Record-Setting Night Not Enough for Waves Against 49ers
Jan. 24, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – The #1 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team set a new program record with 71 digs in tonight’s MPSF match at #5 Long Beach State, but ultimately was unable to walk away with the victory. The 49ers dealt the Waves their first loss of the season, 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11).
The previous record (rally scoring era only) was set on Jan. 31, 2007 when the Waves totaled 67 digs at Cal State Northridge.
For the second time this season, five Pepperdine players finished the night with double-digit dig totals. Brennan Anderson (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar HS/Ohio State) paced Pepperdine with 18 digs, followed by Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) with a career-high 17.
Kyle Gerrans (Lo Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) was the fifth player in double figures with 12 digs, and held the honor of picking up the Waves’ record-setting 68th dig of the night.
All match long, Pepperdine (4-1, 4-1 MPSF) was hindered by the 49ers’ defense at the net. Long Beach State (4-3, 3-3 MPSF) totaled 22 blocks and limited the Waves to a season-low .156 (66 kills-38 errors-179 attempts) team hitting percentage.
The serve-receive trio of Gerrans, Taylor and Anderson also provided another positive stat for Pepperdine and did not allow a single 49er ace in five sets.
Set one went every which way but right for the Waves and Long Beach State easily put the frame away 25-14. Taylor provided a silver lining, disposing of a match-high seven kills while hitting a solid .364.
Set two fared much better for Pepperdine. Although the two teams battled back and forth for over half the frame, the Waves went on a 5-0 run to take a 19-15 lead and force the 49ers to utilize both of their timeouts. The run was fueled by the offensive prowess of Taylor, who added three kills to his total during the span.
Pepperdine was able to sideout its way to the 25-21 win. Taylor added eight more kills in the stanza.
With momentum swinging in their favor, the Waves sprinted out to a 6-1 lead and did not relinquish the advantage the rest of the set. A Gerrans kill put the score at 24-17, but Long Beach State would rattle off four consecutive points to cut the deficit to three. The comeback was halted there, however, and Kalmbach and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) threw the roof on to secure set three 25-21.
A closely contested fourth set fell in favor of the 49ers, but not before Pepperdine picked up its 66th dig of the match – just one short of the all-time record.
After falling behind 3-5 in the deciding fifth, the Waves pieced together a 4-1 run highlighted by a Gerrans ace to move ahead 7-6. The senior outside hitter also picked up Pepperdine’s record-setting 68th dig during the run.
A string of attack errors swung the momentum back in favor of Long Beach State and the home team capitalized on the opportunity. A final 49er block put the match away 15-11.
The Waves return to Firestone Fieldhouse to face BYU on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. The contest can be watched live and for free online at PepperdineSports.com.