Waves off to Slow Start at McDonald's Classic
Dec. 29, 2012
KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team, recently announced as the #4-ranked team on the AVCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, suffered a pair of tough five-set losses today at the McDonald’s Classic hosted by Thompson Rivers. The Waves fell in exhibition action to both the University of British Columbia and the WolfPack.
In the tournament opener, Pepperdine took a 2-0 lead before UBC rallied from behind to take the match in five. Set scores were 18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-11.
The Waves battled back and forth with Thompson Rivers in the nightcap, but suffered a similar 3-2 fate. After taking a 2-1 lead, the WolfPack emerged victorious by scores of 13-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12.
Head coach Marv Dunphy, now in his 30th season at the helm, had this to say on his team’s performance on opening day: “We saw a little bit of everything. We need to serve a little bit better and I thought we were inconsistent. We need to be steadier.”
Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) paced the Pepperdine offense in both contests and finished the day with 41 total kills. The senior opposite was especially impressive in the first match, pounding home 26 kills earned on a .327 (26 kills-10 errors-49 attempts) hitting percentage.
Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS), who sat out last season due to injury, made his return to the court against the Thunderbirds with 12 putaways. He followed that up with a 10 kill performance versus the WolfPack.
Other notable offensive showings include Kyle Gerrans’ (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) 10 kills up against UBC and Josh Taylor’s (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) 12 kills versus TRU.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) distributed 91 assists in the two matches for a 9.10 average.
On the defensive end, Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) picked up 18 total digs, while Torres, Kalmbach and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) finished the day with nine blocks apiece.
Pepperdine's regular-scheduled match with Dalhousie at 11 a.m. on Sunday was later changed to a late morning tilt vs. British Columbia. Dalhousie, who defaulted its two matches on Satuday due to travel issues, battles the Waves in the bronze medal match at 5 p.m.