MALIBU, Calif. - The #5 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team, currently tied for fourth in the MPSF standings, hits the road for two important matches beginning with #1 BYU on Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. (PT) The week continues in Riverside, Calif. on Saturday, March 30 when the Waves face #7 Cal Baptist.
MATCH 20 - Thursday (March 28) at Smith Fieldhouse: #5 Pepperdine (12-7, 11-7 MPSF) vs. #1 BYU (17-3, 16-2 MPSF) at 6 p.m. (PT) on BYUtv.
MATCH 21 - Saturday (March 30) at Van Dyne Gym: #5 Pepperdine vs. #7 Cal Baptist (12-12, 8-10 MPSF) at 7 p.m.
MPSF STANDINGS - The Waves, now in the second half of the conference season, are tied for fourth with UCLA with an 11-7 record... Pepperdine is 4-1 against teams ahead of them in the standings ... The Waves defeated BYU 3-2 at home on Feb. 15 ... The Cougars are a first-place 16-2 in the MPSF ... Pepperdine swept Long Beach State on the road on Feb. 6 ... The 49ers sit in third place with a 13-6 record ... UC Irvine is in second place behind a 14-5 record ... The Waves and Anteaters split the season series ... The top eight of the league’s 13 teams advance to the MPSF Tournament, with the top four teams earning hosting privileges.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine suffered a 3-1 loss to USC inside the Lyon Center last week Thursday ... The Trojans out-aced the Waves 12-6 ... 2012 MPSF Freshman of the Year Micah Christenson handed out five aces and 42 assists ... Maurice Torres had a solid night for Pepperdine with a match-high 21 kills while hitting .351 and three aces.
LOOKING FURTHER BACK - Pepperdine won back-to-back matches two weeks ago, first holding off UC Irvine 3-1 before sweeping UC San Diego 3-0 ... Maurice Torres pounded home 22 kills, while Ryan Plueger picked up a career-high 16 digs vs. the Anteaters ... Scott Rhein hit a blistering .812 (13-kills-0 errors-16 attempts) against the Tritons to rank fifth in the program’s rally-scoring era record book.
MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The maestro behind the Waves’ success, setter Matt West, was voted last week’s MPSF Player of the Week for his efforts vs. UCI and UCSD ... West averaged 12.43 assists/set in two matches ... It was West’s first player of the week award and Pepperdine’s second overall in 2013 ... Maurice Torres has also been named MPSF Player of the Week this season.
HIT ‘EM HIGH - The Waves hit .542 vs. Hope International on March 8 ... That hitting percentage stands as the highest achieved by any team in the league in 2013 ... Scott Rhein individually hit .812 vs. UC San Diego on March 15 which ranks as the second-best clip by any MPSF player in this season.
RHEIN TIME! - Sophomore Scott Rhein nearly set a Pepperdine record in hitting percentage on March 15 vs. UC San Diego ... Rhein was hitting over .900 for most of the night - a would-be Pepperdine record - going an errorless 4-for-4 in the opening frame, followed by a 5-for-6 effort in set two ... The Tritons dug two Rhein attacks in the third set to push his success rate down to .812 (13 kills-0 errors-16 attacks), which still ranks fifth all-time at Pepperdine (rally scoring era only) ... Two-time All-American Andy Hein (2006-06) holds the record with a .909 (10-0-11) hitting percentage which was achieved vs. Long Beach State on April 30, 2005 ... Rhein is the only outside hitter to rank in the top-five in the single-match hitting percentage category ... Hein also ranks second (.882), followed by Tyler Jaynes (2008-11, .875) and Brad Keenan (2000-03, .833) – all middle blockers.
LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves return to the friendly confines of Firestone Fieldhouse next week to host Cal State Northridge (April 4) and Long Beach State (April 6) ... Senior Day for Maurice Torres, Beau Vandeweghe and James Powers will be celebrated against the 49ers.
NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,041st and 1,042nd matches in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 641-332 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 445-255 and 240-138 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 478-235 ... The Waves are 342-113 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 210-110 all-time during the month of March.
BYU - The Cougars, unanimously voted #1 in this week’s AVCA poll, are 17-3 this season and are first place in the MPSF with a 16-2 record ... BYU’s only conference losses came against Pepperdine and Long Beach State ... The Cougars are on a nine-match win streak ... Taylor Crabb averages 3.91 kills/set followed by Ben Patch with 3.48 ... Michael Hatch rejects 1.47 blocks/set.
CAL BAPTIST - The Lancers are 12-12 overall and 8-10 in their first year as a part of the MPSF ... CBU is coming off two five-set matches last week with a win vs. Cal State Northridge and a loss to Long Beach State ... Levi Cabral averages 4.14 kills/set ... Guilherme Koepp follows with 3.97 kills/set.
RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #5 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.
SERIES SCORE - Pepperdine is 27-24 all-time vs. BYU but just 10-15 when playing in Provo ... The Waves won the last meeting between the two teams on Feb. 15 at home ... Maurice Torres led the match with 23 kills while hitting .325 and picked up 12 digs ... Josh Taylor followed with 20 kills hitting at a .406 clip ... Pepperdine is 6-1 all time against Cal Baptist and is playing in just the third match in Riverside ... The Waves defeated the Lancers earlier this season by a score of 3-1.
MPSF LEADERS - Matt West ranks second in the MPSF with 11.42 assists/set and ranks 10th in aces (0.31) ... Parker Kalmbach ranks fourth in the league with a 1.34 blocks/set average and ranks ninth with a .405 hitting percentage ... Maurice Torres ranks second in kills (4.21), first in points (5.04) and eighth in aces (0.34) ... Nikola Antonijevic averages 1.14 blocks/set to rank ninth.
MPSF TEAM STATS - As a team, the Waves rank second in the MPSF with 2.94 blocks/set ... Pepperdine sits in second in the league in hitting percentage (.314), assists (12.45) and kills (12.99) ... Pepperdine also ranks sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.262), fifth in service aces (1.23) and 12th in digs (7.58).
NCAA RANKS - In the latest NCAA rankings release Matt West ranks No. 2 in the NCAA with 11.42 assists/set ... Parker Kalmbach ranks fourth in the NCAA in blocks (1.34) followed by Nikola Antonijevic in 159h (1.14) ... Maurice Torres ranks second behind BYU’s Taylor Crabb in kills (4.21) and leads the NCAA with 5.04 points/set ... As a team, Pepperdine ranks fourth in the country in blocks (2.94), third in hitting percentage (.314), second in assists (12.45) and fourth in kills (12.99).
TORRES - Maurice Torres, the Waves’ kills leader the past three seasons, is once again Pepperdine’s go-to player on the court ... Torres leads the team this year with 4.21 kills/set ... He has surpassed double digit kill totals in all but two matches this season including seven 20+ kill performances ... He registered a season-high 23 kills against BYU (Feb. 15) ... He was later named MPSF Player of the Week on Feb. 18 for his efforts ... Versus 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 ... When Torres is hitting over .300 the Waves are 9-1 (only loss being to USC). Conversely, when he’s hitting at a sub-.300 clip, Pepperdine is 3-6 ... Torres was an AVCA All-American second team selection in 2012 and an All-MPSF first team member.
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 jump serve and the change has paid dividends ... He currently ranks second behind Torres with 22 service aces and ranks 10th in the conference with a 0.31 aces/set average ... He tallied a career-best four aces vs. Hope International (March 8) ... USC (Feb. 1) was only able to sideout at a 48-percent rate when West was serving ... He ranks second the league and NCAA with 11.42 assists/set in 2013 ... He was awarded MPSF Player of the Week honors on March 18.
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 has registered three kills-digs double-doubles this season, first against Cal Baptist (Feb. 13), and again versus BYU (Feb. 15) and UC Irvine (March 12) ... Against the Cougars, Torres earned his double-double with season highs in kills (23) and digs (12) .. Parker Kalmbach earned his first double-double on Friday, Feb. 8 at Cal State Northridge after recording a career-high 13 kills and 10 blocks.
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 ranks fourth in the MPSF with a 1.34 blocks/set average ... Delivered a phenomenal 10-block performance against UC San Diego on Jan. 12 and again at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 8 ... He also pounds down 1.91 kills/set.
ANTONIJEVIC - Nikola Antonijevic is equally as impressive as Kalmbach in the middle ... The sophomore provides 1.14 blocks/set for the defense and 1.01 kills/set on the offensive end ... He set a new career-high with nine blocks vs. UCI (March 12).
ON THE OUTSIDE - Josh Taylor and Kyle Gerrans opened 2013 as the two starting outside hitters ... With Gerrans’ on the disabled list, Scott Rhein has taken over his spot on the outside ... Taylor, who ranked second behind Torres in 2012 with 3.52 kills/set, currently averages 2.99 kills/set as a sophomore ... Rhein came off the bench against the Cougars and tallied a then-season high nine kills and five blocks ... He has since extended his season-best to 13 kills (Pacific, March 1; UCSD, March 15) ... Rhein has averaged 2.34 kills/set since Feb. 15 and 1.74 kills/set on the season.
CHECK THE RECORD - In Pepperdine’s career record book, Maurice Torres has made his mark in several categories ... He ranks eighth in career kills with 1,516 ... With ten more kills, Torres will surpass Fred Winters (2001-04) for seventh place ... If Torres collects 23 kills he will be tied with Matt Rigg (1984-87) for sixth place ... Torres’ 123 service aces rank eighth ... Matt West’s assist total of 2,154 ranks seventh all-time ... Torres is close to breaking into the top-10 in digs with 577 ... 602 would tie for 10th with Winters.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE - Pepperdine was a perfect 6-0 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse before UCLA snapped that streak on Feb. 23 ... The Waves, 9-1 at home in 2013, typically play very well in Firestone and average 13.19 kills, 12.81 assists, 1.42 aces, 8.06 digs and 2.97 blocks while hitting .344 in Malibu.
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 Hall of Fame (2010).
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).