APepperdine University | Columbia, SC (March 11, 2022)The #15 Pepperdine beach volleyball team split opening day of the Gamecock Grand Slam, suffering the season’s first loss 4-1 to tournament-host #19 South Carolina in dual one before sweeping past Louisiana-Monroe to close the day.
The Waves’ No. 4 pairing, Cameron Baklenko and Rio Frohoff, went undefeated throughout both matches, collecting the squad’s sole three-set victory against the Gamecocks and dominating their Warhawk opposition in two sets.
#19 South Carolina Finals #15 Pepperdine, 4-1
1. Skylar Allen/Whitley Ballard (USC) def. Melanie Paul/Madison Shields (PEPP) – 18-21, 21-17, 15-10
2. Jordan Smith/Lauren Wilcock (USC) def. Simone Priebe/McKenna Thomas (PEPP) – 18-21, 21-14, 21-19
3. Abby Carroll/Jillian Gleason (USC) def. Mary Sinclair/Juju Quintero (PEPP) – 21-17, 21-18
4. Cameron Baklenko/Rio Frohoff (PEPP) final. Sophie Manson/Peyton Gray (USC) – 21-18, 14-21, 15-12
5. Hannah Mackenhausen/Kaeli Crews (USC) def. Jordan Benoit/Kate Clermont (PEPP) – 21-13, 21-15 Exh. Hailey Cabeceiras/Kennedy Westendorff (USC) def. Peyton Lewis/Savana Greene (PEPP) – 21-17, 19-21, 15-5
Order or finish: 5, 4, 3, 2*, 1
#15 Pepperdine def. ULM, 5-0
1. Melanie Paul/Madison Shields (PEPP) def. Audrey Brooks/Julia Blazek (ULM) – 21-19, 21-16
2. Simone Priebe/McKenna Thomas (PEPP) def. Kayla Gallant/Rylin Adams (ULM) – 21-16, 21-10
3. Mary Sinclair/Juju Quintero (PEPP) def. Elizabeth Moreland/Brooke Hoven (ULM) – 21-8, 21-18
4. Cameron Baklenko/Rio Frohoff (PEPP) final. Kaitlyn Nowak/Madison Gray (ULM) – 24-22, 21-16
5. Jordan Benoit/Kate Clermont (PEPP) def. Abigail Elder/Abbey Bufkin (ULM) – 21-13, 18-21, 15-8
Exh. Peyton Lewis/Savana Greene (PEPP) def. Avery Reynolds/Tamsie Black (ULM) – 21-13, 21-19
Order or finish: 4, 5, 2*, 1, 3
In the opening flight against the tournament host South Carolina, the Waves and Gamecocks came out battling. Though USC took the first point with a two-set win on court five, Pepperdine rallied back on court four as Rio Frohoff and Cameron Baklenko took down Sophie Manson and Peyton Gray 21-18, 14-21, 15-12 to even things up as the next flight got underway.
In the second flight, the match on court three would end first, as USC took a two-set win to pull ahead 2-1 overall. It would be an advantage the home team would rally behind as the Gamecocks then took a hard-fought three-set win on court two to clinch the match. The final match to end was another three-setter on court one, and thought the Waves took the first set 21-18 and fought hard throughout, the opposition claimed the next two sets to win in three an advance the overall score to 4-1 .
In the second match of the day, Pepperdine made quick work of ULM, beginning with some solid action in the first flight. Baklenko and Frohoff took their second victory of the day, putting down Kaitlyn Nowak and Madison Gray 24-22, 21-16 on court four to set the tone early. Jordan Benoit and Kate Clermont split their first two sets against Abigail Elder and Abbey Bufkin 21-13, 18-21 in the No. 5 position, but rallied in the third to put the Waves ahead 2-0 overall with a 15-8 third set. Peyton Lewis and Savana Greene also dominated their ULM opponents on the exhibition court six with a 21-13, 21-19 victory.
In the second flight, all three of the final Waves’ pairing put in a strong performance, with Simone Priebe and McKenna Thomas picking up the clinch on court two after defeating Kayla Gallant and Rylin Adams 21-16, 21-10.
Melanie Paul and Madison Shields then made it 4-0 Waves with a 21-19, 21-16 defeat of Audrey Brooks and Julia Blazek in the No. 1 position. Mary Sinclair and Juju Quintero rounded out the sweep with a staggering 21-8, 21-18 win in the No. 3 slot about Elizabeth Moreland and Brooke Hoven.
Tomorrow, the Waves will close out the Gamecock Grand Slam against #5 LSU at 6 am PT and Mercer at 12 pm PT. Live scoring will be available on the Pepperdine beach volleyball schedule page of www.pepperdinewaves.com and updates will go up on Twitter @WavesBeachVB.