Jan. 18, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - After getting off to a 2-0 start in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play last weekend, the #7 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team looks to continue those winning ways when they host a two-match series with Hawaii this Friday (Jan. 20) and Saturday (Jan. 21) inside Firestone Fieldhouse.
MATCH #5 - Friday (Jan. 20) at Firestone Fieldhouse: #12 Hawaii (2-3, 1-1 MPSF) at #7 Pepperdine (3-1, 2-0 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
MATCH #6 - Saturday (Jan. 21) at Firestone Fieldhouse: #12 Hawaii at #7 Pepperdine at 8:30 p.m. (Following Pepperdine men’s basketball game vs. BYU at 5 p.m.)
WHAT’S NEXT - The Waves hit the road for the first time in 2012 next week, when they compete at UC Irvine on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and at UC San Diego on Friday, Jan. 27.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine went 2-0 last week, defeating both Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State in four sets inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Josh Taylor tagged down 22 kills on Wednesday against the Matadors, while Maurice Torres followed with 16 kills, four aces and four blocks. On Saturday versus the 49ers, Taylor, Torres and Chase Ross all reached double-digit totals in kills, while Nikola Antonijevic and Matt Pollock paced the defensive effort with seven blocks apiece. As a team, the Waves handed out a season-high 16 blocks versus Long Beach State.
SIGHT & SOUND - All home Pepperdine men’s volleyball home matches are broadcast live and for FREE via WaveCasts. In addition to live broadcasts, WaveCasts also offers a large selection of game highlights, interviews, features and more! GameTracker is also available and offers live scores and statistics. Go to PepperdineSports.com to find links to all available media.
TICKETS - Single-game prices for home events are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff (and their dependents) with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine home sporting events, with the exception of men’s basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.
NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 997th and 998th match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 684-312 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 478-235 and 273-118 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 521-215 ... The Waves are 361-106 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 138-40 all-time during the month of January ... Pepperdine is 17-13 when ranked #7 by the AVCA, and holds a 20-5 advantage when playing a #12-ranked opponent.
PEPPERDINE VS. HAWAII HISTORY - The Waves are 37-26 all-time versus the Warriors ... At home, Pepperdine holds an 18-8 advantage against UH ... The Waves have not swept the two-match series against Hawaii at home since the 2002 season, while the Warriors have not swept the Waves at Firestone Fieldhouse since 1989 ... In each of the last four series’ played in Malibu, the Waves have won the first match while the Warriors have come up with the win in the second match.
HAWAII - Hawaii is 2-3 this season overall and 1-1 in conference play ... Last weekend, the Warriors hosted the Outrigger Hotels Invitational and defeated Springfield before suffering loses to UCLA and Lewis ... Steven Hunt leads UH with 3.76 kills/set followed by JP Marks with a 2.82 average ... Hawaii returns three starters + libero from the 2011 season.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at a season-best #7 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.
Josh Taylor - After a phenomenal collegiate debut versus Lewis in the opening week, freshman Josh Taylor continues to prove himself on the court. He has led the Waves in kill totals in all four matches this season including a 26 kill performance against the Flyers on Jan. 8. The 26 kills ranks as the fourth most by any Pepperdine freshman in the rally scoring era. Sean Rooney and Maurice Torres both pounded down 28 kills as freshman to tie for first place. Taylor leads the Waves and is amongst the top in the MPSF with 4.59 kills/set.
Maurice Torres - With a career tally of 818 kills, Maurice Torres is on pace to become Pepperdine’s 17th member of the 1,000 kill club by the end of the season. Torres, the Waves’ opposite side hitter, has averaged 3.88 kill/set during his career as a Wave, including a 3.00 average as a junior.
OUTSIDE HITTERS - Redshirt senior Chase Ross and freshman Josh Taylor have shined as outside hitters in the early portions of the season. Together, they average 6.65 kills/set (Taylor, 4.59; Ross, 2.06) and have committed just six total serve receive errors as primary passers.
SETTER - Freshman Matt West has assumed the starting setting duties this season, and has gotten off to a solid start. West dishes 10.29 assists/set to raise the Waves’ team hitting percentage to .271.
LIBERO/LIBERO - With the first year of the new two libero rule in effect, Mike McMahon and Ryan Plueger have been sharing the defensive duties. McMahon, who has started the majority of the time, leads the team with 2.07 digs/set. Plueger has proved to be a capable passer as well and averages 1.57 digs/set.
MIDDLE MEN - Senior Matt Pollock and freshman Nikola Antonijevic, who both hail from Illinois, have been consistent so far this season with significant signs of improvement in the opening week of conference play. After collectively averaging 1.67 blocks/set in week one versus Lewis, Pollock and Antonijevic increased their defensive output to 2.87 blocks/set last week versus CSUN and LBSU.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics or Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball.
PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 62 points, the Waves were picked to finished eighth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league’s 12 coaches. BYU tallied the most points with 115, closely followed by UC Irvine with 112.
Marv Dunphy — Now in his 29th season as head coach of the Waves, Marv Dunphy has time and again proven himself to be one of the top teachers in the sport. He has directed Pepperdine to four NCAA championships, each in a different decade (1978, 1985, 1992, 2005). He was the 2005 National Coach of the Year and is a three-time MPSF Coach of the Year. He entered the 2012 season with a career record of 518-214 (.708). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at five Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), AVCA Hall of Fame (2009) and the Pepperdine Athletics (2010).
ROSTER — The Waves return four starters to the lineup including Maurice Torres (OPP), Matt Pollock (MB), Chase Ross (OH) and Mike McMahon (L). Nine letterwinners are joined by seven freshmen to bring the squad total to 20. In addition to the returning starters, rookies Matt West (S), Josh Taylor (OH) and Nikola Antonijevic (MB) are expected to shoulder starting duties this season. In terms of athletic eligibility, the squad break down includes four seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and seven freshmen.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY — Pepperdine has won five NCAA men’s volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament four times and have won or shared nine regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title in seven of the last 12 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in each of the last 13 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors eight times and All-American accolades 75 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #55 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine’s 75th anniversary.