Waves Visit UC Irvine, UCLA This Week
UPCOMING Â The #5 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team will try to avenge a pair of home losses from two weeks ago when the Waves visit #8 UC Irvine and #4 UCLA this week.
MATCH #9 Â Wednesday (Feb. 6) at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.: #5 Pepperdine (5-3, 5-3) at #8 UC Irvine (6-6, 3-4) at 7 p.m.
MATCH #10 Â Saturday (Feb. 9) at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.: #5 Pepperdine at #4 UCLA (8-3, 5-2) at 7 p.m.
OPPONENTS Â Pepperdine is 46-10 all-time against UC Irvine. The Waves won both regular-season meetings last year but lost in the final of the MPSF Tournament to the Anteaters, who went on to win the NCAA championship. UC Irvine won a matchup in Malibu two weeks ago ... Pepperdine is 29-72 all-time against UCLA. The Waves have won six of the last eight against the Bruins, although UCLA won in Malibu two weeks ago. The Waves have won three straight at UCLA.
LAST UC IRVINE/UCLA MATCHES Â Pepperdine’s second week without the injured Paul Carroll proved to be a tough one, as the Waves lost twice at home to UC Irvine and UCLA. On Jan. 23, then-#10 UC Irvine posted a 3-1 victory (33-31, 30-21, 27-30, 30-27), and on Jan. 25, then-#5 UCLA pulled out a 3-2 nailbiter (21-30, 30-20, 27-30, 30-28, 15-12). Matt McKee had career highs of 21 kills in both matches. Jonathan Winder had a double-double against the Anteaters with 53 assists and 10 digs, while McKee notched one against the Bruins with 21 kills and 11 digs.
LAST WEEK Â Pepperdine’s losing streak reached three matches with a 30-21, 32-30, 30-21 loss at #3 Long Beach State last Wednesday, but the Waves rebounded nicely with a 30-28, 30-26, 30-23 sweep at #15 UC San Diego on Friday. The Waves held the 49ers to a .184 hitting percentage, but ended up hitting a negative-.065 themselves. J.D. Schleppenbach had a team-high 11 kills. Against the Tritons, Jonathan Winder had 37 assists and seven digs and led the Waves to a .360 hitting percentage. It was the Waves’ third week without the injured Paul Carroll.
MPSF STATS Â The Waves rank sixth in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.284), third in blocks (3.38), fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.249), seventh in service aces (1.33), seventh in assists (13.37), eighth in kills (14.00), and 12th in digs (8.43) ... Mark Hulse ranks second in blocks (1.63) ... Jonathan Winder ranks fifth in assists (11.70).
WINDER Â Senior setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) was the 2007 AVCA and MPSF Player of the Year and is a three-time All-American. He helped the U.S. to a bronze medal at the 2007 World University Games. He is averaging 11.70 assists per game along with 2.00 digs, 0.87 blocks and 0.73 kills. He set the school career record for assists on Jan. 19 at Stanford and now has 4,119 in his four seasons.
CARROLL Â Junior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia), another returning All-American first teamer, played in just two matches this season before unfortunately suffering a fractured right (non-hitting) hand during an off-court mishap. He will be out at least four weeks, and three weeks have now passed. A member of Australia’s national team, he was one of the top players at the 2007 World Cup in Japan and hopes to play in the 2008 Olympics. In the first two matches, he averaged 6.71 kills, 1.43 blocks, 0.86 aces and 0.86 digs and hit .486.
SCHLEPPENBACH Â Besides Winder and Carroll, Pepperdine’s only other returning starter from 2007 is junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS). He was second on the team in kills last season (2.73 per game) and has upped his production to 3.67 kills per game. He’s also averaging 1.37 digs per game. He had a career-high 21 kills against Stanford on Jan. 19.
McKEE Â With the injury to Carroll, that opened up a spot on the floor for junior outside hitter Matt McKee (Aurora, Ill./Aurora West HS), who saw limited playing time the last two seasons. McKee is averaging 3.48 kills, 1.56 digs and 1.12 blocks. He had career highs of 21 kills in back-to-back matches against UC Irvine (Jan. 23) and UCLA (Jan. 25).
NEWCOMERS Â Pepperdine’s other four spots in the lineup have been filled by newcomers. Junior middle blocker Mark Hulse (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS) was actually the starting setter at Rutgers-Newark last season. He is averaging 1.63 blocks and 0.67 kills. Sophomore libero Sean Grubbs (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) led Irvine Valley College to the state title last season. He is averaging 1.73 digs. Freshman middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) and freshman outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS) won the other two spots. Jaynes is averaging 1.43 kills and 1.17 blocks. Riecks is averaging 2.73 kills and 1.10 digs.
2008 HONORS Â Paul Carroll was named AVCA and co-MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 14 ... Jonathan Winder was named MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 21.
MARV DUNPHY Â Now in his 25th season as head coach of the Waves, Marv Dunphy opened the 2008 season with a record of 452-173 (.723). He has directed the team to four national 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. Dunphy also was an extremely successful head coach of the U.S. National Team in the 1980s and led the team to a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics.
MPSF PRESEASON POLL Â Pepperdine edged out BYU and UCLA as the coaches’ choice to win the MPSF championship in 2008. The predicted order of finish went as follows: Pepperdine, BYU, UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, USC, Long Beach State, Hawaii, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, UC San Diego.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY Â Pepperdine has won five NCAA championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament three times and have won or shared nine regular-season conference titles, including four of the last six MPSF crowns. Pepperdine opened 2008 with an all-time record of 616-270 (.695).
2007 RECAP Â The Waves were ranked #1 for much of the season and posted one of the best records in school history, going 26-3 overall and 21-1 in MPSF play. The 21 wins are the most by any MPSF school since the conference switched to its current round-robin format. But Pepperdine lost in the final of the MPSF Tournament to UC Irvine, then was upset in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament by IPFW.
TICKETS Â Single-match tickets to all home men’s volleyball games are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free to all Pepperdine students and faculty with a university ID.
ON THE WEB Â Live video and live statistics will be available for all home matches at www.pepperdinesports.com. Go to the "Wave Casts" link toward the top of the page.
UP NEXT Â The Waves return home to host Long Beach State on Wednesday, Feb. 13, and UC San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 16.