Former volleyball standout Kobi Pekich named all All-Big West

Former volleyball standout Kobi Pekich named all All-Big West

Long Beach State recently placed four players on the first-ever All-Big West Beach Volleyball team and former Irvine Valley standout Kobi Pekich was one of them.

Pairs Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto as well as Pekich and Sammee Thomas were named to the six-pair first team.

Pekich and Sammee Thomas were the No. 3 team for Long Beach State.

Pekich and Thomas had the team's best overall record on the season at 19-6 and were tremendous all season long.

Putting together a 15-6 record at No. 3 in dual matches, Pekich and Thomas were unbeaten at the Big West Championships, and were also the Silver Bracket champions at the USAV Beach Volleyball Collegiate Challenge in Hermosa Beach earlier this season.

Pekich, a junior, finished the season with 21 wins, tied for the fifth-most in a single season for the 49ers, and her .760 winning percentage with Thomas was the sixth highest in school history.

Barber/Nieto and Pekich/Thomas are the first ever All-Big West selections for Long Beach State, as the conference is in its first season of sponsoring Beach Volleyball.

Pekich walked on at Long Beach State last season after a stellar two-year career in both indoor and beach volleyball at Irvine Valley.

After helping lead IVC to a third-place finish at the CCCAA State Championships in 2013, Pekich played a big part in Irvine Valley winning its first-ever state title in the fall of 2014. IVC finished 27-0 overall, and she was instrumental in both seasons. She was named all-tournament at state in 2014 as IVC took the title.

A sophomore do-everything outside hitter and two-year starter, Pekich was selected first team all-Orange Empire Conference. She was a second-team player in 2013. Pekich helped IVC go undefeated in conference in her two seasons. She averaged 2.00 kills and 2.72 digs per set overall and finished with 24 aces during the 2014 season.

She had double-digits in kills in five matches during the 2014 season with a high of 16 in an important four-set win for IVC at Fullerton during conference. She had 12 matches with 10 or more digs and finished with 14 and then 13 digs in IVC's final two victories at the state tournament.

Pekich had 17 kills, 15 digs and hit .359 in a big four-set win for the Lasers at state-ranked Cypress and then finished with 17 kills, 14 kills and hit .395 in Irvine Valley's four-set win over Cabrillo in the State Championship final match.

Her best match was the one at Fullerton in late October when she had 16 kills, 14 digs and hit an impressive .652.

She was also a part of a successful sand/beach volleyball program at Irvine Valley. The Lasers won the state title on the club level in 2013 and then captured the first ever California Community College Athletic Association State Championship in 2014, beating Golden West, Cabrillo and Grossmont for the title.

Pekich shined with Marisa Doran as IVC's No. 1 pairs team.

Doran and Pekich won the state pairs individual title the day after the team championship.

Pekich was a two-sport, two-time captain at IVC and was also selected as the Orange Empire Conference Character Champion award winner after the 2014-15 school year.

The award is given to the student athlete who displays the following values; sportsmanship, respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility shown through a specific action, ideally directed toward an opponent during competition.

The criteria also includes the action of putting the team and teammates before oneself while acting as a positive role model.

She was selected as the OEC's Female Character Champion after displaying her ability to juggle school, indoor and sand volleyball, as well as community service. She was a 4.0 GPA student, two-time scholar athlete and four-time member of the Dean's List at Irvine Valley.