Waves Beat Hawaii, Will Host MPSF Quarterfinals
April 11, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – As the regular season winds down the MPSF standings race continues to heat up, but one thing is now for certain: the #2 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team will host its MPSF Tournament quarterfinal match on April 19 inside Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves shut out Hawaii 25-19, 25-17, 25-23, and in doing so secured a top-four finish in the conference.
Around the conference tonight, UC Santa Barbara defeated BYU 3-1, while Stanford edged UC Irvine in five sets. For the Waves (17-6, 17-6 MPSF), this means that they will still need to win tomorrow vs. the Rainbow Warriors (15-11, 13-10 MPSF) in order to clinch the No. 2 seed in the MPSF Tournament. A loss, plus a Cardinal win on Saturday vs. UC San Diego, would relegate Pepperdine back to third place.
It also means that there is still a chance to end the regular season in a tie for first place with BYU, although Pepperdine would still hold the No. 2 seed in the tournament if that were to happen (BYU holds the tiebreaker over Pepperdine). The Cougars play at UCLA on Saturday and are trying to shake a three-match losing streak.
Middle blocker Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) scored on both offense and defense, pounding down five kills off of seven errorless swings (.714), while posting a team-high five blocks.
Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS), who will celebrate Senior Night on Saturday along with Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) and Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Pierce College), was an all-around contributor with seven kills, five digs and three blocks – including one solo stuff in the opening points of set two.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) orchestrated the offense with 26 assists. The junior All-American also lent six digs on the defensive side.
Libero Brennan Anderson (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar HS/Ohio State) posted a team-high nine digs.
Brook Sedore led the ‘Bows with 10 kills. Pepperdine limited reigning AVCA National Player of the Week Sinisa Zarkovic to just four kills while hitting .045.
Pepperdine cruised through the first two sets, never trailing en route to the 2-0 advantage.
After maintaining a small lead throughout the first half of set three, Hawaii went ahead 20-19 and again at 22-20 following a Wave attack error. Pepperdine got back on track with a Gerrans put away sandwiched by two UH errors. Although Sedore knocked another ball down for the sideout at 23-23, a Rainbow Warrior service error followed by a Taylor kill would wrap things up 25-23.
The Waves conclude the 2014 regular season tomorrow night vs. Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors, currently sitting in ninth place in the conference, could still advance to the postseason with a win plus a UCLA loss.