After more than a quarter of a century developing the Pepperdine women’s volleyball program into a perennial top 25 entity and a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament, Nina Matthies retired from coaching the indoor game following the 2013 season, her 31st on the sidelines. Matthies continues to guide the Waves’ beach team, and enters her seventh year with the squad in2017-18.
An expert in both indoor and beach volleyball, Marcio Sicoli enters his 10th season with the Waves in 2017-18.
Sicoli was a member of the indoor volleyball coaching staff for six seasons from 2008-13. He now focusses solely on the beach game, where he has been Nina Matthies’ assistant coach since the sport emerged in the spring of 2012.
In the 2016 campaign, Pepperdine earned a berth in the inaugural 2016 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, making history as one team in the first-ever field of eight. The Waves advanced through the opening round and finished out the season ranked 5th overall in the final AVCA Coaches Poll.
A year later in the 2017 season, the Waves finished as runners-up at the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, while also taking home the second-consecutive WCC tournament and regular season crown.
The 2017 team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, while amassing a 27-5 overall record. The squad went 17-5 against nationally ranked opponents with a 9-1 record at home, 6-2 record on the road and 14-2 output on neutral sand. In the NCAA Tournament, Pepperdine opened action with a 3-0 sweep over No. 6-seeded Long Beach State, followed by a 3-1 win over No. 2-seeded UCLA to advance to the day two winners bracket. After falling to USC, the Waves returned through the contender’s bracket to sweep No. 5-seeded Hawai’i 3-0 and earn a spot in the NCAA Championship match-up against the Trojans.
Throughout her four-year career with the Waves, Knudsen amassed an 81-31 overall record for a .723 winning percentage. In her 2014 season, she helped the Waves to an AVCA Beach Volleyball National Championship title with a 19-7 overall record, including a 15-4 record in dual action. In her senior campaign, the captain led the Waves to a NCAA Championship runner-up title after going 20-12 alongside partner Madalyn Roh.
Knudsen also garnered All-WCC first team honors and WCC All-Academic first team nods in 2016 and 2017. She was a four-time Pepperine Scholar-Athlete and two-time WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll ‘silver’ honoree in 2016 and 2017.
USA VOLLEYBALL: Member of the USA Volleyball U19 A1 team ... Placed second at the USAV High Performance Championship in 2013 ... Placed ninth at the FIVB U19 World Championship in Portugal in 2013 ... Made way through qualifying to compete in the main draw of the 2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open ... Placed ninth alongside USC's Alexa Strange at the 2014 FIVB U19 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus.
Knudsen is also not a stranger to the AVP tour during her time as a Wave and after. In 2017, she competed in seven AVP tour events as well as six other tournaments including USA Volleyball High Performance tournaments, CBVA events and most recently took third place alongside current Wave Corinne Quiggle at the NORCECA Punta Cana.