Pepperdine Seniors go Out With Two Wins in Final Home Tournament
ZUMA BEACH — There was no shortage of post-season implications at Zuma Beach on Saturday morning. Two of the teams making the trip to Malibu – Cal Poly and Cal Berkeley – were each presented a pair of opportunities to boost their resumes with just two weeks left in the season. The other, Pepperdine, had the chance to all but lock up its NCAA Tournament berth in three weeks in Gulf Shores, Ala.
It’s fitting that the only team to take full advantage was Pepperdine, which was playing its final home match of the year, on senior day. Even more fitting is that it would be the seniors — Heidi Dyer, Skylar Caputo, Maddie Dilfer, Nikki Lyons — on the last day they would compete at Zuma, who sealed it up, going undefeated on the day, playing a part in winning six of their eight victorious sets on the day.
With Pepperdine leading two points to zero in the second dual, against Cal Berkeley, it was Skylar Caputo, a senior defender on court three, who came through again and again. She came through with option kills. She came through with one-handed digs and transition put-aways. She came through with aces, helping her and partner Alexis Filippone to consecutive three-set victories, sealing the third dual point against Berkeley and the second win of the day.
With Pepperdine’s 4-1 victories over both Poly and Berkeley, the Waves’ senior class finished their careers 90-22 and 36-2 at Zuma, their home beach.
Poly, meanwhile, split on the day, picking up a crucial 3-2 win over Berkeley to keep its post-season hopes alive. It came down to a thriller on court four, between Berkeley’s Mia Merino and Abby Waldburger and Poly’s Delaney Peranich and Samantha Manley. With both teams gathered around, it was Peranich and Manley who prevailed, winning 23-21, 14-21, 15-13.
It atoned for an earlier loss to Pepperdine, which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a bad loss at all though it is a miss on a chance to land a big win prior to the NCAA selection later this month.
Better news for Poly is the additional opportunities it has for such wins next week. On Thursday, the Mustangs will play USC and Grand Canyon, and next Saturday they will see Stanford and Cal one more time before the Big West Tournament, where a win – highly possible, given that they’ve already beaten Hawai’i this year – could prove to be the final notch it needs to push them to Gulf Shores.
At 17-7, Berkeley now has its hands full, though the Pac-12 Tournament two weeks from now will likewise be a chance for the Bears to pick up a few big wins prior to the field for Gulf Shores being chosen.
For now, though, the day goes to the Pepperdine seniors, who didn’t drop a single set on their final day at Zuma. The next match for the Waves will be at next weekend’s West Coast Conference Tournament at Santa Monica
PEPPERDINE 4, CAL POLY 1
1: Brook Bauer/Heidi Dyer (PEPP) def. Tiadora Miric/Crissy Jones (CP) – 21-15, 21-13
2: Gigi Hernandez/Deahna Kraft (PEPP) def. Macy Gordon/Emily Sonny (CP) – 21-19, 23-21
3: Alexis Filippone/Skylar Caputo (PEPP) def. Vanessa Roscoe/Brayden Gruenewald (CP) – 21-15, 18-21, 15-11
4: Maddie Dilfer/Nikki Lyons (PEPP) def. Kassandra Wright/Jayelin Lombard (CP) – 21-6, 21-19
5: Delaney Peranich/Samantha Manley (CP) def. Simone Priebe/Katie Gavin (PEPP) – 21-13, 21-19
CAL POLY 3, CAL 2
1: Crissy Jones/Tia Miric (CP) def. Jordon Polo/Mima Mirkovic (CAL) – 21-15, 21-15
2: Emily Sonny/Macy Gordon (CP) def. Caroline Schafer/Maddie Micheletti (CAL) – 21- 13, 21-17
3: Iya Lindahl/Grace Campbell (CAL) def. Jayelin Lombard/Kat Wright (CP) – 21-17, 21- 18
4: Vanessa Roscoe/Brayden Gruenewald (CP) def. Abby Waldburger/Mia Merino (CAL) – 23-21, 14-21, 15-13
5 Mati Dueck/Alexis Inman (CAL) def. Delaney Peranich/Sam Manley (CP) – 21-15, 21- 16
PEPPERDINE 4, CAL 1
1: Brook Bauer/Heidi Dyer (PEPP) def. Jordan Polo/Mima Mirkovic (CAL) – 21-18, 21-16
2: Gigi Hernandez/Deahna Kraft (PEPP) def. Caroline Schafer/Maddie Micheletti (CAL) – 21-18, 18-21, 15-7
3: Alexis Filippone/Skylar Caputo (PEPP) def. Iya Lindahl/Grace Campbell (CAL) – 17-21, 21-17, 15-10
4: Maddie Dilfer/Nikki Lyons (PEPP) def. Abby Waldburger/Mia Merino (CAL) 22-20, 21-10
5: Mati Dueck/Alexia Inman (CAL) def. Simone Priebe/Katie Gavin (PEPP) – 22-20, 15-21, 15-13
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