#6 Waves Fall in Five to #7 UC Irvine
Jan. 21, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. – The #6 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team (2-3, 0-3 MPSF) fell in a tight five-set battle to #7 UC Irvine (4-4, 2-2 MPSF). It was the fourth-consecutive five-set contest the Waves have played in.
UCI won the first set, 25-13, before Pepperdine took sets two and three 29-27 and 25-23, respectively. The Anteaters countered with a 25-20 win in the fourth, followed by a 21-19 victory to seal the match.
Carson Clark led all hitters with a career-high 35 kills for the Anteaters.
Four Waves reached double-digit kill totals to front the offensive assault for Pepperdine including Matt Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS), Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS), Chase Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) and a team-best 22 from Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Luther HS)
Kasey Crider (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) managed the offense with 63 assists.
Although both teams tallied 14 kills in the first frame, the Anteaters controlled the tempo, hitting a sizzling .619 attack percentage while holding the Waves to just a .250 success rate. Pollock helped the Waves’ cause with a team-best four kills and no errors.
After falling behind 3-1, Pepperdine rallied back with a 5-1 run behind kills from Ross, Torres and a pair of blocks courtesy of Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) and Crider. UCI ended the run with a Clark kill, but Pepperdine maintained the lead with aggressive and accurate swings on the attack.
With Pepperdine down set point, the Anteaters couldn’t handle a Pollock attack and had to send the free ball over the net. Ross took advantage of the second chance by hitting a kill down the line.
After a few back-and-forth plays, Pepperdine erased the fourth set point of the stanza with a Riecks put down to claime the lead and its first set point of the match with a strong tandem rejection from Riecks and Pollock. The Waves forced an attack error to earn the second-set victory.
Pepperdine carried the momentum into the third frame, erasing a 3-1 deficit with a 7-3 run to prompt a UCI timeout. The Anteaters charged back, but a series of great points by Pepperdine, highlighted by a Jaynes’ solo block, kept the control in the Waves’ favor. With the score 23-22 in support of Pepperdine, Torres nailed down a kill off the block. Ross sealed the win with his 12th kill of the match.
UC Irvine recovered from the loss, holding the lead the entire fourth set. Down 24-19, Ross erased a set point with a kill, but Clark evened the score to force a fifth set.
The last time Pepperdine played four-consecutive five-set matches was in 1978 when they went five with Ohio State, UCLA twice and Long Beach State in the course of two weeks. The Waves have never played five-straight five setters.
UCI sprinted to a 4-2 lead in the deciding set to force a Pepperdine timeout. An Anteater point, followed by a side out, put Sean Pedersen (Evergreen Park, Ill./Mount Carmel HS) at the service line. A long rally, saved by a pancake dig by Torres, orchestrated a Ross kill for the momentum shifter the Waves needed to get back into the set. The teams switched sides with the score reading Pepperdine 8, UC Irvine 7.
Both teams traded points until UCI found themselves up 14-13.
The Waves continued to fight off match point an incredulous five times with on-target hitting from Pollock, Torres and Jaynes – all assisted by Crider. Tied at 18, Pollock and Crider teamed up for a block to give Pepperdine a match point of its own but UCI was able to side out.
Faced with a sixth match point, back-to-back Carson kills gave the Anteaters the prolonged win.
The Waves continue the three-match road swing on Wed., Jan. 26 when they face local rival UCLA.