The recent controversial NCAA Tournament at-large bid process has led to a noticeable change to Pepperdine’s future schedule.
For the first time in three years, Pepperdine will have at least one non-conference match on its schedule as it will play host to Harvard during the 2015 season.
The Waves ended last season narrowly missing the final at-large bid to the six-team NCAA Tournament. Despite being ranked No. 3 in the final regular season national coaches poll, Pepperdine lost out to Lewis in the majority of criteria categories used by the NCAA selection committee.
One of the reasons Lewis held a statistical edge over Pepperdine in the at-large bid race was because the Waves did not play any non-conference matches in 2014.
This upcoming season will feature Pepperdine’s first non-conference match since sweeping George Mason in March 2012. The Waves earlier that season also beat the Crimson in four games as they finished non-conference play undefeated.
Harvard, which announced Monday its upcoming match against Pepperdine, finished last season in second place in the EIVA and qualified to the four-team conference tournament for the third consecutive season.
The meeting with Pepperdine will be part of a three-match West Coast road trip for Harvard in March.
Both the Crimson and Waves return a majority of their starters from last season. Among the returning starters includes Peperdine’s All-American setter Matt West and All-American outside attacker Josh Taylor.
Pepperdine is 2-0 all-time against Harvard. In addition, the Waves are on a 19-match winning streak against EIVA teams in regular season non-conference meetings dating back to 1991.