MPSF Semifinals Set with #2 Pepperdine Facing #3 Stanford
April 22, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #2 Pepperdine men's volleyball team continues its run in the MPSF Tournament, facing #3 Stanford in the semifinals on Thursday, April 24 in Provo, Utah. The Waves are making their first trip to the semifinals since 2009 and are 23-15 all-time at the conference tournament, including last week Saturday's 3-1 win over #7 Long Beach State in the quarterfinals.
MATCH 26 - #2 Pepperdine (19-6, 18-6 MPSF) vs. #3 Stanford (21-7, 17-7 MPSF) | Thursday, April 24 | 4 p.m. (PT) | Smith Fieldhouse
TICKETS - An MPSF Tournament All-Session pass, which includes admission to both semifinals on Thursday and Saturday's final, can be purchased now at BYUTickets.com. Single-day tickets will be sold beginning on Thursday with reserved seating ranging from $20-60 for fans ages two and older. General admission seating is $18 for adults, and $8 for students and children ages six and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door, on the BYU ticket website or by calling 1-800-322-BYU1.
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).
MPSF TOURNAMENT BREAKDOWN - All four top seeds prevailed at home last week, although two of the matches went all five sets ... BYU had the easiest go of it, hitting .519 as a team to decisively eliminate USC from the tournament ... Long Beach State took the first set from the Waves, but Pepperdine rallied back from a 22-24 deficit in set two to go on to win 3-1 ... Stanford rallied back from down 12-13 in the fifth to beat UC Irvine 15-13 ... UC Santa Barbara fell behind 2-1 vs. UCLA before prevailing 3-2 ... The MPSF regular season race was a close one, and final standings were not determined until the final regular season match was in the books on April 12 ... Pepperdine defeated Hawaii twice to lock the No. 2 seed in the tournament ... Even though the Waves tied for first in the league, the team had not locked a top-four spot in the standings until April 11 with the first win over UH ... Both UCLA and UC Santa Barbara helped Pepperdine out by beating BYU two weeks ago, making the tie possible.
SECOND SEMIFINAL - #5 UC Santa Barbara (18-8, 16-8 MPSF) at #4 BYU (19-8, 18-6 MPSF) | Thursday, April 24 | 7 p.m. (PT) | Smith Fieldhouse
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP - The NCAA Championship has expanded to six teams this season ... Automatic berths are granted to the conference tournament winners of the MPSF, MIVA, EIVA and Conference Carolinas ... The top two seeds will receive a bye to the semifinals, scheduled for Thursday, May 1 ... Although not guaranteed, the top two seeds would likely go to the MPSF and MIVA tournament winners ... Erskine, the Conference Carolina Tournament champion, will play on Tuesday, April 29 in one of the play-in quarterfinal matches ... Two at-large bids can go to any remaining team, based on rankings, record and strength of schedule ... Selections will be made at 8 a.m. (PT) on Sunday, April 27 at NCAA.com.
MPSF TOURNAMENT HISTORY - Pepperdine is 23-15 all-time at the MPSF Tournament ... The Waves are 2-3 vs. Stanford in the MPSF Tournament ... The higher seed prevailed in all five previous meetings ... Pepperdine is 8-4 in MPSF Tournament semifinal matches ... The Waves have only played in Provo once during the tournament, suffering a 3-2 loss to top-seeded BYU as the fourth seed in 2004 ... Pepperdine is 4-2 when playing as the No. 2 seed, reaching the finals in 2000 and 2009 ... The Waves have reached the finals on eight occasions ... The Waves have won two MPSF Tournament Championships inside Firestone Fieldhouse (2002, 2005) ... Pepperdine also won titles in 1998 and 2008, although the latter was later vacated ... The Waves are 5-3 in neutral court MPSF Tournament matches and are 3-8 when playing on the opponents' home court ... Third seeded Pepperdine upset top-seeded UCLA in Los Angeles in 1998 to win the championship ... In 2008 as the No. 5 seed, Pepperdine upset #4 UCLA and #1 Long Beach State on their home floors en route to the title.
POSTSEASON HONORS - Matt West and Josh Taylor took two of the 12 spots the All-MPSF first-team roster ... Matt Tarantino and Parker Kalmbach were rewarded with second-team recognition ... AVCA All-Americans will be announced on Thursday.
1000 KILLS - With his 16th of 18 kills vs. Hawaii on Saturday, April 12, junior Josh Taylor became the Waves' 18th member of the 1000 kills club ... He is the first Pepperdine player to reach the milestone since Maurice Torres did so in 2012.
LOOKING BACK - After dropping the first set to Long Beach State, Pepperdine rallied back from a 22-24 deficit in set two to ultimately win 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-20) ... Senior Kyle Gerrans delivered an inspiring performance with a career-high 17 kills.
STANFORD - The Cardinal is on an incredulous 12-match win streak heading into Thursday and is 21-7 overall ... Stanford finished the regular season in third place behind the Waves with a 17-7 MPSF record ... Stanford's last loss occurred on Feb. 28 vs. Long Beach State (3-1) ... The Cardinal is the only team to have swept the Waves in the two-match season series in 2014 ... Brian Cook paces Stanford with 3.70 kills per set followed by Steven Irvin with a 3.27 average.
SERIES NOTES - Pepperdine is 49-24 all-time vs. Stanford ... The Waves are 3-1 vs. the Cardinal in neutral court matchups ... The Waves have only won three of the last 11 meetings ... Pepperdine and Stanford have met more than twice in one season on three occasions ... The Waves went 3-1 vs. Stanford in 1987, 2-1 in 1992 and 0-3 in 2012.
NOTING THE WAVES - This week Pepperdine will play in its 1,073rd match in program history ... The Waves are officially 662-343 all time ... In conference play the Waves are officially 465-265 and 260-148 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts an official career record of 499-246 (unofficially 565-247) ... The Waves are officially 354-115 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... March 1's match at BYU was Coach Dunphy's 800th match on the sidelines for the Waves ... This is the Waves' 20th appearance in the MPSF Tournament.
Josh Taylor - Josh Taylor has started in all but three matches this season ... He has led the Waves in kills in all but four appearances ... Taylor ranked No. 2 in kills as a freshman and sophomore behind Maurice Torres ... He was an All-MPSF first team selection in 2014, a second team pick as a sophomore and an All-Freshman selection the year prior ... His season kills average of 4.09 is on track to rank in the top-15 in Pepperdine's single-season record book and currently ranks third in the MPSF and sixth in the NCAA ... He became the Waves' 18th player to reach the 1000 career kills milestone on April 12 vs. Hawaii.
Matt West - Now in his third season as Pepperdine's starting setter, Matt West continues to impress as the offensive conductor ... He was named at top-three Lloy Ball Award finalist, an honor that is given to the nation's best setter by Off the Block ... The Waves have hit .300 or better in 14 of 25 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 ... Currently with 3,511 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 ... At the rate he is going, he would join current assistant coach Jonathan Winder as just the second Wave ever to surpass the 4,000 career assists mark by the end of his senior year ... His first dig vs. Long Beach State on Saturday was his 500th of his career.
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 2.17 digs ... He's on pace to rank in the program's top-10 for both single season dig totals and average ... He had a season-best 18 digs 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 ... Both rank in the top-12 in the conference and top-20 in the NCAA for their block averages ... Tarantino is coming off an 11 block night vs. USC (4/5) ... Antonijevic has also surpassed double figures once this season with 12 roofs at Cal State Northridge (1/22) ... Tarantino put down 10+ kills in consecutive matches 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 .493 clip (86 kills-13 errors-148 attempts) which spans 11 matches ... Antonijevic has led the NCAA in blocks during portions of the season and currently ranks 10th.
MPSF/AVCA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Matt Tarantino voted both MPSF and AVCA Player of the Week (3/17 & 18) for his stellar performance in victories at UCLA (3/11) and UC Santa Barbara (3/14) ... 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 the four-set win at UCLA ... He ended the night with 12 kills after taking 16 attempts ... At UC Santa Barbara, Tarantino tallied 11 kills behind 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 ... He's currently averaging 2.68 kills, 1.63 digs, 0.62 blocks and 0.22 aces... 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 ... Gerrans made his final curtain call inside Firestone Fieldhouse last week Saturday vs. Long Beach State and put down a career-high 17 kills ... The senior by far saved his best for last after an ankle injury cut his first season as starting outside hitter short in 2013 ... He tied a career-high vs. Hawaii (4/12) with five blocks on his Senior Night.
J.J. Mosolf - Redshirt sophomore J.J. Mosolf has started the last five matches on the opposite side in Parker Kalmbach's place ... Mosolf also has two starts to his credit as middle blocker ... He had a break-out performance at USC (1/16) with an errorless 10-for-13 attacking performance coming off the bench as a middle blocker ... He started on the right side vs. Pacific (3/29) with a career-high 15 kills and seven digs ... He had a solid night vs. USC (4/5) with nine kills and seven digs ... He earned his first career double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs in the Waves' regular-season finale vs. Hawaii (4/12) ... He reached double figures in digs for the second-straight match vs. Long Beach State in the quarterfinals with 10.
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 appearances 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 10 regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title (or both) in six of the last 15 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).
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).
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..
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.