Waves Top Pacific in Four Sets
March 1, 2013
STOCKTON, Calif. – Three players reached double-digit kill totals and the #5 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team defeated #15 Pacific 3-1 on Friday evening. Maurice Torres led the team with 20 kills.
The Waves won by set scores of 25-20, 18-25, 30-28, 25-16 to improve to 9-5 on the season.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) paced the Waves with 20 kills and added eight digs, four blocks and an ace for a match-high 23.0 points. It was the fifth time the senior opposite side hitter has reached the 20 kills plateau this season.
Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) followed with 14 hills while hitting .379 (14 kills-3 errors-29 attempts), and Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) contributed a career-best 13 kills.
Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce College) came off the bench and provided a much-needed boost for Pepperdine. The redshirt sophomore delivered seven kills and five blocks – both career highs.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS), who leads the MPSF and ranks second in the conference with a season average of 11.04 assists/set, handed out 54 helpers. On defense, the sophomore added five digs and five blocks.
The Waves struggled to sideout early on and fell behind by as much as five, 9-14. Kills in succession by Torres, Rhein and Taylor sparked a 7-2 run that was capped by a Taylor-Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) tandem block to knot the score at 16. Pepperdine took back the lead once and for all, 21-19, after Rhein disposed of back-to-back kills. With an ace courtesy of Torres, the Waves put the first frame away 25-20.
Pacific once again got off to a hot start and jumped out to a 6-2 advantage in set two. Pepperdine was never able to fully recover from the early deficit and the Tigers (5-8, 3-8 MPSF) won 25-18 to tie the match at one set apiece.
The momentum carried over into the third stanza and the home team took a 9-6 lead. The Waves climbed out of the hole and tied things up at 12 after a West service ace. The score read even four more times but Pacific strung together a late run to take set point 24-22. A Granato kill, followed by a Rhein-Granato-West triple block extended the set beyond the 25-point mark.
Pepperdine fought off set point twice more before another triple block, this time credited to Torres, Taylor and Antonijevic, tipped the scales in the Waves’ favor, 28-27. It was the Tigers’ turn to fight off set point, but Torres’ quickly put the Waves up again with a kill – his ninth of the frame. Pacific was unable to capitalize on the overpass during the next point and the attack error gave the Waves the 30-28 victory.
The fourth set was all Pepperdine, who sided out at a staggering 94-percent rate. Tied 5-5, the Waves went on a 7-4 run and never looked back. Granato pegged down the final kill for the Waves to win the frame 25-16 and clinch the match.
Pepperdine closes out the week tomorrow, March 2, at Stanford. The 7 p.m. match can be viewed for free online.