The Year in Review The Heritage Continues: Athletics
Pepperdine University experienced another strong effort by its
athletics program during the 2002-03 academic year, highlighted
by a single-season, record-tying nine teams advancing to NCAA Championship
postseason play. Sports Illustrated ranked Pepperdine University
50 out of 324 Division I athletic programs in their "America's
Best Sports Colleges" list, October 2002, concluding, "Amazing
success for a school of 3,000."
2002-03 West Coast Conference (WCC) seasons culminated with
Pepperdine claiming its second consecutive Commissioner's Cup.
The Commissioner's Cup is an all-sports award presented at the end
of each academic year to the league's top performing school in conference
play. The Waves also completed a sweep by winning the Men's and
Women's All-Sports Award, recognizing athletic achievement within
Pepperdine teams captured WCC championships in seven sports: women's
basketball, men's golf, women's golf, women's soccer, men's tennis,
women's tennis, and women's volleyball. In addition, the men's volleyball
and men's water polo teams won their respective Mountain Pacific
Sports Federation regular season titles.
The baseball, women's basketball, and women's soccer programs were
joined by the men's and women's golf, tennis, and volleyball teams
at the NCAA Championships. The women's golf team earned a best-ever
second place finish at the NCAA Championship conducted in May at
Purdue. During the fall, the women's soccer and women's volleyball
programs both recorded best-ever showings at their respective NCAA
Championships. The women's soccer team earned the No. 3 national
seed and advanced to the third round while the women's volleyball
team advanced to the "Elite Eight" before losing to USC,
the eventual NCAA champion.
Four of the program's thirteen head coaches-Laurie Gibbs
(women's golf), Nina Matthies (women's volleyball), Frank
Sanchez (baseball), and Tim Ward (women's soccer)-earned
"Coach of the Year" honors. Gibbs was named the West Region
"Co-Coach of the Year" by the National Golf Coaches Association.
Matthies and Ward both earned West Region "Coach of the Year"
accolades from the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the
National Soccer Coaches Association of America, respectively. This
was the second time Mathies has received this honor. Matthies, who
was tabbed the WCC's "Coach of the Year" for the eighth
time in her career earlier this season, has guided the Waves into
the regional semifinals for the fourth time in five years.
student-athletes earned All-American honors: Diego Acuna
(men's tennis), Calle Hansen (men's tennis), Katherine
Hull (women's golf), Brad Keenan (men's volleyball),
Karl Niehaus (water polo), Sean Rooney (men's volleyball),
Jesse Smith (water polo), Ashley Swanson (women's
soccer), Katie Wilkins (women's volleyball), Fred Winters
(men's volleyball), and Lindsey Wright (women's golf).
Winning their respective sport's "Player of the Year"
award were Kevin Estrada (baseball), Calle Hansen
(men's tennis), Carolina Llano (women's golf), Tamara
McDonald (women's basketball), Michael Putnam (men's
golf), and Katie Wilkins (women's volleyball). Katherine
Hull (women's golf) was tabbed the National Golf Coaches Association
"Player of the Year" and won the inaugural Dinah Shore
Award. She was also selected the WCC's
"Co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year." Hull is the first
female athlete from Pepperdine to receive the honor, which recognizes
the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics, and community
service by individuals who have completed their eligibility.
In men's basketball, sophomore guard Terrance Johnson and
senior forward Jimmy Miggins were both named to the All-WCC
first team in a vote conducted this spring by the league's head
coaches. Pepperdine rookie guard Alex Acker was selected
the league's "Freshman of the Year" and was an honorable
mention All-WCC pick, along with senior forward Boomer Brazzle.
In women's basketball, senior guard Tamara McDonald was
named the WCC's "Player of the Year" this March, and sophomore
guard Shanell Law was selected to the all-conference team.
April, Pepperdine cruised to its 13th consecutive WCC men's tennis
title. In women's tennis, Pepperdine captured the WCC women's
Men's head volleyball coach Marv Dunphy was formally honored
as one of four coaches named to the U.S. Volleyball Association's
Men's 1978-2002 All-Era Team. Dunphy was recognized by USA Volleyball
at the Dorothy C. Boyce Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet in
Minneapolis. The men's volleyball team, under his coaching, secured
the regular season WCC title and was the top seed for the league's
postseason tournament. Senior middle blocker Brad Keenan,
sophomore outside hitter Sean Rooney, and junior outside
hitter Fred Winters were each named to the All-Mountain Pacific
Sports Federation first team. Brad Keenan was named Volleyball
Magazine's 2003 "Player of the Year," while sophomore
outside hitter Sean Rooney and junior outside hitter Fred Winters
were tabbed All-Americans in July. All three players were also tabbed
All-Americans by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The women's golf team captured their fifth consecutive WCC
title this spring. Freshman Carolina Llano claimed individual medalist
honors. Senior All-American Lindsey Wright, the defending
tournament champion, finished second, and senior Katherine Hull
finished in a three-way tie for third place. Hull, a three-time
All-American, is arguably the greatest women's golfer in Waves'
In men's golf, Pepperdine won its fifth consecutive WCC
title in April at the Riverbend Golf Course in Fresno.