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Pepperdine Athletics: Women’s golf team punches ticket to NCAA Championships

The Pepperdine Women’s Golf team poses for a picture following its third-place finish at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional May 10 in New Mexico. University of New Mexico
Corrine Quiggle (left) congratulates her partner Brittany Howard during a game this season. Matt Brown/Pepperdine University
Pepperdine Athletics: Women’s golf team punches ticket to NCAA Championships
10:00 am PDT May 17, 2017

Pepperdine’s third-place finish at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional May 10 secured the Waves a trip to the NCAA Championships. It’s the 12th time the team will make the trip to the tournament — its first since 2012 — held May 19-24 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. 

Tatiana Wijaya finished in a tie for second place, leading the Waves and matching the program’s best individual finish at an NCAA Regional.

The No. 36 Waves entered as the ninth seed, but played a remarkable first two rounds – including taking the first-round lead – and built a cushion that easily handled a slightly rockier third round. Pepperdine ended with a three-day total of a 15-over 879 (287-290-302) at the par-72 UNM Championship Course. The Top 6 teams advanced to nationals and the Waves ended with an 11-stroke advantage over the seventh-place team.

Pepperdine only finished behind No. 1 Stanford and No. 9 Duke, while beating the other qualifying teams of No. 6 USC, No. 26 California and No. 16 Miami. 

“This group is amazing,” Pepperdine coach Laurie Gibbs said. “I’m so happy for them. They’ve worked hard all year. We’re just really comfortable on this course. They set it up for a regional and it played tough, and there were a lot of rough conditions, but the fact that we played here in the fall meant we had the knowledge and the experience to do well.”

Wijaya became only the second Wave to post a Top 2 finish at an NCAA Regional, joining Katherine Hull, who tied for second place in 2002. Wijaya shot a 3-under 213 (70-72-71), giving her the best result of her career both in terms of magnitude and overall finish. She led the Waves with 10 birdies over the three days, which tied for fourth-most in the tournament, four of which came on Wednesday.

Momoka Kobori and Patricia Wong both turned in Top 20 performances. Kobori tied for 14th place at 220 (73-72-75) and Wong tied for 18th place at 221 (72-72-77). Kobori posted 44 pars over the three days, more than any other player in the field. Wong was one of the best scorers in the tournament on par-5s at 5-under.

Hira Naveed tied for 43rd place at 227 (72-76-79) and Katherine Zhu tied for 79th at 235 (79-74-82).

Women’s Tennis

Waves thrill in 4-1 win over UCLA in NCAA Round Two

The 12th-ranked Pepperdine women’s tennis team earned a spot in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Sweet Sixteen after defeating 23rd-ranked UCLA with a thrilling 4-1 victory at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center Saturday, May 13, in the second round matchup.

After falling behind with a doubles point loss, the Waves (23-4) rallied with first-set wins on four of six singles courts to gain momentum. After going up 3-1 on the day, the match on Court 5 was coming to a close.

Senior Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai battled back from a 4-6 loss in set one to win the second 6-2 and force a third set for her team. She then dominated in the third set en route to another 6-2 victory to clinch her final home match as a Wave. 

To open singles, Pepperdine took first-set wins on courts one, two, three and six to open the action. Sophomore Dzina Milovanovic tied the dual with a dominating pair of 6-2 set wins to even the playing field.

The, No. 14-ranked sophomore Luisa Stefani fought hard with No. 5-ranked Ena Shibahara, taking the first set 7-6 (5) before crushing the opposition 6-2 in the second set to put the Waves up 2-1. Stefani has now gone 2-1 this season against Shibahara with her two wins taking place during the dual spring campaign.

The Waves’ 19th-ranked freshman Ashley Lahey was also battling hard in the No. 2 singles position, winning the first set 6-2 over Terri Fleming before falling 4-6 in the second.  She then rolled over her competition in the third set for a 6-1 win to put the Waves in clinching territory for Runglerdkriangkrai to deliver the final win.

Also in singles, 37th-ranked Mayar Sherif and 97th-ranked Laura Gulbe were in hard-fought matches on courts three and four. Sherif came back strong in her first set after falling behind 0-5 to start the day. She won seven points in a row to win her first set 7-5 and swing the Waves’ momentum on all courts. She was at the 3-4 mark in Set 2 when the match was clinched.  

Gulbe fell in her first set to Alaina Miller, but won her second 6-4 to force a third.  She then had a 3-0 lead when the dual was clinched on court five.

To start the day in doubles, the Waves posted a win in the No. 1 position from No. 8 senior Christine Maddox and Sherif. The opposition then took the No. 2 and No. 3 positions to go up 1-0 into singles.

The win sends the Waves to Athens, Georgia for the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships Round of 16 at 1 p.m. Friday, May 19.

Baseball

Waves fall in 15-inning heartbreaker

A day after winning a dramatic 14-inning contest in walk-off fashion, Pepperdine dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker in the 15th inning to the Saint Mary’s Gaels Sunday, May 14, in their final home game of the 2017 season.

The Gaels tied the game with two unearned runs in the ninth inning and then scored on an RBI single in the top of the 15th. Pepperdine led 4-1 after six innings of play, but let the lead slip away in what was the team’s seventh extra-inning contest of the year.

The day started with Pepperdine honoring its nine seniors in a pregame ceremony and ended four-and- a-half hours later. Aaron Barnett, Matt Gelalich, Brandon Caruso, Chandler Blanchard, Ben Rodriguez, Matt Crowder, Jeremy Goldenetz, Nick Costello and Jack Ross were all honored before the game as they played in their final games at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Waves scored twice in the first inning on a two-run single by Jordan Qsar. Saint Mary’s got a run back in the top of the second, but Pepperdine would get an RBI single by Caruso in the third and a run-scoring single by Goldenetz in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead.

The Gaels got a home run to lead off the ninth inning and then scored two runs on a throwing error with two outs in the inning. Joey Fiske would knock in the game-winning run in the top of the 15th for the visitors.

Pepperdine got a brilliant start from Jonathan Pendergast as the sophomore righty tossed 7.2 innings, giving up four hits and just one run, while striking out five batters and walking only one.

Waves win on walk-off in 14th

Joe Caparis provided the heroics in the 14th inning on Saturday, May 13, as the Waves outlasted Saint Mary’s for a 2-1 marathon win at home.

Jordan Qsar tossed five scoreless relief innings to pick up the win and help the Waves even the season series at one win a piece. 

Pepperdine struck first in the contest, scoring in the bottom of the first inning after Brandon Caruso capped three straight two-out singles with a run-scoring base hit to plate Aaron Barnett. It wasn’t until 13 innings later that the Waves would score again.

Saint Mary’s tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth.

It was Caparis’ second walk-off hit of the season as he went 2-for-5 on the day. Five Waves had two-hit days and Pepperdine outhit the Gaels 13-9.

Wil Jensen got the start on the mound for Pepperdine and allowed just one unearned run in six innings pitched. The freshman righty scattered six hits while striking out two batters and walking one. 

Beach Volleyball

Quiggle, Howard take bronze 

Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle, of the second-ranked Pepperdine beach volleyball team, won the USAV Collegiate Beach Pairs bronze on Saturday, May 13, at the Hermosa Beach Pier Volleyball Courts with a two-set win in the final match of the weekend.

Howard and Quiggle faced Georgia State’s Delaney Rohan and Chelsea Ross in the bronze final, winning the match in a short 30 minutes with a 21-17, 21-11 final result. 

Earlier in the day, the fifth-seeded duo faced off with top-seeded USC pair Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, taking the first set 21-18 before falling 14-21 and 11-15 to drop into the third-place matchup. 

Howard, Quiggle earn second WCC Pair of the Month nod 

Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle garnered the pair’s second consecutive West Coast Conference Pair of the Month honor, the league office announced May 9, after the duo’s stellar performance on the beach in April.

The Waves have earned all four accolades available since the first award was given out in last year’s inaugural season. This season, Howard and Quiggle tabbed both honors awarded. Quiggle has received three of the monthly honors, including the two this year and one last year with former partner Skylar Caputo.

Howard and Quiggle excelled in the No. 2 position for the Waves in April, posting an 11-2 dual record, improving their overall record to 24-3. The duo tallied eight two-set wins, three three-set wins and clinched a Waves’ win on three separate occasions.

The duo went 3-0 at the West Coast Conference Championships, helping the Waves to the second straight WCC Championship crown. During the tournament, the pair earned three straight set wins, including the clinching win in the 4-1 title-match win over Loyola Marymount University. 

In May’s 2017 NCAA Championships, the pair went undefeated with four wins in five matches, including one unfinished match. Quiggle and Howard downed opposition from No. 6 Long Beach State, No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Hawai’i with 2-0 match results, while also defeating No. 1 USC’s No. 2 duo 2-1 in the NCAA Championship. 

Men’s Volleyball

Alum Carmody earns spot on USA World roster

The U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball World League was released in early May and men’s volleyball alum Tommy Carmody earned a spot as a middle blocker. 

This is the first time Carmody earned a spot on the World League preliminary roster. The team’s schedule includes trip to Novi Sad, Serbia; Pau, France; Katowice and Lodz in Poland and Curitiba, Brazil June 2-July 8.

While at Pepperdine, Carmody earned AVCA All-America honorable mention and was named Off the Block National Blocker of the Year twice: once for Pepperdine in 2016 and once while playing for Pacific in 2014. He was a two-time All-MPSF second team selection in 2016 and 2014 and led the nation in total blocks and blocks/set through 13 weeks of competition.

Carmody finished his 2016 senior campaign ranked No. 2 nationally in blocks. 

Four Waves inducted into SoCal Indoor Hall of Fame

Four Waves were inducted into the SoCal Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame May 7 at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, California.

The inductees include men’s volleyball head coach Marv Dunphy, former men’s volleyball head coach and player Jeff Stork and former men’s volleyball standouts Craig Buck and Bob Ctvrlik. These coaches and players were chosen after growing up or having the majority of their careers in Southern California.   

Information from Pepperdine University and www.pepperdinewaves.com. Compiled by Assistant Editor Erin Redmond, assistant@malibusurfsidenews.com.