Men's Volleyball Wins Regular-Season Finale vs. UC Santa Barbara, 3-1
April 12, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Led by double-digit kill performances by both Maurice Torres and Josh Taylor, the #6 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team defeated #7 UC Santa Barbara 3-1 to finish the regular season at 14-11 overall and 13-11 in the MPSF.
With the win, the Waves have guaranteed themselves the No. 5 seed in the MPSF Tournament, and will head to Pauley Pavilion next week Saturday, April 20 for its quarterfinal matchup against fourth-seeded UCLA.
Although the Gauchos struck first with a 25-20 win in the opening frame, Pepperdine picked up the pace and won the next three sets 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 to clinch the victory.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) pounded home a team-high 17 kills earned at a .344 (17 kills-6 errors-32 errors) clip. The senior opposite side hitter has been a reliable barometer for the Waves all season long, and the team improves to 11-1 when Torres is hitting at .300 or higher.
Adding 16 kills was Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School). Taylor paced Pepperdine, hitting .464 (16-3-28).
Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) led the defensive front with eight blocks, followed by Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) with seven and Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce College) with six. Overall, the Waves out-blocked UCSB 15-7.
UC Santa Barbara managed to hold a 54-47 advantage in kills, led by Evan Licht’s match-best 23, but the Waves committed 11 fewer attack errors to maintain match control.
The home team jumped out to an early lead in set one and the Waves were unable to recover until part way through the second set. Down 2-7, Pepperdine pieced together a 7-3 run to even the score at 10-all. Although the Gauchos were able to sideout, the Waves pushed forward once again and forced UC Santa Barbara to call its second timeout at 18-13. UCSB cut the lead to three, 21-18, but Pepperdine put forth one final push to put the frame away 25-21.
The Waves rolled with the momentum in the third stanza, and went ahead 11-7 after a Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) ace proceeded a UCSB attack error. Ahead 20-17, Granato served up the next four points –three of those points courtesy of the Kalmbach-West tandem block – and Pepperdine went on to win 25-19.
Up 2-1, the Waves scored the first four points of the fourth and continued to stay out in front. Although UC Santa Barbara never trailed my much, and even tied the score at 21 and again at 23, Torres sent the final two kills to the hardwood to put Pepperdine on top 25-23 and clinch the 3-1 victory for his team.
The Waves’ MPSF quarterfinal match is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. against UCLA.