Gauchos' Unrelenting Defense Stops Waves Short
Feb. 3, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - Maurice Torres pounded down 24 kills, followed by Josh Taylor with 16, but the Pepperdine men’s volleyball team was unable to overcome UC Santa Barbara’s stifling defense and suffered a 3-1 defeat.
Set scores for the match were 26-24, 25-21, 21-25 and 28-26.
Although the Waves (6-4, 5-3 MPSF) out-killed the Gauchos 62-51, the visiting team put forth a tremendous effort on defense and tallied 15.5 blocks compared to Pepperdine’s 6.5. Dylan Davis led all players with seven blocks, followed by Ryan Thompson with six. Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS) paced the home team’s defense with five rejections.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) led the match with 24 kills earned on a .341 hitting percentage, while Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii, Punahou School) followed with 16 kills hitting .229. In addition, Torres added seven digs.
Overall, the Waves registered a .246 (62-28-138) clip, while the Gauchos (3-6, 1-4 MPSF) finished the evening hitting .267 (51-20-116).
UCSB saw two players reach double digits in kill totals, led by Kevin Donohue with 17 and Miles Evans with 14.
Pepperdine found itself in a 10-15 hole in the opening frame, but was able to fight its way back into the match and finally knot the score at 21 following a Gaucho attack error. UCSB would again take the lead, but a Torres kill and a Tarantino-Taylor tandem block erased two set points. The Gauchos responded with a kill, and at their third set point of the stanza the visitors were able to force a Wave attack error to claim the opening advantage.
The Gaucho defense dictated the pace of set two. With six blocks, UCSB limited Pepperdine’s hitting percentage to .081 and they were able to take a two-set lead after putting the frame away 25-21.
The Waves answered back in the third set, jumping out to an early 3-1 lead which Pepperdine was able to maintain the entire set. Although UCSB would never lag more than a few points behind, Torres helped the Waves’ cause with eight kills as his team went on to win 25-21.
The fourth set was up for grabs from start to finish, as the opposing squads traded the lead seven times and were tied up on 21 occasions. Down 23-24, Pepperdine was able to side out and erase match point three times before UC Santa Barbara was finally able put the match away. Torres tagged down nine kills in the frame, but an errorless 7-for-11 effort from Donohue proved too much for the Waves.
Pepperdine looks to get back on track next week, when they hit the road for an MPSF contest at USC on Friday, Feb. 10. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. and fans can tune into a live internet radio broadcast accessible at www.PepperdineSports.com.