#4 Waves Blank #2 Long Beach State, Take Over Second Place in MPSF
March 20, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The #4 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team swapped places in the MPSF standings with #2 Long Beach State tonight, taking over second place in the league with the 25-21, 25-21, 27-25 shut-out victory. Josh Taylor led all players with 15 kills, while Brennan Anderson paced the match with 14 digs.
With the triumph, the Waves snapped the 49ers’ eight-match win streak and improve to 13-5 on the season – all MPSF matches. Long Beach State was relegated back to third place in the league with a 12-5 record, and dropped to 15-5 overall.
“The MPSF is very tough, every night, and anytime any of us gets a win it’s a good night,” said head coach Marv Dunphy. “We have a lot of respect for Long Beach State and their staff and we were just good enough to win tonight.”
Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) put down a match-high 15 kills while hitting .379 (15 kills-4 errors-29 attempts), and added three digs and a pair of blocks on defense.
2013 AVCA National Player of the Year Taylor Crabb, high school teammates with Taylor, was held to just 11 kills earned at a .182 (11-5-33) clip.
Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) scored in double figures with 11 kills and four blocks, while Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) added nine put aways and seven digs.
Both Gerrans and Brennan Anderson (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar HS/Ohio State) were perfect on serve receive after a combined 37 attempts. Anderson led the match with 14 digs.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) handed out 42 assists for an impressive average of 14.00 per set. The junior was solid on the defensive end as well with 11 digs.
Reigning MPSF and AVCA National Player of the Week Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany) finally saw his error-free steak come to an end. The 49ers were able to block his attempt partway through the third set to mark his first and only attack error since March 7.
Tarantino’s error free streak began on March 8 vs. Pacific and lasted through 39 kills and 57 attempts.
Despite the error tonight, the middle blocker finished the match with eight kills while hitting .438 (8-1-16).
Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) led action at the net with five blocks – three in the second frame alone.
Although the 49ers opened the match on a 7-4 run, forcing Coach Dunphy to burn a timeout early, the Waves eventually caught up and took over at 13-12. Long Beach State tied up the score just once more before Tarantino slammed home a kill to take over the lead once and for all at 14-13. Pepperdine only extended its lead from there and was able to put things away at 25-21.
The home squad jumped out to a 10-5 opening advantage in set two, forcing Long Beach State to play catchup. After Ian Satterfield served his team to a 4-0 run to even things at 14-all, the Waves got back on track with a 5-2 run of their own. Despite another late 49er run, Pepperdine was able to hold off the comeback campaign to take the 2-0 lead.
It appeared as though the match would be extended past a third set, as Long Beach State led for the majority of the frame – although never by more than three points. It wasn’t until Tarantino and West threw the roof on late that Pepperdine was finally able to even the score at 22-22.
Three sideouts later, Dalton Ammerman sent an attack wide to give Pepperdine match point at 24-23 but the Waves were unable to capitalize. The 49ers took a set point of their own at 24-25, but an untimely service error gave the ball back to Pepperdine.
Another attack error – the visitor’s third since the score was tied at 22-22 – gave the Waves another opportunity to close out the match. This time, Pepperdine was successful in converting and Kalmbach sent a kill to the floor to clinch the frame and match 27-25.
“I think that we steadied out, and just made a couple more good plays at the end. It really could have gone either way,” commented Dunphy on the final set.
The Waves continue this week’s action on Saturday, March 22 when they host Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. The Matadors pushed the Waves to five sets back in January, but Pepperdine still chalked the W. The barnburner was characterized by its 24 lead changes and 51 ties.