Men's Volleyball Announces 2013 Schedule
Nov. 1, 2012
Cal Baptist joins the MPSF ranks this season, bringing the conference count to 13 total schools including the Waves.
The 2013 campaign opens on the road for Pepperdine, who finished seventh in the league last year behind a 9-13 record. The Waves’ season-opener is scheduled for Jan. 8 at UC Irvine – the defending NCAA champions, followed by a road tilt at UC San Diego on Jan. 12.
Pepperdine entertains Pacific and Stanford on Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 before closing out the month in Hawaii on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27.
Firestone Fieldhouse sees its fair share of action in February, with five home matches on the docket. Home opponents during the month include USC (Feb. 1), Cal Baptist (Feb. 13), BYU (Feb. 15), UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 19) and UCLA (Feb. 23).
The Waves’ lone nonconference match on the schedule is set for March 8 against Hope International. The Royals won the Mid-America Men’s Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference National Division Championship in 2012 to advance to the NAIA National Invitational.
The second half of MPSF play begins on March 12, when Pepperdine hosts UC Irvine. The Tritons make their way to Firestone Fieldhouse on March 15.
The final home matches of the regular season are scheduled for April 4 and April 6, against Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State, respectively.
The MPSF Tournament opens on April 20 and a champion will be determined by April 27. The NCAA Championship follows on May 2-4 and will be held at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.
The Waves return 14 student-athletes from the 2012 squad, including starting opposite side hitter Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS). Torres, an AVCA All-American second team selection in 2012, enters his senior campaign with a career average of 3.96 kills/set. His three-year tally of 1,217 kills ranks 10th in the Pepperdine record book.
2012 All-MPSF honorable mention Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) also returns to the lineup as the Waves’ starting setter. Last season as a freshman, West ranked second in the league and in the NCAA with an 11.38 assists/set average.
Other returning starters include Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School), who contributed 3.52 kills/set in 2012, and Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS), an outside hitter turned middle blocker who averaged 1.51 kills/set and 0.99 blocks/set as a rookie. Both Taylor and Tarantino, along with West, were voted to the MPSF All-Freshman squad.
Mike McMahon (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS), Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) and Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian) all saw significant action in the libero spot last season. The Waves' depth and experience at the position should prove beneficial for the serve receive and defense.
Beau Vandeweghe (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) suits up in the orange and blue for one final season. The redshirt senior was the last Wave to have earned MPSF Player of the Week honors, having done so after a breakout performance lifted Pepperdine over the previously undefeated and #1-ranked USC in 2011.
Other key contributors returning from last season’s squad include Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS). Rhein, along with West and Tarantino, led the U.S. Men’s Junior National team to a gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championship over the summer. Antonijevic also contributed to the team’s success as a member of the training squad.
Four newcomers join the Waves in 2013 including freshmen Kyle Suppes (Union City, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory) and Vincent Rios (Torrance, Calif./South HS). J.J. Mosolf (Saugus, Calif./Hart High School/Hawaii) comes to Malibu after spending a redshirt season at Hawaii, while Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce College) adds experience at middle blocker after enjoying a successful two-year career at Pierce College.
Pepperdine will once again be led by Hall of Fame coach Marv Dunphy, who enters his 30th season in Malibu. Dunphy spent the summer as a consultant coach for the U.S. women’s national team that won a silver medal at the London Olympics.
All 12 home contests will be broadcast live and for free via WaveCasts.
The Waves were 14-15 overall in 2012 and concluded the season ranked 10th on the AVCA poll.