Although host Pepperdine was favored to win the annual ASICS Classic season-opening tournament, it was the Badgers of Wisconsin under the leadership of new head coach Kelly Sheffield who walked away with the final victory.
Wisconsin and Pepperdine made it to the final match by each sweeping the other two ASICS Classic participants, Iona College and Delaware. In Pepperdine’s first match versus Delaware, freshmen Ryann Chandler made a grand entrance to the college scene by tallying 21 digs in the short three-set match (25-12, 25-7, 25-18). The Waves collected 56 digs total in that match, and met that same number in the subsequent match against Iona.
Scores were close in the final match (25-22, 31-29, 22-25) until the fourth game when Wisconsin surged right away to a 15-3 lead and kept Pepperdine from coming back, locking up the match 25-10.
Wisconsin’s Ellen Chapman, a 6’4″ outside from Glenview, Ill., earned the tournament MVP honor after collecting 17 kills versus Iona, 10 versus Delaware, and 22 in the final match versus Pepperdine.