Strong-Serving Waves Beat CBU 3-1

Matt Tarantino

Feb. 22, 2014

Final Stats Box Score: Pepperdine 3, Cal Baptist 1 Get Acrobat Reader

MALIBU, Calif. – Behind a season-high 10 team aces, the #4 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team recovered from a slow start to beat Cal Baptist 3-1 on Saturday evening inside Firestone Fieldhouse. Matt Tarantino had a career-high night with 14 kills, while Scott Rhein did his part at the line and delivered five aces.

Although CBU ran away with set one 25-14, the Waves stormed back to win the next three 25-20, 27-25, 25-17.

“I was a little disappointed in our slow start, but I thought after the first set we served pretty well,” said veteran head coach Marv Dunphy. “Matt (Tarantino) led the offensive charge and I think Scott’s (Rhein) serving kept them on their heels.”

Pepperdine (8-3, 8-3  MPSF) got better and better as the night went on, hitting over .300 in sets two and three, and swinging at a .480 clip in the final frame. The Waves finished the night hitting .340 (52 kills-16 errors-106 attempts) – the seventh time they’ve swung over .300 this season.

Pepperdine has reached double-digit aces just twice in the last three seasons. Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) laced a career-high five aces to the floor while forcing numerous less-than-perfect passes to create scoring opportunities for the Waves.

Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany) earned his career-high 14 kills off of a .400 (14-4-25) clip. He also added a pair of aces and was responsible for all three of Pepperdine’s blocks.

Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) dealt 45 assists and was a perfect 3-for-3 on the attack.

Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS) and Kyle Gerrans (Lo Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) added to the Waves’ offense with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.

The Lancers (3-10, 2-9 MPSF) were led by Johannes Brink, who put down 24 kills while hitting .545 (24-3-40).

Brennan Anderson (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar HS/Ohio State) picked up eight digs to lead the Pepperdine defense.

Errors hurt the Waves early in the first set and CBU took full advantage.  The Lancers, despite having several reserves on the floor, kept their errors to a minimum and built a 15-8 lead. Pepperdine was never able to find its rhythm and lost 25-14

Pepperdine still struggled in the early points of set two, falling behind 8-12. Tarantino sparked a 4-0 run, putting down a kill for the sideout. He then stepped up to the service line and dished two aces, with a CBU attack error sandwiched in between, to knot the score at 12-all.

Another tough Tarantino serve was sent over the net by the Lancer serve receive, and Kalmbach promptly smashed the ball straight back down to the floor to give the Waves their first lead of the frame.

Up by one 19-18, Rhein took over at the service line and dealt three aces to help lift the Waves to a five-point lead. With a final kill by Kalmbach, Pepperdine clinched the stanza 25-20.

The pivotal set three was close practically from start to finish, as both teams were anxious to take a 2-1 lead. Although the Lancers went ahead 18-15 thanks to some timely blocking, the Waves marched right back within one, 17-18 after a Gerrans put away.  

Although Pepperdine continued to trail by a point or two, Max States (Honolulu, Hawaii/Solimar Academy) came in off the bench and laced another ace to the CBU side of the floor to tie things at 23-23.

The Waves sided their way out of a CBU set point situation and the Lancers returned the favor before Rhein dish another ace – his fourth of the night – to secure the frame 27-25.

Pepperdine finally found its groove and opened set four on an 8-5 run to prompt a Lancer timeout. Although Cal Baptist would come back within one, 9-8, the Waves never relinquished the lead and cruised to a 25-17 victory. Tarantino tallied the kill in all five of his attempts in the final set.

The Waves make the return trip to Riverside, Calif. next week Thursday, Feb. 27. First serve between Pepperdine and the Lancers is set for 7 p.m.



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