Pepperdine Wins First Sand Volleyball Championship

April 28, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Release courtesy of the AVCA

GULF SHORES, Ala. (April 28, 2012) – Pepperdine University won the team title Saturday at the first first-ever AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The action was fast and furious as Long Beach State University, Pepperdine, Florida State University and the College of Charleston squared off for the team competition.

Pepperdine swept all five matches against College of Charleston in the opening round of the tournament, with only flight No. 3 going to a third set. The Waves advanced to face the winner of the Florida State/Long Beach State matchup. Two of the top pairs in the tournament squared off in the first flight, with Long Beach State's duo of Tara Roenicke and Caitlin Ledoux knocking off the FSU pair of Brittany Tiegs and Aurora Newgard in three sets (14-21, 21-16, 15-7). Long Beach State would go on to claim the flight, 3-2.

 Pepperdine took on Long Beach State in the second round, opening up a quick lead by sweeping the first three flights. With the win in hand, the Waves forfeited flights 4 and 5 because they had already clinched the victory.

The Pepperdine top pair of Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross dominated their matchup with Ledoux and Roenicke, 21-14, 21-12.

College of Charleston and Florida State matched up in an elimination contest. FSU's top two pairs won their flights in convincing fashion, and College of Charleston's team of Andi Zbojniewicz and Kerstin Koehler were the only pair to pull off a win, though claiming it after FSU forfeited the match because it had already clinched the victory, 4-1. FSU advanced to face Long Beach State for a chance to play Pepperdine in the championship.

Long Beach State would claim the matchup with FSU by winning in flights 3-5, enough to clinch the victory. The matchup of top flights Teigs/Newgard (FSU) and Ledoux/Roenicke (LBSU) was forfeited after the teams split the first two sets 16-21, 21-17.

With the victory, Long Beach State moved on to the National Championship matchup with Pepperdine.

Pepperdine, coached by Nina Matthies, defeated Long Beach State University, coached by Brian Gimmillaro, 5-0.

Pepperdine's top pair of Racich and Ross defeated Ledoux and Roenicke, 21-15, 21-11. The LBSU pair of Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson put up a fight against Emily Cook and Michaela Christiansen, but ultimately fell 21-16, 22-20. Pepperdine made quick work of LBSU in flights 2-4, and none of the flights went to a third set.

 After the match, the Sand All-Americans were recognized. Pepperdine placed four players on the squad, while FSU had three players selected.

The pairs championship will be played on Sunday.

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Aurora Newgard, FSU 
Brittany Tiegs, FSU 
Jekaterina Stepanova, FSU 
Jane Croson, Hawaii 
Caitlin Ledoux, LBSU 
Tara Roenicke, LBSU 
Caitlin Racich, Pepperdine 
Summer Ross, Pepperdine 
Lilla Frederick, Pepperdine 
Kim Hill, Pepperdine