MALIBU, Calif. - The #5-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team faces #3 Long Beach State and #10 Cal State Northridge on the road this week. The Waves and 49ers tangle on Wednesday, Feb. 6, followed by a Friday, Feb. 8 match vs. the Matadors.
MATCH 8 - Wednesday (Feb. 6) at Walter Pyramid: #5 Pepperdine (4-3, 4-3 MPSF) vs. #3 Long Beach State (8-3, 6-2 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
MATCH 9 - Friday (Feb. 8) at The Matadome: #5 Pepperdine vs. #10 Cal State Northridge (4-4, 2-4 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves improved to a perfect 3-0 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse after defeating USC 3-1 last Friday. Josh Taylor paced Pepperdine with a season-best 16 kills, followed by Maurice Torres, who was credited with 15 kills, nine digs and three aces. Matt West averaged 11.50 assists/set in the contest. Pepperdine took a 2-0 lead before the Trojans escaped with a 27-25 win in the third. Although USC was up 18-14 in the fourth, the Waves were able to piece together a late run to win 25-22 and clinch the match.
COVERAGE - Live stats will be available for both matches this week ... Wednesday’s match against Long Beach State can be followed here ... Friday’s match vs. Cal State Northridge can be followed here.
LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves are back in action inside Firestone Fieldhouse next week when they entertain Cal Baptist (Wed., Feb. 13) and current MPSF leader BYU (Fri., Feb. 15). Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start.
NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,029th and 1,030th match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 633-328 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 438-251 and 233-134 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 470-231 ... The Waves are 335-111 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 176-71 all-time during the month of February.
LONG BEACH STATE - The 49ers are 8-3 this season and rank second in the MPSF standings with a 6-2 record ... Last week, Long Beach State issued BYU its first conference loss of the season with a 3-2 win in Provo ... Taylor Crabb averages 4.02 kills/set to lead the team and rank fifth in the MPSF statistical standings ... Dalton Ammerman averages 2.74 kills/set and 1.67 digs/set and is coming off a career-best 21 kill performance vs. the Cougars.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE - The Matadors are 4-4 overall this season and 2-4 in MPSF play ... CSUN lost both matches last week, suffering 3-1 losses to both Cal Baptist and BYU ... Sam Holt leads the Matador offense with 3.43 kills/set ... Drew Staker averages 1.10 blocks/set to pace the defense ... Cal State Northridge is 3-1 when playing at home this season.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #5 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.
SERIES SCORE - The series score between the Waves and Long Beach State is tied at 39 wins each ... The 49ers hold a 23-11 advantage when playing at home ... Pepperdine and LBSU split in last year’s series ... Pepperdine is 47-20 all-time against Cal State Northridge ... The Waves are 17-10 vs. the Matadors when playing in Northridge ... The last time Pepperdine played inside the Matadome, CSUN came up with a 3-1 upset victory.
MPSF LEADERS - Matt West ranks second in the conference with 10.84 assists/set and ranks fourth in aces (0.44) ... Parker Kalmbach ranks seventh in the MPSF standings with a 1.28 blocks/set average and third with a .489 hitting percentage ... ... Maurice Torres ranks seventh in kills (3.88) and in sixth in points (4.60) ... Nikola Antonijevic averages 1.16 blocks/set to rank 10th.
MPSF TEAM STATS - As a team, the Waves rank fourth in the league in both hitting percentage (.309) and blocks (2.98) ... Pepperdine also ranks sixth in assists (11.60), sixth in kills (12.36), seventh in opponent hitting percentage (.258) and eighth in service aces (1.00).
MALIBU ROOFING COMPANY - The Waves, historically known for their strength in blocking, have shown in 2013 that the Malibu Roofing Company is still open for business ... Pepperdine has out-blocked its opponents in five of the season’s seven matches ... The Waves have averaged 2.98 blocks/set overall ... Pepperdine averaged 5.00 blocks/set in its three-set win over UC San Diego (Jan. 12).
TORRES - Maurice Torres, the Waves’ kills leader the past three seasons, enters his senior campaign with high expectations ... He has surpassed double digit kill totals in every match this season including a 20-kill performance during the 3-1 win vs. Stanford on Jan. 20 ... He reached the 20-kill plateau once again at Hawaii (Jan. 25) ... Against Pacific (Jan. 18), he set a new career-record in hitting percentage after tagging down 11 kills while hitting .714 ... Against USC (Feb. 1) he reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs plateau ...Torres was an AVCA All-American second team selection in 2012 and made the first team in the All-MPSF conference awards.
1,300 K/500 D - With his first of 15 kills and last of nine digs vs. USC (Feb. 1), Maurice Torres reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs career milestones ... He is just one of seven Waves to have ever reached both plateaus ... Other former players to have achieved the feat include Scott Wong (1,700 k/807 d), George Roumain (2,394 k/620 d), Paul Carroll (2,101 k/624 d), Matt Rigg (1,539 k/692 d), Fred Winters (1,525 k/602 d) and Sean Rooney (2,007 k/629 d).
WEST - Matt West is in his second year managing the Waves’ offense ... West was an All-MPSF honorable mention as a freshman and ranked second in the NCAA and the league with 11.38 assists/set ... West, who made use of a float serve last season, has transitioned to a tough jump serve and the change has paid dividends ... He currently leads Pepperdine with 11 service aces and ranks fourth in the conference with a 0.44 aces/set average ... USC (Feb. 1) was only able to sideout at a 48-percent rate when West was serving ... He ranks second the league with 10.84 assists/set in 2013.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Josh Taylor recorded his first-ever double-double on Sunday, Jan. 20 vs. Stanford ... The sophomore was credited with 13 kills and a career-best 11 digs ... It was the first kills-digs double-double by any Wave in 2013 ... Maurice Torres came up just one dig shy of the feat on two occasions, first against the Cardinal (Jan. 20) with 20 kills and nine digs, and again vs. the Trojans (Feb. 1) with 15 kills and nine digs.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK - Parker Kalmbach, who missed all of 2012 recovering from major back surgery, is back in 2013 and has made an immediate impact ... After serving as an outside hitter in 2011, Kalmbach now starts in the middle ... He averages 1.28 blocks/set and delivered a phenomenal 10-block performance against UC San Diego on Jan. 12 ... He also pounds down 2.08 kills/set.
ON THE OUTSIDE - Josh Taylor and Kyle Gerrans have been the Waves’ two outside hitting starters in 2013 ... Taylor, who ranked second behind Torres in 2012 with 3.52 kills/set, currently averages 2.96 kills/set as a sophomore ... Gerrans, who prior to this season has seen limited front row time, averages 2.08 kills/set while hitting .319 ... Gerrans was a regular in the rotation in 2012 as a sophomore, but served primarily as a defensive specialist/libero.
CHECK THE RECORD - In Pepperdine’s career record book, Maurice Torres has made his mark in several categories ... He ranks 10th in career kills with 1,314 ... 1,353 will move Torres into ninth place ... His 104 service aces rank eighth ... Matt West’s assist total of 1,614 ranks eighth.
Marv Dunphy - Now in his 30th 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 2013 season with a career record of 532-229* (.699). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at six 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).
PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 113 points, the Waves were picked to finished third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league’s 13 coaches. UC Irvine tallied the most points with 143, closely followed by BYU with 134.
MOST IMPROVED - Pepperdine ended the 2012 campaign with an eighth-place finish in the MPSF standings and at #10 in the AVCA poll. The Waves are picked to be the most improved team in 2013, as evidence by the MPSF preseason poll and the AVCA preseason rankings, where Pepperdine appeared at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.
NEW GUYS - Pepperdine added two true freshmen, a redshirt freshmen and a redshirt sophomore to the 2013 roster ... Middle blocker Leonardo Granato (MB) comes to Pepperdine by way of Pierce Junior College, while opposite side hitter J.J. Mosolf spend a redshirt season at Hawaii before transferring ... The Waves’ two true freshmen include Vincent Rios (L) and Kyle Suppes (MB).
2012 POSTSEASON AWARDS - Maurice Torres earned a spot on the All-MPSF first team roster ... Matt Pollock and Matt West were named to the honorable mention team ... West, Matt Tarantino and Josh Taylor accounted for three of the six spots on the all-freshman list ... Torres was also named a second team All-American by both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - Pepperdine has won five NCAA men’s volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament three 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 13 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 76 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.