Men's Volleyball Ends 2013 With Victory
Dec. 31, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team earned a win back from the University of British Columbia after topping the Thunderbirds 3-1 this afternoon inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Junior outside hitter Josh Taylor hit over .500 for the second-consecutive match and led all hitters with 23 kills.
The Waves, who fell 3-0 to UBC in exhibition action on Sunday, took the first two sets 25-20, 25-18 before the Thunderbirds fought back to take the third 25-23. Despite a solid campaign to force a fifth set, Pepperdine fought off a set point to claim the fourth frame 29-27 and clinch the match.
Freshman Soren Dion-Kindem (Agoura, Calif./Agoura HS) handed out 52 assists as he set the Waves to a .312 (60 kills-17 errors-138 attempts) team hitting percentage. The Thunderbirds were limited to a .234 (56-22-145) clip, thanks in part to Pepperdine’s 10-6 advantage in blocks and 51-45 edge in digs.
Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School), who also led Sunday’s contest with 16 kills while hitting .556, pegged down 23 today earned at a .514 (23-5-35) success rate. The junior also paced the Waves at the service line with three aces.
Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) picked up the double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. J.J. Mosolf (Saugus, Calif./HS/Hawaii) followed with seven kills and a match-high seven blocks, while Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) came off the bench for seven kills.
Pepperdine jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the opening stanza and cruised to win 25-20. At set point, Taylor dug up a laser-shot attack from Ben Chow, who led his squad with 16 total kills, that sailed straight back over the net and landed in the back court for the kill.
The Waves once again were in firm control of set two, trailing only briefly in the opening points before claiming the 25-18 triumph.
UBC found its rhythm in the third frame and led by as much as seven, 14-21. A 4-0 Pepperdine run forced British Columbia to call a timeout, but another 5-2 run highlighted by an Antonijevic-Dion-Kindem roof knotted the score at 23-all. Chow stepped up for the TBirds and charted a block and a kill in succession to halt the Waves’ comeback and secure the frame 25-23.
The visiting squad continued to dictate the momentum of the match and built an 18-14 lead in the fourth set. Not wanting to head to the deciding fifth frame, the Waves once again fought diligently from behind. After kills by Antonijevic, Mosolf, Dion-Kindem and Gerrans, Taylor handed out a timely ace that evened the score to 20-20.
A solo block courtesy of Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) would give Pepperdine its first lead after a brief 1-0 advantage to begin the set, but UBC sided out to stay in it. Tied at 23, Alex Russell delivered back-to-back kills to give the Thunderbirds set point, by Taylor stepped up to kill the ball and extend the frame to extra points.
Pepperdine took match point three times before capitalizing on the fourth to win 29-27. Gerrans made a strong attack that Chow was able to get a hand on, but the Thunderbirds were unable to send the ball back over the net and were forced to settle for the series split.
The Waves continue the exhibition season on Saturday, Jan. 3 with a 5 p.m. match against the University of Alberta inside Firestone Fieldhouse. The final exhibition, the Asics CanAm Challenge, is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. vs. the Golden Bears and will be broadcast live via WaveCasts.