Men's Volleyball Season Comes to Close with Loss to UCLA in MPSF Tournament Quarterfinals
April 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES – The #5 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team lost to #4 UCLA in three sets in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals tonight at the John Wooden Center. The Waves were unable to get past the Bruins’ relentless defense and finished the 2013 season with a 14-12 record.
Set scores for the match were 25-19, 25-18, 25-18.
Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) paced Pepperdine with 11 kills and finishes his pristine career in blue and orange with 1,635 kills. That number ranks sixth all-time in the program’s storied history.
Coming in behind Torres tonight was Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) with nine kills while hitting .318 (9 kills-2 errors-22 attempts).
The Bruins out-dug the Waves 30-18 and capitalized on their offensive opportunities with a .386 (39-12-70) team clip. Dane Worley led all players with 13 kills, while Robart Page and Gonzolo Quiroga followed with nine apiece.
UCLA has stymied the Waves’ all season long, winning in three sets in all three meetings of 2013.
“This team (Pepperdine) is capable of playing very well, playing big boy volleyball,” said head coach Marv Dunphy. “But give credit to UCLA. They were the better team tonight and that’s the way this game goes.”
Pepperdine hit at just a .143 (32-20-84) success rate on the attack.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) handed out 26 assists and picked up a team-best five digs. The sophomore, and lone setter selected to the 2013 All-MPSF first team, helped his cause with a career-best four kills.
UCLA put the first point of the night on the board with a Trent Kersten kill, and did not trail the rest of the set en route to a 25-19 triumph.
The Bruins continued to lead moving to the second set and were up by as much as six, 19-13. Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) then put away a kill, followed by a solo roof courtesy of Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce College) and the Waves began threaten UCLA’s hold on the lead. The home squad committed an attack error, and Taylor and Rhein put down kills coming out of a timeout to come back within one, 19-18. After a second UCLA timeout, Pepperdine was unable to keep the run going and the Bruins surged forward to win 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead.
Although Pepperdine came out on top in the early points of the third frame, the Bruins overtook the advantage and the Waves were never able to seriously challenge that lead. The Waves killed off two match points but Worley nailed down a kill to clinch the match 25-18 and send his team to the MPSF Tournament semifinals.
All four top seeds, BYU, UC Irvine, Long Beach State and UCLA, won their respective quarterfinal matches this evening and will converge in Provo, Utah next week to play out the remainder of the conference championship.