Waves Look to Secure MPSF Tournament Berth at Home vs. USC on Saturday
April 2, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #3 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team enters its second-to-final week of the regular season just one match away from clinching its second-straight MPSF Tournament berth. This week the Waves battle with #8 USC on Saturday inside Firestone Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.
MATCH 22 - #3 Pepperdine (15-6, 15-6 MPSF) vs. #8 USC (15-9, 14-9 MPSF)| Saturday, April 5 | 7 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse
FREE! - With the NCAA Championships less than a month away, Molten is promoting the event by giving away an official game ball during Saturday’s match ... Pepperdine will host a drawing to determine the winner ... To enter, fill out an entry form at Saturday’s match, which will include a few trivia questions about the championship host city, Chicago ... The first entry we draw with all the correct answers wins ... Malibu Roofing Company hats will also be up for grabs for the first 500 students in attendance.
MPSF RACE BREAKDOWN - With just 3.5 matches separating second-place Pepperdine from ninth-place Hawaii, the race to stay in the top eight and make the MPSF Tournament is as heated as ever ... BYU has already secured the No. 1 seed in the league tournament ... Although the likelihood of the Waves making an MPSF Tournament postseason appearance is great, one win, or one Hawaii loss, would make it official ... UH hosts a home-and-home vs. BYU this week ... USC is 14-9 with a half match lead on UCLA (12-8) and a 1.5 match lead over Hawaii (11-9) ... The Trojans hold the tiebreaker over UH, so a win on Saturday in their regular-season finale would secure their MPSF Tournament bid as well ... Right now, two wins would lock home court advantage for the Waves in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals, although losses by UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Stanford and UC Irvine could make that unnecessary ... Pepperdine owns tiebreakers over the 49ers and UCLA ... The Cardinal and the Anteaters hold tiebreakers over the Waves.
TICKETS - Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Admission to regular-season home events is free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. The Pepperdine All-Sports Pass includes admission to all 2013-2014 regular-season home athletics events at excluding all men’s basketball competitions.
LIVE FROM FIRESTONE FIELDHOUSE - Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineSports.com offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams. WaveCasts broadcasts most home matches, for free on your computer or for a monthly subscription on mobile devices. Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the schedule page. The Pepperdine mobile app is also available for iPhone, Android and iPad users. Download the free app today!
SOCIAL CIRCLE - In addition to team information on PepperdineSports.com, fans can also keep up with the latest surrounding the men’s volleyball team by following the squad on Twitter (@PepperdineMVB) or liking Pepperdine men’s volleyball on Facebook. Pepperdine Athletics is also on Instagram (PepperdineWaves).
QUICK HITS - The Waves start this week in second place in the MPSF, holding a 1.5 match lead over Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Stanford, all tied for third with a 13-7 record ... With 955 career kills, Josh Taylor is within striking distance of becoming the Waves’ 18th member of the 1000 kills club by season’s end.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine suffered a 3-0 loss to Stanford last week Friday on the road ... The Waves rallied back with a 3-1 triumph over Pacific ... Josh Taylor led the way with 4.14 kills/set on the weekend, followed by Kyle Gerrans (3.29 k/s) and J.J. Mosolf (3.20 k/s).
USC - The Trojans are 15-9 overall and 14-9 in MPSF matches ... USC remains the only team in 2014 to beat #1-ranked Loyola-Chicago ... Tanner Jansen, last week’s AVCA National Player of the Week, is USC’s go-to offensive option with 3.71 kills/set ... The Trojans have won four of their last five.
SERIES NOTES - Pepperdine is 58-35 all-time vs. USC ... The Waves defeated the Trojans in a close 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24) match back on Jan. 16 inside the Galen Center ... The Waves own a 26-13 advantage over USC when playing at home.
LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine concludes the regular season with a home-and home vs. Hawaii (4/11, 4/12).
RECORD BOOK EDITS - The Waves set a new single-match record (rally scoring era) at Long Beach State on Jan. 24 with 71 digs ... Pepperdine picked up 61 digs at USC (1/16) which ties for fifth in the rally scoring era and tied for second in a four-set match ... Individually, Brennan Anderson’s single-match dig total of 18 vs. the 49ers ties for second in program history, while Matt West’s 17 digs puts him in a tie for fifth ... Kyle Gerrans put down six aces at UC San Diego (2/15) which ties for sixth overall and tied for first in a three-set match ... Josh Taylor and Scott Rhein have come close to breaking into the record book, and both have been credited with five aces in a single match (Taylor vs. Pacific, 3/8; Rhein vs. Cal Baptist, 2/22).
NOTING THE WAVES - This week Pepperdine will play in its 1,069th and 1,070th matches in program history ... The Waves are officially 658-343 all time ... In conference play the Waves are officially 462-265 and 257-148 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts an official career record of 495-246... The Waves are officially 350-115 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... March 1’s match at BYU was Coach Dunphy’s 800th match on the sidelines for the Waves.
Josh Taylor - Josh Taylor made his return to the lineup at BYU after not playing for three matches ... He has led the Waves in kills in all but three appearances this season ... Taylor ranked No. 2 in kills as a freshman and sophomore behind Maurice Torres ... He was an All-MPSF second team pick as a sophomore and an All-Freshman selection the year prior ... His season kills average of 4.16 is on track to rank in the top-10 in Pepperdine’s single-season record book and currently ranks third in the MPSF and third in the NCAA ... With 955 career kills, Taylor is within striking distance of becoming the Waves’ 18th member of the 1000 kills club.
Matt West - Now in his third season as Pepperdine’s starting setter, Matt West continues to impress as the offensive conductor ... He was named to the Lloy Ball Award watch list, an honor that is given to the nation’s best setter by Off the Block ... The Waves have hit .300 or better in 13 of 21 matches this season with West setting ... He earned AVCA All-American first team acclaim as a sophomore ... West was also a Volleyball Magazine second team All-American in 2013 ... With 3,352 career assists, West overtook John Mayer (2003-05) for sixth place on the career records chart earlier this season ... He became just the sixth player in Pepperdine history to log over 3,000 assists on Saturday (3/1) at BYU.
MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Matt West was voted MPSF Player of the Week on March 24, after leading the Waves to back-to-back shutouts vs. Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge ... He averaged a staggering 14.00 assists/set in the sweep over the 49ers, ending the opponent’s eight-match win streak and relegating LBSU back to third place in the MPSF standings ... He posted a career-high eight points vs. CSUN, with four kills, three aces and two blocks ... It was the first time West was named MPSF Player of the Week this season and second overall in his career.
Brennan Anderson - Transfer Brennan Anderson joins West as the Waves’ second VBM All-American on the floor ... Anderson was a third team pick while at Ohio State last year ... He set the Buckeyes’ single-season record with a digs average of 3.12 in 2013 ... He has started every match for the Waves, averaging 2.14 digs ... He’s on pace to rank in the program’s top-10 for both singles season dig totals and average ... He had a season-best 18 dig performance at Long Beach State (1/24) ... That stat ties for second all-time in the Waves’ single-match record book (rally scoring era only).
IN THE MIDDLE - Nikola Antonijevic and Matt Tarantino are the Waves’ two main middle men ... J.J. Mosolf has also gotten the starting bid in 2014 both in the middle and on the opposite side ... Antonijevic threw the roof on 12 times at Cal State Northridge (1/22) ... Tarantino posted seven blocks in a three-set win over UCSD (1/11) and put down a career-high 14 kills vs. Cal Baptist (2/22) ... Most recently, he has put down 10+ kills vs. Pacific, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara without committing a single attack error ... Including portions of the Long Beach State match (3/20), Tarantino’s error free streak began on March 8 vs. Pacific and lasted through 39 kills and 57 attempts ... Since the first Pacific match, Tarantino has hit at a .587 clip (47 kills-4 errors-92 attempts) which spans seven matches .. Mosolf had a break-out performance at USC (1/16) with an errorless 10-for-13 attacking performance coming off the bench ... He started on the right side vs. the Tigers on Saturday with a career-high 15 kills and seven digs.
MPSF/AVCA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Matt Tarantino was voted both MPSF and AVCA Player of the Week (3/17 & 18) for his stellar performance in victories over UCLA and UC Santa Barbara ... Not only did the middle blocker surpass double digits in kills in both matches, he did so without committing a single attack error ... His error-free streak actually dates back to March 8, when Tarantino put down 11 kills hitting .733 - a career high clip at the time ... The redshirt sophomore extended that mark to .750 during last week Tuesday’s four-set win at UCLA ... He ended the night with 12 kills after taking 16 attempts ... On Friday at UC Santa Barbara, Tarantino tallied 11 kills behind an errorless 16 swings ... He is the Waves’ first MPSF Player of the Week this season and second AVCA Player of the Week.
Kyle Gerrans - Senior Kyle Gerrans has started every match of 2014 on the outside ... Gerrans is a consistent all-around player and leads the Waves in service aces ... He’s currently averaging 2.66 kills, 1.73 digs, 0.57 blocks and a tied for team-high 20 aces on the season ... Gerrans issued six aces in the Waves 3-0 win at UC San Diego, tying the rallying scoring era record for aces in a three set match ... Over the last two weeks (four matches), the senior has put down 3.15 kills/set.
Parker Kalmbach - After earning All-MPSF honorable mention accolades as a middle blocker in 2013, Kalmbach has moved over to the right side ... Ranks No. 2 behind Taylor with his kills average and has surpassed double-digit kill totals in all but six matches this season ... He has led the Waves in kills in six matches ... Kalmbach earned the Waves’ first AVCA National Player of the Week award since 2010 after achieving a kills-digs-blocks triple-double vs. USC (1/16) ... Kalmbach, who redshirted in 2012 following back surgery, began his career at Pepperdine as an outside hitter.
AVCA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Opposite side hitter Parker Kalmbach was honored as AVCA National Player of the Week on Jan. 21 following his triple-double performance the prior Thursday at USC ... Kalmbach posted 11 kills, a career-high 13 digs and 10 blocks ... It was the first triple-double by any MPSF player in almost a year and just the fourth since the 2007 season ... The last triple-double by a Pepperdine player came courtesy of Maurice Torres on March 3, 2010 vs. UC Santa Barbara (16 kills, 10 digs, 10 blocks).
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 (or both) in six of the last 14 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 15 of the last 17 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors nine times and All-American accolades 79 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).
Marv Dunphy - Now in his 31st 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 2014 season with a career record of 546-241* (.694). 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).
ALUMNI NEWS - Three-time All-American, NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist Troy Tanner was chosen to succeed Nina Matthies as the new Pepperdine women’s indoor volleyball head coach... Tanner won two NCAA titles while at Pepperdine, first in 1985 and again in 1986 ... He went on to play for Marv Dunphy at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul where Team USA took home the gold ... Tanner was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 ... Former men’s volleyball director of operations Alex Dunphy (Marv’s daughter), was the first assistant coach added to Tanner’s staff ... Kyle Luongo, a member of the men’s volleyball team 2008-10, was added shortly after.
CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT - In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University’s history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves’ home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.
#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.
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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.