Waves Wrap Preseason Action with Exhibition Match vs. Alberta on Saturday
Jan. 2, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – After playing in four exhibition matches last weekend at Thompson Rivers in British Columbia, the Pepperdine men’s volleyball team competes in its final tune up on Saturday, Jan. 5 vs. the University of Alberta. The Waves and Golden Bears square off at 2 p.m. inside Firestone Fieldhouse and admission is free for all spectators.
Pepperdine, coming off a third-place finish behind a 2-2 record at last weekend’s preseason tournament, opens the 2013 regular season on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at #1-ranked UC Irvine. While the Anteaters are the defending MPSF and NCAA Tournament Champions, the Waves are predicted to be the most improved team this year.
After finishing the 2012 campaign ranked eighth in the MPSF standings and 10th in the AVCA poll, Pepperdine was voted to finish third in the conference standings in the annual coaches’ poll and ranked #4 by the AVCA.
Although the Waves got off to a rocky start at the McDonald’s Classic last weekend, the team made several positive strides forward and finished strong. Pepperdine suffered five-set losses to British Columbia and Thompson Rivers on Saturday before bouncing back on Sunday with victories over UBC and Dalhousie.
In the opening contest, Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) scarcely skipped a beat from last season and pounded home a match-high 26 kills. Torres, a 6-foot-7 opposite side hitter, enters his senior season with a career kills average of 3.96 and is poised to finish his Pepperdine career ranked in the top-10 in career kills. With three seasons in the books, Torres has registered 1,217 total kills.
The senior also led the Waves against Thompson Rivers with 15 kills, eight digs and seven blocks.
Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS), who prior to this season has primarily served as a defensive specialist, has emerged as viable contender for the starting spot on the outside. The junior produced 10 kills in Pepperdine’s first match against British Columbia, and downed 12 kills versus the Thunderbirds the second time around.
Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS), who sat out in 2012 due to injury, added middle blocker to his repertoire over the weekend and found tremendous success. The junior, an outside hitter prior to 2013, totaled 30 kills and 11 blocks in three matches played last weekend.