#3 UCLA Escapes Firestone Fieldhouse with 3-2 Win Over #8 Pepperdine
Feb. 1, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. – Five Pepperdine hitters reached double-digit kill totals, but it was not enough as #3 UCLA edged the Waves, 3-2. Despite the loss, Matt Pollock handed in a notable performance with 14 kills and six blocks.
Set scores were 25-11, 21-25, 25-14, 21-25 and 15-11.
The Bruins (10-1, 5-0 MPSF) had a difficult time stopping Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS) on the attack, as the senior did not commit a single error in his 22 attempts to finish the night hitting .636.
At the other end of the rotation, Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS) chipped in a career-high 10 kills on 16 errorless swings in just his second start at middle blocker.
As a team, the Waves (6-3, 5-2 MPSF) hit for a .270 clip (56-23-122) but the Bruins maintained a .383 (60-16-115) hitting percentage to hold the advantage. Jeremy Casebeer led UCLA with 15 kills hitting .370 and Thomas Amberg tallied eight of his team’s 14.5 rejections.
Torres had a solid night from the service line, and was credited with three aces.
UCLA controlled the offensive rhythm in the first set, but the Waves never lagged more than a couple of points behind. Down 12-15, Pepperdine went on a 3-0 run to knot the set but the Bruins came out of a timeout with three kills and a block to put themselves out front once more. Scott Vegas came in at set point and served up an ace to put the frame away 25-21.
The second set was riddled with 14 tie scores and four lead changes, as neither side was able to gain much momentum. After a Torres kill put the Waves up 20-16, the junior rotated into the serving position. The normally hard-hitting server dished a well-placed change-up that led to a tandem block by Pollock and Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS). Torres went back to his fastball on the next serve to tally the ace and put his team up 22-16. A pair of Bruin service errors and a Pollock kill put the 25-21 set in the books for Pepperdine.
The Bruins came back with a vengeance in the third set and limited the Waves to a .087 clip while hitting .600 themselves to take the stanza 25-14.
Like a see-saw, the momentum shifted back in Pepperdine’s favor in set four. Torres tallied the first point with a kill and the Waves never relinquished the lead the remainder of the frame. Pollock was a perfect 4-for-4 on the attack, while Tarantino and Torres collectively went an errorless 7-for-10 at the net to win 25-21.
Once again the momentum shifted, this time in favor of the Bruins. A 4-1 opening run would hold the remainder of the frame, and UCLA would go on to win 15-11.
West quarterbacked to offense with 51 assists, while Mike McMahon (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS) led defenders with eight digs.
Next up for Pepperdine is a 7 p.m. match against #15-ranked UC Santa Barbara (2-5, 0-3) on Friday, Feb. 3 inside Firestone Fieldhouse.