Tournament Play Continues for Waves Tennis, Ends for Volleyball Teams

Waves men’s volleyball player David Wieczorek

One Pepperdine Waves team advanced in the NCAA tournament of its sport last week, while two others fell in the NCAA tourneys of their sports.

The Waves women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Super Regional thanks to its 4-0 win over UC Berkeley Golden Bears in the tournament’s second round on May 4 at Pepperdine’s Ralphs Straus Tennis Center. 

A day earlier, the Pepperdine women’s volleyball squad, ranked fifth nationally, was knocked out of the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., due to a pair of 3-0 losses to Louisiana State University, ranked fourth, and top-ranked USC. The third-ranked Waves men’s volleyball team was defeated by host and second-ranked Long Beach State in four sets on May 2.

Women’s Tennis

Doubles play against UC Berkeley featured Waves pairs—junior Jessica Failla and freshman Anastasia Iamachkine, and junior Adrijana Lekaj and senior Dzina Milovanovic—grabbing 6-1 wins each. Junior Ashley Lahey won 7-5, 6-2; Failla won 6-3, 6-3; and Iamachkine won 6-1, 6-1 in singles.

Pepperdine downed Fairfield with a score of 4-0 in the first round of the tournament on May 3. 

The Waves women’s tennis squad will face Central Florida in the Super Regional on May 10.

Women’s Beach Volleyball

The Pepperdine beach volleyball team closed the season with a 20-11 win-loss record.

On the eve of the Waves matches against LSU and USC, Pepperdine’s Maddie Dilfer, a graduate student, won the 2019 NCAA Division I Beach Volleyball Championship Elite 90 Award. The honor is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average participating in the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Dilfer was also named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic first team this year.

Six of Dilfer’s teammates also earned All-WCC honors. Sophomore Brook Bauer was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. She was also named to the conference’s first team with senior Heidi Dyer and junior Deahna Kraft. Senior Skylar Caputo and junior Gigi Hernandez were named to the WCC second team. First-year player Simone Priebe was named to the All-Freshman team. 

Men’s Volleyball

The Waves men’s volleyball team lost 25-21, 21-25, 25-16 and 25-15 to Long Beach State one game before the championship match. Senior opposite Michael Wexter had 12 kills, eight digs and three service aces, while senior outside hitter David Wieczorek posted eight kills and four digs. Senior outside hitter Kaleb Denmark had eight kills, four digs and two service aces.

The Waves, owners of a 23-7 record, beat Princeton 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 25-16, 22-25 and 15-8) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on April 30.

Women’s Golf

Also, the Pepperdine women’s golf team, ranked 25th nationally, began play in NCAA Regional in Oklahoma on Monday. Pepperdine won the WCC golf title on April 20. Waves senior Hira Naveed won the conference’s individual title the same day.

Naveed was named the WCC Golfer of the Year and Pepperdine coach Laurie Gibbs was named WCC Coach of the Year for the 13th time. Naveed and her classmates Hannah Haythorne and Patricia Wong were named to the conference’s first team with junior Momoka Kobori.