Waves Fall in Four Sets to Lewis in Season Opener
Jan. 7, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. – Despite double-digit kill performances from senior Chase Ross and freshman Josh Taylor, the #9 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team fell 3-1 to #13 Lewis in the 2012 season opener. The Waves gear up for a rematch with the Flyers at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
After dropping the first set 23-25, Pepperdine bounced back with a 25-22 win to level the score. However, Lewis’ (1-0, 0-0 MIVA) powerful blocking gave the visiting team the edge as they took the final two frames 25-20, 27-25.
Overall, the Flyers held a 17.0-7.5 advantage on the block. Aaron Flick paced the match with six blocks, while Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) led the Waves with five rejections.
Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) delivered a solid performance with 11 kills, six digs and a pair of aces. Freshman Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) made his Pepperdine debut with 13 put aways and an ace.
Junior Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) followed with eight kills, six digs and four blocks while senior Matt Pollock (Orland Park, Calif./Sandburg HS) handed out seven kills earned on a .600 hitting percentage.
In his first match in a Wave uniform, Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) picked up a team-high eight digs and dished 34 assists to lead the Waves to .181 team clip.
Lewis was led by Jay Petty, who nailed down 21 kills earned on a .361 percentage, while overall his team hit for a .268 success rate on the attack.
Pepperdine got off to a slow start, falling behind 4-10 in the opening stanza but continued to fight. With back-to-back service aces courtesy of Torres, the Waves were able to tie the set at 22. Three consecutive side outs gave Lewis set point, followed by a tandem block from Flick and Ian Karbiener to put the game in the books, 25-23.
Ross led the Waves with an errorless 3-for-6 effort on the attack.
Pepperdine once again found itself climbing an uphill battle, as the Flyers sprinted out to a 7-3 lead in the second set. Down 5-8, Ross nailed down a kill to spark a 6-0 run and give the Waves their first lead of the match. The home team would never relinquish the lead the remainder of the frame and evened the score with 25-22 victory.
Ross once again led the Waves, pounding down five kills on eight swings. Taylor followed with three kills in the set, while Antonijevic added three blocks.
Both teams were locked in an evenly-matched battle in set three, with 11 ties and four lead changes. Although Lewis would build a 14-11 lead, Pepperdine fought back to regain the advantage, 18-17 following a tandem block by Torres and Taylor. After a Flyer timeout, the visitors were able to string together 3-1 run to take back the lead.
Out of the break, Greg Petty served his team to four more unanswered points that would give the Flyers enough momentum to close out the set, 25-20.
Although Lewis maintained the lead throughout the majority of the fourth frame, Pepperdine never fell behind by more than two points. The Waves heroically erased three match points, highlighted by a double block by Torres and Antonijevic to cap off a marathon point. The Flyers were finally able to capitalize on their fourth match point of the night to secure the 3-1 victory.
The Waves (0-1, 0-0 MPSF) look to avenge their loss tomorrow at 5 p.m. inside Firestone Fieldhouse.