March 13, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - The #7 Pepperdine men's volleyball team hits the road to play UC Santa Barbara on March 14 and UCLA on March 16. Friday's contest will be the Waves' fifth match in nine days.
MATCH #19 - Wednesday (March 14) at the Thunderdome: #7 Pepperdine (10-9, 6-8 MPSF) vs. #14 UC Santa Barbara (5-13, 3-11 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
MATCH #20 - Friday (March 16) at John Wooden Center: #7 Pepperdine vs. #2 UCLA (18-2, 12-2 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
WHAT'S NEXT - Next week, the Waves have a bye from MPSF play, and will host George Mason on March 24 inside Firestone Fieldhouse. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine earned nonconference wins against #6 Penn State last week Thursday and Harvard on Monday. Maurice Torres surpassed the 20 kills marks in both wins, while tallying 15 in a 3-1 loss to USC. Matt West dished 130 assists and led Pepperdine to a .323 hitting percentage over the three matches.
COVERAGE - Wednesday's match versus the Gauchos can be followed via livestats, while UCLA will be providing a live video broadcast on their website (http://www.uclabruins.com/allaccess/?media=274299). Links can also be found on the men's volleyball schedule page at www.PepperdineSports.com.
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.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #7 in the AVCA Coaches' Top-15 Poll.
NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,012th and 1,013th match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 691-320 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 482-243 and 277-126 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 528-223 ... The Waves are 366-109 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 203-106 all-time during the month of March.
Maurice Torres - Maurice Torres is the most recent addition to the Waves' 1,000 kills club, having reach the milestone at BYU on March 2 ... With a career tally of 1,077 kills, Torres ranks 16th in the Pepperdine record book ... Torres, the Waves' opposite side hitter, has averaged 3.95 kill/set during his career as a Wave, including a 3.92 average this season as a junior ... He tacked down a season-best 26 kills versus Cal Baptist on Feb. 15, and has reached double figures in kills in 14 matches this season.
Josh Taylor - Freshman Josh Taylor has emerged as one of the MPSF's top rookies this season. The Honolulu native ranks ninth in the league, and #1 amongst all freshmen, with 3.55 kills/set ... Taylor has reached double digits in kill totals in 14 match this season, including three contests with more than 20 kills ... His season high of 27 (Jan. 27, UCSD) ranks as the third most by any Pepperdine freshman in a single match. Sean Rooney and Maurice Torres sit atop the freshman record list with 28.
OUTSIDE HITTERS - In addition to Josh Taylor, Chase Ross and Scott Rhein have started on the outside ... Ross averages 2.00 kills/set and is a solid passer on serve receive ... Although Rhein has chipped down only 11 kills in 14 sets of work, the majority of his playing time this season has been in the back row.
SETTER - Freshman Matt West has assumed the starting setting duties this season, and has been a positive addition to the Waves' lineup ... West averages 11.27 assists/set to rank second in the MPSF.
LIBERO/LIBERO - Coach Marv Dunphy recently made a change with his defensive lineup, and is utilizing the new two libero rule to his full advantage ... Mike McMahon (1.47 digs/set) handles the serve receive, while Kyle Gerrans subs in to play defense ... Since entering the line up wearing the libero uniform, Gerrans has averaged 1.19 digs/set while overall this season he averages 0.86.
MIDDLE MEN - Three different players have gotten the starting gig in the middle this season including Matt Pollock, Matt Tarantino and Nikola Antonijevic ... Pollock leads the team with 1.16 blocks/set while contributing 1.93 kills/set earned on a .454 average ... Tarantino, who came to Pepperdine as an opposite side hitter, has started in 11 of the last 12 matches ... Tarantino added middle blocker to his repertoire after less than a week's worth of practices at the position, and now averages 1.45 kills and 0.85 blocks.
MPSF INDIVIDUAL STATS - As of Monday morning (not including that night's Harvard match) Maurice Torres ranks fifth in kills (3.87), fifth in service aces (0.40), 14th in digs (1.72) and fifth in points (4.66) ... Josh Taylor ranks ninth with 3.55 kills/set and 11th with 3.93 points/set ... Matt Pollock ranks eighth in hitting percentage (.444) and sixth in blocks (1.19) ... Matt West ranks second with 11.17 assists/set ... Matt Tarantino ranks 13th in the league with a .412
MPSF TEAM STATS - The Waves hit for a .283 attack percentage to rank seventh ... Pepperdine limits opponents to a .287 hitting percentage to rank 10th ... The Waves rank sixth in kills (12.61), fourth in assists (12.16), sixth in blocks (2.41), eighth in service aces (0.84) and 10th in digs (8.01).
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.
VOTE NOW! - The 1988 Olympic Gold Medal Men's Team has been nominated as a candidate to enter the USOC Olympic Hall of Fame. A popular vote determines the winner. Vote until April 9 at: TeamUSA.org/halloffame for more information.
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).
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.
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) and Matt Tarantino (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.