Men's Volleyball Unveils 2014 Schedule
Oct. 8, 2013
The Waves open the campaign with four exhibitions matches versus Canadian teams before MPSF action takes center stage. All 24 of Pepperdine's regular-season contests will be against league opponents.
Just before the New Year, Pepperdine will play the University of British Columbia for exhibition contests on Dec. 29 and 30. The Waves split the preseason series with the Thunderbirds last year, falling in five sets before bouncing back with a 3-1 victory.
Fellow neighbor to the north Alberta will also head to Malibu for exhibition matches on Jan. 3 and 5.
Those four dress rehearsal dates set the stage for Pepperdine's MPSF home opener versus 2012 and 2013 NCAA Champion UC Irvine on Friday, Jan. 10. The Waves then face UC San Diego on Sunday, Jan. 12 to conclude the home stand.
Road contests at USC, Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State follow before Pepperdine returns to Firestone Fieldhouse to host BYU on Friday, Jan. 31.
The Waves are scheduled to host three home matches during the month of February, starting with UCLA on Feb. 5, followed by UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 7 and Cal Baptist on Feb. 22.
March proves to be a busy month for Pepperdine, with nine contests on the docket.
After opening the month in Provo, Utah to face the Cougars on March 1, the Waves welcome Stanford and Pacific for back-to-back matches on March 7 and 8. Road contests at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara are up the following week before the men in blue and orange entertain Long Beach State on Thursday, March 20 at home. March 22 brings in Cal State Northridge before the Waves hit the road one last time to make the return trip to Stanford and Pacific.
Pepperdine concludes the regular season within the friendly confines of Firestone Fieldhouse, hosting USC (April 5) and Hawaii (April 11, 12).
The MPSF Tournament opens on April 19 and a champion will be determined by April 26. The NCAA Championship follows on May 1-3 and will be held at the Gentile Arena in Chicago.
The Waves return 13 student-athletes from the 2013 squad, including five starters plus libero. Junior setter Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) is back after picking up AVCA All-American first team acclaim in 2013. Top returning point scorer and All-MPSF selection Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) is back on the outside, as are Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) and Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy). Gerrans and Rhein shared starting duties last season, averaging 2.00 and 1.63 kills per set, respectively.
Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) return after starting the majority of the matches in 2013 as middle blockers. Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS), a middle blocker and right side hitter, is also back after making 21 starts in 2012. He sat out the 2013 season rehabbing an injury, but is back and healthy.
Finally, libero Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) returns after averaging 1.49 digs per set as a junior last year.
Pepperdine will once again be led by Hall of Fame coach Marv Dunphy, who enters his 31st season in Malibu.
All 13 home contests will be broadcast live and for free via WaveCasts.
The Waves were 14-12 overall in 2013 and concluded the season ranked 5th on the AVCA poll after reaching the quarterfinals of the MPSF Tournament.