Waves Drop 3-1 Decision to Long Beach State in Regular-Season Finale
April 14, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Josh Taylor had a match-high 22 kills and Matt Pollock nailed down a career-high 16, but Long Beach State came up with a hearty defensive effort to defeat the Pepperdine men's volleyball team 3-1 in the regular season finale.
The Waves (14-14, 9-13 MPSF) enter next weekend's MPSF Tournament as the No. 7 seed, and will face No. 2 seed Stanford (20-6, 17-5 MPSF) in the opening round on April 21 in Palo Alto, Calif.
With the win, the 49ers (15-14, 10-12) captured the No. 6 seed and will face No. 3 seed BYU (23-6, 17-5 MPSF) in Provo, Utah next weekend.
The Beach claimed the first two sets 25-14, 25-22, before Pepperdine answered with a 25-21 win in set three. Although the Waves held a 21-17 lead in the fourth set, three-consecutive 49er blocks helped erase the deficit and the home team would go on to win 25-23.
Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) made his return to the starting lineup with 22 kills and nine digs. The freshman started on the opposite side for junior Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), who sat out tonight but is expected to return for the MPSF quarterfinals.
Senior Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS) tacked down his career-best 16 kills on a .423 hitting percentage.
Freshman Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) and sophomore Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) were sound defensively, and both extended their career highs in the digs category. Rhein picked up 12 digs, while Plueger earned 10.
Long Beach State controlled the momentum of the match with 17 blocks and a .308 hitting percentage. The Waves tallied 12 more kills than the 49ers but managed only a .218 clip and five team blocks.
Other MPSF quarterfinal match ups include No. 5 UCLA at No. 4 UC Irvine and No. 8 Cal State Northridge at No. 1 USC. The top seed remaining after next weekend will serve as host for the MPSF Tournament semifinals and championship matches scheduled for April 26-28.