TCU ‘Finally’ Notches West Coast Win; Pepperdine Gets Back on Track
To an unknowing bystander at Zuma Beach on Wednesday afternoon, it probably would have seemed a strange moment for TCU to be celebrating. It was, after all, LMU’s court three of Sarah Kovac and Jessie Prichard who had just won, defeating TCU’s Hannah Rogers and Claire Boyle, 21-18, 18-21, 15-12, to complete the dual.
But it wasn’t the court three match the Frogs were celebrating, rather the completion of the dual itself, which had been sealed up on court four moments prior, by Caroline White and Jordan Westendorff. In beating LMU’s Bo Culo and Megan Rice, 12-21, 21-18, 15-11, the Frogs alas notched their signature West Coast win, one that had been six matches in the making.
“Finally!” TCU coach Hector Gutierrez said after the dual was finished.
It has been a long and arduous week for the Frogs, both in good ways and bad. The bad was that their trip West had been, in terms of results, fruitless up to that point. Four matches in UCLA’s annual East Meets West event at the Manhattan Beach Pier had resulted in four losses and only two sets won, against four of the best teams in the country.
The good is that, well, the Frogs were tested by four of the best teams in the country, an invaluable experience for a developing team.
On Wednesday, TCU’s first match, an 11 a.m. date with Pepperdine, ended in a sweep. But then came LMU, a team that had been equally mercurial this season, sweeping GCU, challenging USC in the Trojans’ season-opener before dropping to Stetson and Long Beach last week.
As the wind picked up, so did the play of the Frogs. Court two’s Molly Scheel and Taylor Bradley controlled from start to finish in a 21-18, 21-19 win over LMU’s Megan Nash and Emma Doud. Same went for court five’s Avery Arellano and Hailey Brockett, who won 21-15, 21-16 over Veronica Nederend and Erin Martin.
The Lions picked up a quick win on court one, a 21-15, 21-18 victory by Savannah Slattery and Reka Orsi Toth, which left courts three and four in the third set.
Both teams migrated over to court four together, watching on as White and Westendorff out-wind-balled Culo and Rice, making Rogers’ and Boyle’s match on three a fun but ultimately inconsequential affair.
Five days and six matches is what it took, but TCU finally had its West Coast win.
That lone win for the Frogs made the day a bitter-sweet one for LMU, which had picked up a crucial win over Cal Poly earlier in the afternoon, a 4-1 victory that included another decisive performance from Slattery and Orsi Toth.
Poly, hampered by injuries – court two blocker Emily Sonny is somehow successfully switch-hitting, for instance, because of a nagging right shoulder – then nearly followed with an upset over Pepperdine.
After court four’s Jayelin Lombard and Kat Wright battled back to beat Pepperdine’s Nikki Lyons and Maddie Dilfer, 19-21, 21-13, 15-7, it came down to court five, Poly’s Heather Pembroke and Siea Anderson and Pepperdine’s Katie Gavin and Simone Priebe.
It would be Gavin and Priebe who prevailed, winning 21-15, 19-21, 15-12, a performance they’d repeat against LMU to finish the day, winning 15-7 in the third shortly before Lyons and Dilfer won 15-12 in the third set of their own, completing the Waves’ second 5-0 sweep of the day.
The undefeated day was a much-needed one from the Waves, particularly the wins over Poly and LMU, two teams vying for a West Region bid for the NCAA Tournament. They’ll have another opportunity for a resume-booster on Saturday when they visit UCLA.
Pepperdine 5, TCU 0
Court 1: Pepperdine Brook Bauer, Deahna Kraft def. TCU Jaelyn Green, Victoria McDonald 21-12, 21-17.
Court 2: Pepperdine Gigi Hernandez, Heidi Dyer def. TCU Haven Hill, Mandi Orellana 21-11, 22-20
Court 3: Pepperdine Skylar Caputo, Alexis Filippone def. TCU Molly Scheel, Taylor Bradley 21-17, 21-17
Court 4: Pepperdine Nikki Lyons, Maddie Dilfer def. TCU Claire Doyle, Jordan Westendorff 17-21, 21-15, 15-10
Court 5: Pepperdine Simone Priebe, Katie Gavin def. Avery Arellano, Hailey Brockett 17-21, 21-12, 15-10
LMU 4, Cal Poly 1
Court 1: LMU Savannah Slattery, Reka Orsi Toth def. Poly Crissy Jones, Tia Miric 21-11, 21-17
Court 2: Poly Emily Sonny, Macy Gordon def. LMU Megan Nash, Emma Doud 10-21, 21-13, 15-7
Court 3: LMU Sara Kovac, Jessie Prichard def. Poly Vanessa Roscoe, Brayden Gruenwald 24-22, 21-18
Court 4: LMU Bo Culo, Megan Rice def. Poly Jayelin Lombard, Kat Wright 21-18, 21-16
Court 5: LMU Veronica Nederend, Erin Martin def. Poly Heather Pembroke, Siea Anderson 21-4, 19-21, 15-10
Pepperdine 3, Cal Poly 2
Court 1: Poly Crissy Jones, Tia Miric def. Pepperdine Brook Bauer, Deahna Kraft 21-19, 27-25
Court 2: Pepperdine Gigi Hernandez, Heidi Dyer def. Poly Emily Sonny, Macy Gordon 21-18, 21-16
Court 3: Pepperdine Skylar Caputo, Alexis Filippone def. Poly Vanessa Roscoe, Brayden Gruenwald 21-19, 21-12
Court 4: Poly Jayelin Lombard, Kat Wright def. Pepperdine Nikki Lyons, Maddie Dilfer 19-21, 21-13, 15-7
Court 5: Pepperdine Katie Gavin, Simone Priebe def. Poly Heather Pembroke, Siea Anderson 21-15, 19-21, 15-12
TCU 3, LMU 2
Court 1: LMU Savannah Slattery, Reka Orsi Toth def. TCU Haven Hill, Mandi Orellana 21-15, 21-18
Court 2: TCU Molly Scheel, Taylor Bradley def. LMU Megan Nash, Emma Doud 21-18, 21-19
Court 3: LMU Sara Kovac, Jessie Prichard def. TCU Hannah Rogers, Claire Boyle 21-18, 18-21, 15-12
Court 4: TCU Caroline White, Jordan Westendorff def. LMU Bo Culo, Megan Rice 12-21, 21-18, 15-11
Court 5: TCU Avery Arellano, Hailey Brockett def. LMU Veronica Nederend, Erin Martin 21-15, 21-16
Pepperdine 5, LMU 0
Court 1: Pepperdine Deahna Kraft, Brook Bauer def. LMU Savannah Slattery, Reka Orsi Toth 21-12, 21-17
Court 2: Pepperdine Gigi Hernandez, Heidi Dyer def. LMU Megan Nash, Emma Doud 19-21, 21-13, 15-9
Court 3: Pepperdine Skylar Caputo, Alexis Filippone def. Sara Kovac, Jessie Prichard 14-21, 21-17, 15-7
Court 4: Pepperdine Nikki Lyons, Maddie Dilfer def. Bo Culo, Megan Rice 21-19, 20-22, 15-12
Court 5: Pepperdine Simone Priebe, Katie Gavin def. Veronica Nederend, Erin Martin 21-9, 18-21, 15-7
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