Stanford Defeats Pepperdine, 3-1
March 7, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The #4 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team lost to #10 Stanford Friday evening inside Firestone Fieldhouse, 3-1. Despite the loss, Parker Kalmbach put down a match-high 17 kills, while Kyle Gerrans produced 13 kills off of his errorless 28 swings.
With the 25-21, 15-25, 28-26, 25-21 loss, the Waves fall to 9-5 overall and in MPSF play. The Cardinal improves to 11-7 and 8-7 in the league.
As a team, Pepperdine hit at an impressive .374 (57 kills-14 errors-115 attempts) attack percentage. Stanford finished marginally better with a .377 clip but tallied seven more kills with 64.
It was the eighth time this season Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) set the offense to a .300+ team hitting percentage, and fourth time to surpass .350. The junior scattered 51 assists for a 12.75 per set average.
Three Pepperdine players reached double-digit kill totals, led by Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) with 17. Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) and Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) followed with 13 apiece.
Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany) finished the night with nine kills and a tied for match-high four block assists. Taylor and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) matched that stat, while Gerrans collected his four rejections with three assists and one solo roof.
Brennan Anderson (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar HS/Ohio State) paced the match with 11 digs.
Although Stanford got the upper hand in the opening frame, the Waves found their swagger in the second and won convincingly 25-15. The Cardinal was unable to defend against Pepperdine’s balanced attack, as all six front-row players put down kills.
The pivotal third set proved to be the difference maker. Although the Waves led by a small margin the first half of the stanza, Stanford produced a 3-1 run to knot the score at 15 and force head coach Marv Dunphy to call for a break in the action.
The Cardinal scored out of the timeout to take its first lead, but Pepperdine promptly sided out off of a Gerrans kill. The set turned into a battle of who could score first while serving, which neither team was able to do for the next 21 points. Unfortunately for the Waves, it would be Stanford who scored first after Pepperdine failed to sideout while down 26-27.
Although the Waves made a solid campaign to force a fifth set, the Cardinal – with a 0-5 record in five set matches – made every effort to wrap the match in four.
After rallying back from a five point deficit, Stanford closed out the match on a 4-0 run to win the fourth 25-21 and clinch the victory.
Pepperdine aims to get back on track tomorrow with a 7 p.m. match vs. Pacific (2-16, 1-14 MPSF) inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Fans unable to make it out to Malibu can watch online for free via WaveCasts.