Pepperdine Teams Fare Well In 2001-02

Pepperdine University, which has enjoyed unparalleled athletic success since moving to its Malibu-based campus in the early 1970's, benefited from yet another strong effort by its sports program during the 2001-02 school year, highlighted by a single-season record nine teams advancing to NCAA Championships post-season play.

Pepperdine athletics teams compiled an overall record of 196-93-3 during the recently concluded 2001-02 school year, a .676 winning percentage. The Waves have won at least 60 percent of their athletics contests in 20 of the last 26 seasons, and surpassed the 70 percent mark on six occasions. 

Pepperdine won the inaugural Commissioner's Cup, an All-Sports Award administered by the West Coast Conference (WCC) presented at the end of each academic year to the league's top performing school in conference play. The Waves won the Men's All-Sports Award and shared the Women's All-Sports Award with Santa Clara. 

"The remarkable accomplishments by our various athletics teams this year are a direct result of the hard work put forth on a daily basis by our coaches and student-athletes," said Dr. John Watson, the University's Director of Athletics. "Despite increasing financial pressures and higher academic demands, our athletics program remains a model of consistency and our teams continue to compete at the highest level with tremendous success." 

Since the mid-1970's, Pepperdine athletics teams have compiled a cumulative overall record of 4,688-2,582-15, a winning percentage of .645. During that 26-year time span dating back to the start of the 1976-77 school year, Pepperdine teams have won 96 conference championships and 131 teams have advanced to post-season play. Additionally, a total of 134 teams have earned a national Top 20 ranking in their sport's respective final national polls. 

During the 2001-02 school year, Pepperdine teams captured West Coast Conference (WCC) championships in six sports - men's basketball, women's basketball, men's golf, women's golf, men's tennis and women's volleyball. The men's volleyball team won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crown and advanced to the title match at the NCAA Championships before losing to Hawaii. The women's tennis team finished second at its WCC Championships, snapping a 14-year run of league titles, while the baseball program captured the West Division title before losing to San Diego in the WCC Championship series. 

The men's and women's basketball, golf, tennis and volleyball teams each advanced to their respective NCAA Championships along with the women's soccer program. It marked the first-ever NCAA Championships appearance for the women's soccer team. 

No less than seven of the program's 13 head coaches - Marv Dunphy (men's volleyball), John Geiberger (men's golf), Laurie Gibbs (women's golf), Nina Matthies (women's volleyball), Nick Rodionoff (women's swimming and diving), Peter Smith (men's tennis) and Mark Trakh (women's basketball) earned "Coach of the Year" honors. 

A total of four Pepperdine student-athletes qualified for post-season NCAA competition in the sport of men's tennis, highlighted by Al Garland who advanced to the third round of the 64-player singles draw at the NCAA Championships. 

Finally, 11 student-athletes earned All-American honors - Jason Allred (men's golf), Beau Daniels (men's volleyball), Al Garland (men's tennis), Katherine Hull (women's golf), Brad Keenan (men's volleyball), Greg Lonzo (water polo), Sean Rooney (men's volleyball), Jesse Smith (water polo), Michael Soltis (water polo), Katie Wilkins (women's volleyball) and Lindsey Wright (women's golf).

Michelle Barker (women's diving), Michael Beard (men's golf), Garland (men's tennis), Brad Keenan (men's volleyball), Charlotte Vernaz (women's tennis), Katie Wilkins (women's volleyball) and Lindsey Wright won their respective sport's "Player of the Year" award. Keenan was named the national "Player of the Year" by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and Volleyball Magazine. Crystal Fanning (women's golf), Terrance Johnson (men's basketball), Veronica Koksova (women's tennis), Brian O'Flaherty (men's golf) and Sean Rooney (men's volleyball) each won or shared the league's "Freshman of the Year" honor in their respective sport.

Story Courtesy Pepperdine University Athletics.