2.50 digs per game.
Cal Poly (3-0) will face Long Island (2-1) at 5 p.m. Friday to open the tournament, followed by the highly-anticipated Pepperdine-Texas (2-0) match up. Saturday's schedule will open with the Waves facing Long Island at 10 a.m., with Texas versus Cal Poly to follow. The final session will begin at 5 p.m. as Texas does battle with Long Island and Pepperdine-Cal Poly will bring the tournament to a close. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling (866) WAVE-TIX, or at the door the day of the match.