Down Two Games, No. 6 Waves Rally For Dramatic 3-2 Win Over No. 15 USC
March 20, 2004
LOS ANGELES-The sixth-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team--behind 21 kills from both Fred Winters and Sean Rooney--overcame a two-game deficit to beat No. 15 USC, 19-30, 26-30, 30-23, 30-21, 15-11, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday in USC's Lyon Center.
Pepperdine-which posted its seventh consecutive win over the Trojans-improved to 12-6 overall and 8-6 in the MPSF, while USC fell to 6-15 overall and 4-10 in the MPSF.
Winters, who hit. 415, added 11 digs and 6 blocks, while Rooney hit .356 with 8 digs and 4 blocks. Among their teammates, Andy Hein had 12 kills while hitting .529, James Ka had 13 digs and John Parfitt had 8 blocks.
For USC, Jeff Bailey had a career-high 19 kills (he hit .457), Blake Tippett also had 19 kills (hitting .389), Chris McKniff added 13 kills and 5 blocks, Joao Grangeiro had 16 digs, 9 kills and 4 aces, and Evan Burden had 15 digs.
Pepperdine outblocked the Trojans, 15.5 to 6.5, and hit .370 in the match to USC's .293.
Behind the serving of Grangeiro, USC jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first game and was never threatened, hitting .625. Troy then broke a 9-9 tie in the second game by scoring 4 unanswered points and the Waves-although closing to 23-22-could never overtake the Trojans. In the third game, Pepperdine built a 4-0 lead and used 7 blocks and 13 digs to hold off USC. Leading 10-9 in the fourth game, the Waves gradually pulled away while hitting .519. The fifth game was tied at 4- 4 before a Pepperdine block and kill sandwiched a pair of USC hitting errors to give the Waves a 4-point lead which it never surrendered.
The Waves will come home to Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday at 7 p.m. to host UC Santa Barbara.