#4 Pepperdine Suffers 3-0 Loss to Top-Ranked UC Irvine in Season Opener
Jan. 8, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. – Kyle Gerrans and Maurice Torres both handed in 10-kill performances, but the #4 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of top-ranked UC Irvine to open the 2013 season.
The Waves lost their season opener by set scores of 25-22, 25-20, 25-21, as the Anteaters improve to 4-0 in 2013.
UCI controlled the tempo of the match with an impressive .405 (45 kills-13 errors-75 attempts) hitting percentage, while Pepperdine was only able to counter with a .213 (36-19-80) clip.
Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS), who served as a defensive specialist and libero for Pepperdine in 2012, made his official debut in the front row with a career-high 10 kills. The junior hit .333 (10-3-21) on the night.
Pepperdine’s top returner, Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), also tallied 10 kills to open the season.
Zack La Cavera was the star for UC Irvine, pounding down a match-high 16 kills earned on a blistering .577 (16-1-26) success rate.
Sophomore setter Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) set the tone for both the Waves’ defense and offense and was credited with a team-leading 34 assists, six digs and five blocks.
Pepperdine’s serve receive did a commendable job in their first outing of the regular season and allowed just one ace the entire match. Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) and Gerrans were perfect through 17 and 12 attempts, respectively. On defense, they both accounted for three digs each.
Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) produced eight kills to begin his sophomore season.
Pepperdine built a 6-4 lead in the early points of set one, but the Anteater squad overtook the advantage at 11-10. The lead was expanded to 20-16 before the Waves strung together a 5-2 run to close the gap to one. UC Irvine held on, however, and claimed the opener 25-22.
Gerrans pounded home five kills in the frame to lead the Waves.
With the aid of Torres at the service line, Pepperdine built an 8-6 lead in the second set, but the Eaters clawed their way back to knot the score at 12. From there, it was a sideout game until a 4-0 run put the home team ahead 21-18. UCI closed out the set 25-20.
Although Pepperdine fell behind 1-4 in the third stanza, the team continued to fight. A tandem block courtesy of Torres and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS), followed by a Torres kill put the Waves back on top 8-7. The Anteaters never lingered far behind, however, and overtook the lead once and for all at 17-16 after a La Cavera kill. He posted three more kills to lift his team to the 25-21 victory.
Despite the shutout loss, the match was extremely tight throughout all three sets. On 28 occasions, the score was tied while the lead exchanged hands a total of 10 times.
The Waves continue the season-opening week on Saturday, Jan. 12, with a 1 p.m. road match at UC San Diego.