Pepperdine Women's Volleyball History

It should not be too surprising that Pepperdine has emerged as one of the nation’s perennial powers in collegiate women’s volleyball. After all, the picturesque campus is situated just up the hill from Malibu Beach, a popular spot to show off one’s spiking talents.

For most of their history, the Waves were led by one of the nation’s top coaches in Nina Matthies, who completed her 31st and final season on the sidelines in 2013. Matthies is now focusing solely on her coaching duties with Pepperdine’s national-championship-winning beach volleyball team. She ended her tenure with the indoor team as the West Coast Conference’s all-time winningest coach with an overall record of 590-343 (.632)

Nina Matthies

Pepperdine men’s volleyball great Troy Tanner stepped in to lead the team in 2014, before alum Scott Wong took over prior to the 2015 campaign.

Pepperdine women’s volleyball teams have advanced to postseason tournament play 27 times in 41 seasons, compiling an overall record of 786-477-2 (.621).

2011 WCC Champions

Since the West Coast Conference added women’s volleyball prior to the 1985 campaign, the Waves have been one of the league’s dominant programs, rolling to an impressive 335-111 (.751) record and a WCC-best 11 titles. The program set a league record by winning 47 consecutive conference matches from 1988-92. During nine of the Waves’ 11 WCC title seasons, Pepperdine finished with an unbeaten conference record.

Since 1981, the Waves have made 22 trips to the NCAA Championships, including 13 in the last 19 years.

Pepperdine’s inaugural season came in 1975 under the guidance of head coach Patti Bright. The Waves were 26-4-1 in 1976 and finished fourth at the AIAW Championships in Austin, Texas. Pepperdine placed fifth at the 1977 AIAW Championships in Provo, Utah, and finished fourth again at the 1978 event in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

1978 Waves

Gary Sato assumed the head coaching duties prior to the 1979 campaign and led Pepperdine to an 18-9 mark and a ninth-place finish at the AIAW Championships in Carbondale, Ill. He then helped the Waves advance to the NCAA Championships in 1981 and 1982.

Matthies took over the program in 1983. After competing as an NCAA Division I independent for the first 10 years, the Waves joined the WCC when the league began sponsoring women’s volleyball in 1985.

2001 Waves

The Waves finished in the top 10 of the national rankings for three straight seasons from 2001-03. The 2002 team went 26-7 and made it to the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament. The 2003 squad went 27-3, which at .900 was the best winning percentage in school history, and set a school record by winning 25 consecutive matches. In 2011, Pepperdine once again reached the regional finals, and concluded the year ranked #6.

Pepperdine has produced a number of outstanding players, perhaps among the most notable being Linda Chisholm-Carillo, a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team in 1984 and formerly one of the top players on the professional beach circuit. Chisholm-Carillo was inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

Linda Chisholm / Nicole Sanderson / Kim Hill

Nicole Sanderson, the Waves’ all-time leader in kills (2,028) and service aces (147), was the first Pepperdine player to earn All-WCC first team honors for four consecutive seasons (1994-97). She also competed in the Olympics for her native Australia in 2004. Three-time All-American Kim Hill (2008-11) is currently a member of the U.S. National Team. She led the Americans to their first-ever gold medal at the 2014 FIVB World Championships, and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She and Team USA will compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Waves’ list of All-Americans includes Julie Evans (1987), Lisa Bevington (1988), Carolyn Hueth (1991), Jamie Hill (1999), Kim Hill (2009, 2010, 2011), Jazmine Orozco (2012), Julie Rubenstein (2008), Becca Strehlow (2013), Katie Wilkins (2001, 2002, 2003) and Kellie Woolever (2011, 2012).

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Athletic Communications

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