Men's Volleyball Shuts Out Pacific in Home Opener
Jan. 18, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Led by near-perfect attacking performances from Kyle Gerrans and Maurice Torres, the #4 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team topped #15 Pacific 3-0. The Waves have now won 32 out of the last 34 home openers.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran) and Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) both set new career highs in hitting percentage tonight. Torres disposed of 11 kills on 14 swings, while committing just one miscue, for a .714 clip. Gerrans was errorless on his 16 attempts, and registered 11 kills to end the night with a .688 success rate.
Overall the Waves (2-1, 2-1 MPSF) hit .417 (39 kills-9 errors-72 attempts) while limiting the Tigers to just a .105 (28-20-76) hitting percentage.
“I was pleased with how the team kept the hitting errors down,” said head coach Marv Dunphy, now in his 30th season at the helm. “I think we could do a better job at keep the serving errors down, but overall it was a good early-season match.”
Pepperdine, who began the week averaging an MPSF-best 3.92 blocks/set, totaled 11 rejections against the Tigers (1-2, 0-2 MPSF). Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) led the defense with a match-high five blocks assists, followed by Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) and Parker Kalmbach, who both were credited with one solo block and three block assists.
West was firing on all cylinders and led Pepperdine in assists (36), aces (3) and digs (6).
Although Pacific took an early 5-3 lead in set one, the Waves quickly knotted the score at five. The two opposing teams went back-and-forth until a 4-1 run, fueled by two kills courtesy of Torres, put the home team on top 14-11. The Tigers were unable to counter the Waves’ offensive assault and bowed out 25-19.
Pacific finished the frame hitting .321 (13-4-28), but Pepperdine trumped that with a .667 (19-1-27) clip. Gerrans was 7-for-8 on the attack, while Torres was a perfect 5-for-5.
The Waves continued to roll in set two and claimed a 7-4 lead following a West block. Pacific never lingered far behind however, and tied the score at 14 and again at 15. Pepperdine scored four of the next five points to take the lead once and for all, and a Torres kill sealed the victory 25-19.
Powered by a partisan crowd of just over 800, the Waves controlled the offensive tempo of the final set as they forced Pacific to commit nine errors – three of which were credited to the Pepperdine block. After taking an 18-14 lead, the Waves closed out the match on a 7-1 run. A Tiger service error ultimately put the 25th point on the board for Pepperdine and clinched the three-set triumph in one hour and 15 minutes.
The Waves are back in action at home on Sunday, Jan. 20 for a 5 p.m. match vs. #2 Stanford. The Cardinal, who prior to this evening was the last team in the MPSF be undefeated, is now 4-1 after suffering a 3-0 loss to #7 USC on Friday night.