The Waves come together after scoring a point for their team. Freshman outside hitter Emily Hellmuth and junior middle blocker Meg Brown each had 12 kills and two blocks for the Waves in their 3-1 victory over Saint Mary’s at Firestone Fieldhouse Oct. 8. Photos by Colton Rubsamen.
No. 20 Pepperdine’s Women’s Volleyball beat Saint Mary’s College in four sets at Firestone Fieldhouse on Oct. 8. With this victory, the Waves have won five consecutive games, are undefeated when playing at home and are 12-4 on the season.
The Waves came out ready to compete, winning the first set 25-17 and the second set 25-19. Freshman outside hitter Emily Hellmuth played a big role during the first set with six kills and would go on to have 12 in the whole game, with a total of 13.5 points. Junior middle blocker Meg Brown, who leads the team in points with 189, also played a key role in the victory with 12 kills and 15 points.
Brown stepped up toward the end of sets two and four, as she had three kills in each set after the Waves scored their 14th point. Additionally, sophomore outside/opposite hitter Grace Chillingworth contributed to the offense with 10 kills and 14.5 points. Pepperdine’s 56 kills during this game is the most they’ve had in a match since they had 58 kills against the University of San Diego on Sept. 22.
Brown said after coming off two losses against BYU and San Diego, it was nice having the teams wins on their back to build their confidence a little bit as they grind and grow.
On the defensive side, graduate student libero Riley Patterson, coming off a game with 16 digs, added 21 digs to her team leading total which is now at 284, while defensive specialist Kayleigh Hames had 11 digs. Senior setter Isabel Zelaya, who is averaging 10.14 assists per set, had 34 assists which was a major contribution to the Wave’s offense. Freshman middle blocker Vanessa Polk was also key on defense as she had 4 blocks, increasing her team leading total to 76.
Coming off wins in the first two sets, the Waves fell behind 6-0 and ended up losing the third set.
“We needed to refocus and really get after the task at hand which was Saint Mary’s, a team that was playing really well,” Head Coach Scott Wong said. “We just needed to be a little better and focus on that.”
The Waves heeded Wong’s message, after the third set started off 5-5, the Waves pulled away from Saint Mary’s. The Waves went on a run of scoring nine points, while only letting up one, and ultimately won the set 25-14 which completed the 3-1 victory. Chillingworth’s two kills and service aces, as well as Hellmuth’s three kills highlighted the final set.
“We weren’t happy with how we played in the third set and we were looking for a clean sweep,” Hellmuth said. “A lot of our mentalities was to come out and really just show we shouldn’t have dropped that third set, we’re a much better volleyball team, and just show our competitiveness and our ability to recover from failure.”
This victory has allowed the Waves to remain undefeated at home with a record of 6-0 when playing at Firestone Fieldhouse.
“I think it has a lot to do with being in our own gym,” Brown said. “I think if you could tell there were a few balls that were a little whacky in the ceilings that gives us a little bit of an advantage. Just being more comfortable at home. Having our home crowd is always so much fun to play with and seeing familiar faces. It’s a really cool environment to play in.”
Hellmuth said the team is ready to get back into the mentality of coming into someone else’s house and having to prove themselves.
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