Pepperdine Suffers 3-1 Setback at Cal State Northridge
April 12, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Senior Matt Pollock had a team-high 10 kills, but the #6 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team fell short in a 3-1 loss to #11 Cal State Northridge on Thursday evening.
The Waves (14-13, 9-12 MPSF) enter their final regular season match with Long Beach State tied for sixth in the league standings with the 49ers. The winner of Saturday’s match between the two squads, scheduled for 7 p.m. on inside Walter Pyramid, will face the No. 3 seed in the first round of the MPSF Tournament on April 21.
The Matadors (12-16, 8-13 MPSF) clinched the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament with the win tonight. Offensively, the squad was led by Brandon Lebrock, who delivered a match-best 21 kills. Jared Moore paced the defense with 10 blocks.
Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS) earned his 10 kills on a .529 hitting percentage. In addition, the senior added four blocks and an ace.
Ross had a sound night on defense as well, picking up nine digs and three blocks.
Although the Waves got an impressive five kills on eight attacks from Pollock in the opening stanza, the CSUN block came through when it needed to. Tied at 19, the Matadors closed out the opening set on a 6-1 run thanks in part to multiple kills from Lebrock and John Baker. Overall, the home team tallied five blocks, compared to the Waves’ three in the 25-20 win.
Pepperdine found its rhythm in the second set, and built a 12-9 lead following a Torres-Pollock tandem block and a Matador attack error. The Waves extended the lead to 15-10 following back-to-back aces courtesy of Torres. A marathon point capped by a Pollock kill preceded another two consecutive Torres aces, to put the score at 18-10.
Unfortunately for the Waves, Torres’ night would come to a close at 22-14, when the junior came down on the foot of a teammate after a block attempt, and exited the match.
Despite the setback, the Waves were able to cruise to a 25-17 win to even the match at one set apiece.
The Matadors came storming back in the third set, jumping to a 5-1 advantage. The Waves narrowed the gap to just two points, 11-9, after Taylor, who entered the match for Torres, and Tarantino teamed up for the roof. However, Cal State Northridge limited Pepperdine to just a .042 clip, while hitting .364 themselves to maintain the control and put the set away 25-19.
Although Torres returned briefly in set four, head coach Marv Dunphy opted to put Taylor back in the lineup part way through the frame.
CSUN carried the momentum from the third set over into the fourth, and sided out at the high rate of 81-percent. Although the Waves killed off three match points and narrowed the gap to 24-21, the Matadors came out of a timeout with a kill to clinch the match 25-21.
Pepperdine closes out the regular season on Saturday, April 14 with a 7 p.m. match at Long Beach State. The winner of that match will face the No. 3 seed in the opening round of the conference tournament, while the loser will meet the No. 2 seed on April 21.