Waves Close out Hawai'i Matches with 3-0 Loss
Michael Wexter led the Waves with 10 kills and two aces.
HONOLULU, Hawai’i.: – The 10th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team was felled in straight sets by 4th-ranked Hawai’i for the last of two matches in the Stan Sheriff Center this Sunday night, dropping 25-22, 25-18 and 28-26 sets in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match-up.
The Waves (6-7, 4-6 MPSF) posted a .167 hitting percentage on 37 smashes, compared to the Rainbow Warriors (16-2, 7-2 MPSF) .330 output on 49 kills. The Waves amassed 4.0 team blocks and three aces, while allowing the opposition 11.0 team blocks and one ace.
Sophomore Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS) led the team with 10 kills and two aces, while also producing three digs and a block in the match. Junior Alex Harthaller (Innsbruck, Austria/Akademischeg Gymnasium/IPFW) finished the night with eight kills and one ace.
Junior Clay Carr (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) led the team with three blocks, while tabbing four kills. Senior Joshua Stewart (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep/Pacific) led the squad with 29 assists, and added six digs, one block and two smashes. Junior Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason) was good for a team-high 13 digs and redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) added seven kills and four blocks.
The Waves and Rainbow Warriors both came out strong in the first set, going point-for-point en route to an 8-8 tie before Pepperdine went on a 4-2 run. The opposition worked back into the match, however, and eventually tied the set at 14’s and both sides exchanged leads to the 20-20 mark. At that point, UH gained the first advantage which propelled the team to a 25-22 first set win.
In the second, Hawai’i gained an early lead with a 9-4 gap. Pepperdine started to come back, but UH shut the door, posting an 18-11 advantage late in the set and then turning it into a 25-18 win to go up 2-0 on the day.
The third set was the closest of the three played, with each side hitting the 10-10, 15-15 and 18-18 marks throughout. After a 23-23 score, the Waves picked up the first set-point opportunity on a rejection delivered by Carr and Stewart. The opposition countered with a block of their own, before Pepperdine went ahead again on a Rainbow Warrior attack error. The home team had other ideas, though, and picked up three-straight points to finish the third and final set 28-26 for the MPSF win.
The Waves return home for a dead-week, followed by back-to-back showdowns with No. 3 BYU in Firestone Fieldhouse on March 10 and 11. Follow Pepperdine @PeppVolleyball on Twitter and Facebook for immediate updates and head to PepperdineWaves.com for recaps, results and more.