Men's Volleyball Takes Down Alberta in Three Sets in Exhibition Action
Waves end exhibition season on a high note.
Jan. 5, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team closed out the exhibition portion of the season with an impressive 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 25-17) victory over visiting Alberta. Maurice Torres led the Waves with 19 kills while Parker Kalmbach scored 10.5 points off six kills, seven blocks and an ace.
#4-ranked Pepperdine closes out the exhibition portion of the season with a 3-2 record. The team opens regular-season play on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at top-ranked UC Irvine.
Alberta, ranked #1 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports poll, concludes its California tour with a 2-2 exhibition record. The Golden Bears, 12-0 in regular season play, defeated UCLA and USC earlier this week and also suffered a loss to Cal State Northridge.
Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), the Waves’ kills leader for the last three seasons, led the match with 19 kills earned on a .400 (19 kills-7 errors-30 attempts) hitting percentage. The senior added four blocks, four digs and an ace for a solid home debut.
Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) returned to the lineup after missing all of 2012 recovering from major back surgery. The junior was not only a defensive force on the block, he kept Alberta off balance with strong serving.
Overall, Pepperdine kept the service errors to a minimum and limited the Golden Bears to just three aces. The Waves were credited with six team aces, led by Matt West’s (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) three.
As a whole the Waves registered an impressive .341 (45-15-88) clip while holding the visiting team to just a .182 (34-18-88) hitting percentage.
The opening set was an evenly fought battle, as evidence by the 12 tie scores and five lead changes. The Golden Bears led by as much as six at 18-12 before the Waves fought back and overtook the advantage 20-19 after a pair of West aces. Pepperdine took set point, 24-22, but Alberta showed poise down the stretch and scored three consecutive points to tip the scales in its favor. The Waves faced set point twice, before regaining the lead 28-27. On set point No. 3 for Pepperdine, Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) came up with a clutch block to clinch the set for the home team.
Torres led the offensive assault in the opening frame with seven kills, followed by Kalmbach and Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) with four apiece.
The Waves found their rhythm in the second stanza, and quickly jumped out to a 9-5 lead. Despite a comeback attempt by Alberta that knotted the score at 10, Pepperdine pushed ahead. Tied at 16, the Waves strung together a 4-1 run that would prove too much for the Golden Bears to overcome. Torres handed out two more kills and in ace in the final points to secure the set 25-19.
Pepperdine progressively played better as the match went along and controlled the entire third set. The Waves sided out at a staggering 82-percent in the frame and quickly put the final set away 25-17. Torres was once again the go-to offensive option and pounded home four kills, while J.J. Mosolf (Saugus, Calif./Hart HS/Hawaii) and Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce) came off the bench with a 1-for-1 effort on the attack.
West finished the afternoon with a match-best 40 assists and six blocks. Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) paced the defense with 10 digs. Taylor and Gerrans logged seven kills each in the final box score.
Pepperdine opens the regular season next week with road contests at UC Irvine (Jan. 8) and UC San Diego (Jan. 12)