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Pepperdine Looks to Tally Fourth-Consecutive Win Vs. USC

Matt Pollock was a head above the rest last week, totally 22 kills earned on a .664 hitting percentage. Matt Pollock was a head above the rest last week, totally 22 kills earned on a .664 hitting percentage.

March 23, 2011

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #13 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team (8-11, 4-11 MPSF) faces top-ranked USC on Fri., Mar. 25 at 7 p.m. inside the Galen Center.  The last time the two squads faced each other, the Waves upset the Trojans 3-2.  The loss remains the only one for USC this season, who is 15-1 overall.

ON THE WEB — Wave Casts are new and improved for the 2011 season, offering FREE video broadcasts of all home events, as well as audio broadcasts of select road contests.  In addition, live stats will also be available through Game Tracker and can be accessed at  THIS WEEK: GameTracker will be offered for free, while USC is broadcasting the event for a nominal fee.

NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 986th match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 675-307 all time ...  In conference play the Waves are 473-231 and 268-114 in MPSF action ... Pepperdine is 56-31 all time against USC and has one the last three-consecutive matches ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 515-210 ... The Waves are 356-103 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... Pepperdine is 21-13 when play the Trojans on the road ... Cory Riecks became Pepperdine’s 16th member of the 1,000 kills club against USC on Feb. 11.  His career total currently stands at 1,077 and ranks 13th in the Wave record books ... Tyler Jaynes tallied his 500th career put down at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 25. and currently ranks fourth with a career attack percentage of .427

USC TROJANS - USC has been nearly unstoppable this season, and boasts a 15-1 overall record ... USC has won eight matches by a 3-0 decision, and has only been forced to five sets on four occasions ... The Trojans are 3-1 in five-set matches, with its only loss coming to Pepperdine ... Murphy Troy leads USC with a 4.25 kills/set average.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves defeated Harvard and Rutgers-Newark to complete the non-conference portion of the season undefeated.  Matt Pollock totaled 22 kills last week on a team-high .664 hitting percentage.

THE LAST TIME - The last time Pepperdine and USC faced off with one another was on Feb. 11.  The five-set thriller was won by the Waves, who received a breakout performance from outside hitter Beau Vandeweghe.  In the redshirt sophomore’s first start of the season, he put down 15 kills on a .545 success rate.  Cory Riecks reached the 1,000 kills career milestone, while Maurice Torres paced Pepperdine with 17 putaways.

LOOKING AHEAD - Next up for Pepperdine is a road match with Pacific on April 1 followed by an April 2 match at Stanford.  Both contests begin at 7 p.m.

IT COULD HAPPEN - Tyler Jaynes currently ranks ninth with 442 career blocks.  With two more he’ll move into eighth while four more would give him possession of seventh place ... Matt Pollock enters the match with 179 career kills and 88 total blocks as he closes in the century milestones ... This will be the 80th MPSF and 98th overall match for Cory Riecks.

PEPPERDINE IN THE MPSF RANKS - Matt Pollock ranks seventh in hitting percentage (.411) ... Kasey Crider averages 10.60 assists for sixth ... Maurice Torres tallies a fifth-best 4.54 points/set and a seventh-best 3.84 kills/set ... Torres ranks third with .40 service aces/set ... As a team, Pepperdine boasts the eighth-highest attack percentage (.277) and the sixth highest assists (12.00) average ... The Waves rank eighth in blocks (2.15), eighth in kills (12.56), ninth in digs (7.75), 11th in service aces (.97) and 11th in opponent hitting percentage (.316).

USC IN THE MPSF RANKS - The Trojans hold the top spot in hitting percentage (.357), assists (12.98), opponent hitting percentage (.244) and digs (9.90) ... In other categories USC ranks fourth in blocks (2.47), second in kills (13.80), and sixth in aces (1.07) ... Riley McKibbin leads the league with 11.88 assists/set ... Austin Zahn ranks fifth in hitting percentage (.425) followed by Murphy Troy in 10th place (.400) ... Zahn averaged 1.06 blocks/set to rank sixth ... Troy averaged 5.06 points/set for third and 4.25 kills/set for fourth ... Troy also averaged .38 aces/set to rank fifth ... Henry Cassiday averages 2.56 dig/set to rank second in the MPSF.

STARTING SEVEN - Head coach Marv Dunphy has utilized five different starting line ups this season ... Kasey Crider (setter), Mike McMahon (libero), Matt Pollock (middle), and Cory Riecks (outside) have started in every match.  Other Waves to have earned the starting job are Maurice Torres (opposite), Tyler Jaynes (middle), Sean Pedersen (middle and opposite), Beau Vandeweghe (outside) Parker Kalmbach (outside) and Chase Rose (outside, injured).

STREAKING - Tyler Jaynes has tallied at least one block in every start of the season (14 total) ... Mike McMahon has tallied six or more digs in seven of the last eight contests ... Matt Pollock has posted at least five blocks in two the last three matches and has hit .600 or higher in the last two contests ... Kasey Crider has gone errorless on the attack in five of the last seven matches ... Cory Riecks has reached double-digit kill totals in two of the last three matches.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - A season-high 15 players saw action against Harvard on March 15, with 10 taking swings at the net and eight nailing down at least three kills.  Doug Astor came off the bench to dish seven assists, while Parker Kalmbach did the same in the kills category.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN - Pepperdine has won the last five-consecutive contests versus non-conference foes dating back to last season, and is 13-3 in the last five years.  

COMEBACK KILLERS - Pepperdine erased a two game deficit against UC San Diego on Mar. 12, but eventually lost the thriller in the fifth set.  The last time the Waves have comeback from a two game deficit and won was on April 15, 2010 when they topped Long Beach State, 3-2.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS - The key to success this season has been striking first and on-target hitting.  The Waves are undefeated when winning the first set, and have also not lost when hitting a better attack percentage than the opponent.

KASEY AT SET - Senior setter Kasey Crider has managed the offense this season with 10.60 assists/set totaling 774.  Against Cal State Northridge, his match-opening ace sparked a 7-0 run that was never relinquished.  His season setting percentage stands at .466 with his single match best coming vs. Harvard with a .564 success rate.

Matt Pollock - Has been one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup for Pepperdine, averaging 2.11 kills/set on a .411 hitting percentage.  He is one of four players to have played in every single set this season.  On defense, Pollock’s 6-9 frame has lent itself to a team-high 71 total blocks on a .97 average.

OUTSIDE HITTERS - The Waves have tested their depth in the outside hitting position, after starter Chase Ross was sidelined due to injury.  Beau Vandeweghe and Parker Kalmbach have divided the time, with Vandeweghe emerging as the new starter.  He is currently averaging 1.94 kills/set and 1.08 digs/set.  Cory Riecks is the other starting outside hitter and ranks second on the team with 2.11 kills/set. Ryan Leung has also logged time on the outside.

RANKINGS — Pepperdine is ranked 13th on the latest installment of the AVCA Coaches Poll.

1/5 1/10 1/17 1/24 1/31 2/7 2/14 2/28 3/7 3/14 3/21 3/28 4/4
#3 #3 #6 #8 #11 #11 #9 #9 #9 #11 #13 #13

MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Beau Vandeweghe became the Waves’ first MPSF Player of the Week this season on Feb. 14 after his stellar performance in the 3-2 win over top-ranked USC on Feb 11.  Since 2006, the Waves have been awarded player of the week on 21 occasions.  Active players who have received the recognition are Maurice Torres (twice, last on Mar. 15, 2010), Cory Riecks (twice, last on Feb. 22, 2010), Tyler Jaynes (once, Feb. 1, 2010), and Kasey Crider (twice, last on Mar. 20, 2009).

JAYNES AT YOUR SERVICE - Tyler Jaynes holds a team-high .971 serving percentage, with just five misfires the entire season.  

VIEW FROM THE TOP - No stranger to achieving a #1 ranking in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll, Pepperdine also faces its fair share of #1-ranked opponents.  Since 1986, the Waves have played a team who was ranked #1 during the time of the match on 47 occasions and has been victorious 16 times.  In the last six seasons, Pepperdine is 8-4 versus a #1-ranked team.  The last win over a #1 team was on Feb. 11 versus USC.

STEADY AS SEAN GOES - After falling behind 24-16 against Ohio State on Jan. 10, a Buckeye service error put the ball in the hands of Sean Pedersen, who jump served an incredible eight-consecutive points to bring the Waves back in the match.  Despite the eventual 28-26 loss, the emotional boost provided by the remarkable comeback gave Pepperdine the momentum it needed for the deciding fifth game.

GOING THE DISTANCE - The Waves went five sets in four-consecutive matches, defeating Ohio State, but losing to Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine during the opening two weeks of play.  The only other time the Waves have played in four-consecutive five set contests was during the 1978 season.  In total, Pepperdine has 2-4 in five-set matches in 2011.

Marv Dunphy — Now in his 28th 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 2011 season with a career record of 507-199 (.717). 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).

MPSF PRESEASON POLL - The Waves were chosen to finish fourth the Mountain Pacific Sports Federations preseason coaches’ poll.  USC and UC Irvine tied for the top spot, followed by Stanford in third place.  After Pepperdine the fifth through 12th place slots were occupied by BYU, Hawaii, UCLA, UCSB, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, Pacific and UC San Diego, respectively.  

ROSTER — The Waves return four starters to the lineup including Kasey Crider, Tyler Jaynes, Cory Riecks and Maurice Torres.  Six letterwinners and two redshirts are joined by eight newcomers (seven freshmen, one sophomore) to bring the squad total to 20.  A balance of veterans and rookies are likely to make up this year’s starting lineup, with seniors Crider, Jaynes and Riecks leading the way.  In terms of athletic eligibility, the squad breakdown includes five seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and eight freshmen.

2010 RECAP — It was another solid year for the Pepperdine men’s volleyball team. Kasey Crider earned AVCA All-American first team honors while Cory Riecks was named to the second team.  Additionally, Riecks made the All-MPSF first team, while Crider was placed on the second team.  J.D. Schleppenbach, who finished his eligibility in 2010, made the third team, and Tyler Jaynes was awarded an honorable mention.  Maurice Torres rounded out the MPSF accolades with an appearance on the all-freshman squad.  As a team, the Waves finished tied for fourth in the MPSF while concluding the season ranked T-5th by the AVCA.

TICKETS — 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.

PEPPERDINE TWEETS — To receive all the latest up-to-date information on the Waves, follow the Pepperdine Athletics Twitter at

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 a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine’s teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.



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