Highlighting leadership development in our three-part 2016-17 recap of the school year.
Gehrels will continue his education in pursuit of a Masters in sports management at University of Florida.
32 student-athletes from institutions throughout the West Coast Conference came to Malibu for the three-day event
Thanks to seniors Mitchell Penning, Kyle Suppes, Soren Dion-Kindem, James Gehrels, Chad McCalliseter, Max States and Joshua Stewart.
The Waves ranked No. 5 in the AVCA and MPSF preseason polls earlier this month.
PEPPERDINE CAREER: Four-time Pepperdine Scholar Athlete … MPSF All-Academic in 2016 … In four years at Pepperdine, competed in 23 matches and 38 sets … Averaged 1.96 kills/set, 0.16 aces/set, 0.88 digs/set, 0.52 blocks/set and 2.42 points/set for the Waves … Produced a .167 hitting percentage after putting down 56 kills with 28 errors on 131 attempts … Amassed five aces, 26 digs and 14 total blocks including two solo efforts for 69 total points … In 2017, served as co-President of the Waves Leadership Council (SAAC), Vice Chair of NCAA Division I SAAC for the national office, WCC SAAC Representative to DI SAAC … Member of Pepperdine Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC) as well as the National SAAC … Represented Pepperdine and student-athletes at the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Collegiate Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) national convention in 2016.
PEPPERDINE 2017: Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete … Co-President of the Waves Leadership Council (SAAC) … Vice Chair of NCAA Division I SAAC for the national office … WCC SAAC Representative to DI SAAC … Played in one set as a senior.
PEPPERDINE 2016: Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete … MPSF All-Academic … Member of both the Pepperdine and National Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC) … Played in 12 matches and 25 sets in his junior campaign … One of the first off the bench for the Waves to provide offensive and defensive support … Averaged 1.96 kills/set, 0.88 digs/set, 0.52 blocks/set, 2.42 points/set and 0.16 aces/set … Hit for a .234 attack percentage after smashing 49 kills with only 23 errors in 111 total swings … Also amassed 13 blocks including two solo rejections, 22 digs, four aces and had 109 total serve receptions … Posted two double-figure kill matches and led the Waves in aces three times and hitting percentage once … Had a career-best 12 kills en route to a .391 clip (12-3-23) with one ace, five digs and two block solos in a four set match at UC San Diego (3/2) …Tabbed a career-high four blocks versus UC Santa Barbara (2/17), two aces at USC (1/26) and five digs twice, once at UC San Diego (3/2) and again at UC Santa Barbara (4/6) … Represented Pepperdine and student-athletes at the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Collegiate Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) national convention … At the convention, was part of a panel that discussed student-athlete time demands and how to find a solution; and was part of a panel that discussed the viewpoint of athletic communications from the student-athlete perspective on a variety of topics.
PEPPERDINE 2015: Appeared in eight matches and 10 sets ... Credited with three kills and three digs at UC San Diego (2/13) ... Totaled seven kills and 8.5 points on the season ... Delivered an ace at North Greenville (1/5) ... Teamed up with Mitchell Penning for a block at match point vs. Cal State Northridge (1/21) ... Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete.
PEPPERDINE 2014: Appeared in two matches and two sets, coming in both times to serve ... Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete.
CLUB: Played for the Arizona Premier Volleyball Club ... Took home back-to-back silver medals in the 18U Club Division at the Boy's Junior National Volleyball Championship ... All-tournament team selection.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School in 2013 ... Played four seasons on the varsity squad for head coach Amy Johnson ... Named All-Southern Arizona Player of the Year as a senior by the Tucson Citizen and the Arizona Daily Star ... 2011 and 2013 All-State second team selection by AZCentral.com ... First-team selection in 2012 ... Holds school record with 957 career kills ... Also holds the school record for career aces ... Led Salpointe Catholic to a runner-up finish at the 2011 5A state championship ... Member of the National Honor Society.
PERSONAL: Born in Tucson, Ariz. ... Son of Jennifer O'Brien and George Gehrels ... Has two older sisters, Aleida and Taiya ... Mother is a kindergarten teacher and father is a professor of geosciences at Arizona ... Majoring in sports administration ... Makes annual family trips to Alaska to spend time on the family's boat ... Chose Pepperdine "because of its prestigious academic and athletic reputation. That, plus the opportunity to be coach by Marv Dunphy was just too good to pass up."
FAVORITES: Favorite pro volleyball player is Matt Anderson ... Cites Anderson as his favorite because "he exemplifies what I want to do in life and where I want to be. He is a role model athletically and someone I strive to play like" ... Favorite book is the Bible ... Favorite TV show is 24 ... Favorite food is Italian ... Favorite pro sports team is the Seattle Seahawks ... Favorite movie is The Hangover ... Favorite musical group is Blink-182 ... Favorite sport other than volleyball is basketball ... Enjoys spending time with friends and playing X-Box.