Freshman Taylor Gives Waves Boost in 3-2 Victory Over Lewis
Waves earn first win of the 2012 season with a five set thriller over Lewis.
Jan. 8, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. – Freshman Josh Taylor had 26 kills to send the #9 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team past #13 Lewis in five sets on Sunday evening. After falling to the Flyers on Saturday night in the season opener, the Waves avenged the loss and won by set scores of 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 15-11.
Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) becomes the first rookie player to notch at least 26 kills since Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran) nailed down 28 kills twice as a freshman. Now a junior, Torres finished the night with 11 put aways, three blocks and five digs.
Not only did Taylor produce offense in quantity, but in quality as well. The outside hitter fired a .583 hitting percentage with 26 kills, 36 attacks and just five errors.
Freshman Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) dished 50 assists to lead the Waves to a .339 team hitting percentage.
On defense, Mike McMahon (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS) picked up a match-high 10 digs, while Torres, Matt Pollock (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg HS) and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Calif./Stevenson HS) each tallied three blocks.
Lewis (1-1) was led by Geoff Powell, who came off the bench with 13 kills, followed by Aaron Flick with 10.
Although the Waves (1-1) got off to a strong start the Flyers kept the pressure on, hitting a .583 clip in set one. Lewis overtook the lead 18-17 following a Matt Gallik kill and road the momentum shift to a 25-22 win to claim the opening advantage.
Pepperdine got back on track in the second frame, with Taylor accounting for eight of the team’s 17 kills. The home team sprinted out to an overwhelming 11-4 lead, but the Flyers climbed back within three to prompt head coach Marv Dunphy, now in his 29th season as head coach, to call a timeout. The Waves strung together a 7-5 run to bring set point. Taylor pounded down another kill from West to put the set in the books.
In what was beginning to appear like a mirror image of Saturday night’s showdown, the Flyers regained control and won the third set 25-23. However, the Waves stopped history from repeating itself with solid showing in the fourth frame. All six hitters on the floor tallied at least one kill for Pepperdine, led by Taylor’s five. The Waves also delivered their best defensive showing in set four, with 3.5 blocks. A tandem rejection by West and Pollock put point #25 on the board to force a fifth set.
The two teams would trade points in the early going, but a kill from Torres, followed by a triple block by Torres, Pollock and Chase Ross (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) gave the Waves the final lead of the match. Up 13-10, Torres would hand out two final put aways to clinch Pepperdine’s first win of the 2012 season.
Ross would finish the match with nine kills and five digs, while Pollock posted six kills.
The Waves open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play this Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. inside Firestone Fieldhouse, when they tangle with Cal State Northridge. They continue the six-match home swing on Saturday, Jan. 20 versus Long Beach State.