Pepperdine Pairs Finish 1-2 at Collegiate Challenge

April 15, 2012, 8 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Communications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 15, 2012) – Pepperdine’s Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross defeated teammates Lilla Frederick and Kim Hill to win the pairs competition on Sunday at the USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach Calif.

Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.), Pepperdine’s No. 1 team, beat fellow Waves and No. 2 Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Hill (Portland, Ore.), 21-14, 18-21, 16-14 to win the gold division bracket.

The victory gave Racich and Ross 12 ranking points toward competing in the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships on April 27-29 in Gulf Shores, Ala. Frederick and Hill received 10 points.
In the semifinals, Racich and Ross defeated the University of Southern California’s No. 3 team of Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) and Katie Fuller (Olivenhain, Calif.), 22-20, 21-14. Frederick and Hill beat out USC’s No. 1 team of Geena Urango (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Sara Shaw (Austin, Texas), 21-18, 17-21, 16-14.

The gold division finalists had plenty of experience at the Collegiate Challenge. Pepperdine’s Hill has medaled at every USAV Collegiate Challenge since she took second in the spring of 2009 with Stevi Robinson. In 2010 she took third with Frederick and in 2011 she won with Racich. In 2010, Racich took second with Kiah Fiers. Frederick won the 2009 event with Fiers.

It was the first Collegiate Challenge experience for Ross, who became well known in the beach volleyball community in 2010 for becoming the first beach volleyball player to win FIVB World Championships in both the youth and junior divisions.

Ross won the youth title that year with Jane Croson (Lakewood, Calif.), who competed at this year’s Collegiate Challenge with partner Ashley Lee (La Habra Heights, Calif.) on the University of Hawaii’s No. 1 team and finished tied for ninth place.

Ross’ partner at the FIVB Junior World Championships was Tara Roenicke (Alta Loma, Calif.), who competed at this year’s Collegiate Challenge with partner Caitlin Ledoux (Phelan, Calif.) on Long Beach States’ No. 1 team and finished tied for fifth.

Pepperdine also won Saturday’s team competition while Long Beach State placed second and USC came in third. Hawaii place fourth and Loyola Marymount came in fifth.

A silver division bracket was also played on Sunday for pairs in lower flights, with Long Beach State’s No. 5 team of Janisa Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) and Tyler Jackson (Long Beach Calif.) defeating Pepperdine’s No. 5 team of Emily Cook (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Michaela Christiaansen (Tucson, Ariz.) in the final, 21-15, 21-18.

A selection committee was scheduled to meet Sunday evening to determine the four collegiate teams and the 16 individual pairs that will compete in the AVCA Collegiate Championships. Eight of the pairs will come from the four competing collegiate teams while the other eight will be wild cards from schools that were not selected.