Waves Emerge Victorious in Five-Set Battle at UC San Diego
Jan. 27, 2012
LA JOLLA, Calif. – Maurice Torres had his second consecutive double-double and Josh Taylor pounded down a career-high 27 kills to lead the #6 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team to a five-set victory at UC San Diego in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action on Friday evening.
The Waves (6-2, 5-1 MPSF) defeated the Tritons (2-5, 1-3 MPSF) by set scores of 24-26, 25-14, 22-25, 25-23, 15-11.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) tallied 24 kills and picked up a career-best 14 digs for the double-double. It was the junior’s second of the season and fifth in his three years in a Wave uniform.
Additionally, Torres’ standout performance included five blocks and two service aces.
Pepperdine’s offensive assault was bolstered by a career-best 27 kills at the hand of Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School). As a team, the Waves out-killed UCSD 70-47.
Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS) got his first start of the season and handed out five blocks and five kills, while Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) entered the match in the second set and had six kills and seven digs.
Although the Waves hit 19 kills earned on a .419 hitting percentage in the first frame, the Tritons kept their errors down at the service line to keep the score close. Tied at 24, UC San Diego came up with a kill and a timely block to escape with a 26-24 win to take the early lead.
Pepperdine stormed back in set two and jumped out to a 16-8 advantage and never looked back. Both Torres and Taylor delivered identical 5-for-7 performances on the attack, and the Waves forced eight Triton attack errors to claim the stanza 25-14.
The home team rebounded from the loss and limited Pepperdine to a .061 clip in the third frame, thanks in part to five blocks. Although Taylor pegged down seven kills, the Tritons regained the lead with a 25-22 triumph.
The momentum carried over in the fourth set, as Mike Brunsting issued three aces as he served his team to a 5-0 lead. The Waves continued to fight hard, however, and slowly dug themselves out of the hole until a Taylor kill put the advantage back in Pepperdine’s favor at 20-19.
Tied at 21, kills by Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS), Taylor and Rhein, followed by a tandem rejection courtesy of Tarantino and Torres gave the Waves three set points. Although the Tritons were able to erase two of those points, the Waves capitalized on the third to force a fifth frame with the 25-23 win.
The Waves’ offensive rhythm came alive in the fifth stanza, as the team scored seven unanswered points to take a commanding 9-2 lead. From there Pepperdine was able to side out its way to a 15-11 win to clinch the overall victory.
Setter Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) quarterbacked the offense with 62 assists and added seven digs on defense. The freshman was also a rock from the service line, committing just one miscue in his match-high 25 attempts.
The Waves return to Firestone Fieldhouse next week, when they host UCLA on Wednesday, Feb.1 and UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 3.