Day Three Complete of the Inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships
Pepperdine's Racich and Ross win the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Pairs Championship
Gulf Shores, AL (April 29, 2012) - It took a third set, but Pepperdine's top pair of Racich and Ross claimed a hard-fought win in the championship matchup with Long Beach State University's top pair of Ledoux and Roenicke. After Pepperdine won the first set by a score of 21-14, Ledoux and Roenicke battled back to win the second set 21-15. The championship would be decided in the third set, when Racich and Ross fought off Ledoux and Roenicke for the trophy, 16-14.
Racich and Ross started the day as the #2 overall seed, and breezed through the first two rounds, knocking off College of Charleston's Chubb and Theesfeld by scores of 21-9 and 21-11. They would advance to play USC's pair of Urango and Shaw, narrowly winning the first set 21-19 before winning soundly with a second set score of 21-8.
Meanwhile, Ledoux and Roenicke, who started the tournament as the #5 seed, began the day by defeating Stetson's Melville and Bassett 21-11 and 21-12. They would then square off against the #4 seed, FSU's pair of Newgard and Tiegs. They would claim the match by consecutive set score of 21-17 and 21-14.
For the semi-final rounds, the bracket was flipped so that Pepperdine's two remaining pairs were matched up with each other. LBSU would move to Pepperdine's previous spot and face off against FSU's top pair of Pardon and Stepanova. After winning the first set 21-19, FSU's Pardon and Stepanova would claim the second set by a score of 21-17. LBSU would win it in the rubber match, posting a score of 15-8 to advance to the title match.
Pepperdine's top pair of Frederick and Hill, the #1 overall seed, matched up against their Pepperdine counterparts, but were defeated in two, 21-9 and 21-17, sending Racich and Ross to the championship.
In the title match, LBSU's Roenicke would dominate the stat book, recording 23 digs and 19 kills. The balanced attack of Racich (11 digs, 16 kills) and Ross (11 digs, 14 kills, 5 blocks) would prove too daunting in the end, however. Despite Ledoux's 12 kills and 6 digs, Pepperdine would walk off as the winner in 3 sets, winning a thrilling third set by a score of 16-14.
The championship caps off a successful first season of collegiate Sand Volleyball action, and firmly established Pepperdine as the team to beat nationally. In Saturday's action, they took home the team championship, sweeping the title game with victories in all 5 flights. Ledoux and Roenicke kept up their winning ways, and Pepperdine placed both of their competing pairs in the Final Four.
It was Racich and Ross that would be the least team standing in the 16-team tournament that featured the top two pairs from each of the four schools that competed in Saturday's team championship (LBSU, FSU, College of Charleston, Pepperdine) as well as select top pairs from schools that participated in the first season.