No. 9 Pepperdine Overpowered by No. 3 BYU
Noah Dyer led the team with 11 kills and Mitchell Penning had a team-high season-best three aces.
HIGHLIGHTS | FINAL STATS
MALIBU, Calif.: - The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team was overpowered in straight sets by 3rd-ranked Brigham Young in Firestone Fieldhouse this Friday night. The Cougars posted 25-23, 25-23 and 25-17 set scores to earn the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory.
The Waves (6-8, 4-7 MPSF) tallied a .228 hitting percentage with 35 kills and 14 errors on 92 swings, compared to the Cougars (16-2, 10-1 MPSF) with .359 on the offensive after posting 49 kills with 12 errors on 103 attempts. The Waves also amassed 6.5 team blocks, five aces and 36 digs, while facing 9.5 team blocks, seven aces and 40 digs from across the net.
Freshman Noah Dyer (San Clemente, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian HS) led the Waves with 11 kills, while adding three blocks, three assists and seven digs for the Waves. Senior Mitchell Penning (St. Louis, Mo./Westminster Christian Academy) also tallied three blocks, while leading his team with a season-high three aces. Sophomore Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS) added three blocks, including one solo effort, while picking up six kills and seven digs.
Senior Joshua Stewart (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory/Pacific) was good for 21 assists, nine digs, one block and three kills throughout the night. Redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) produced eight kills on a team-high .353 success rate and added four blocks and an ace. Junior Clay Carr (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) tabbed two blocks, kills and assists, along with one ace and junior Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason) added five digs, four assists and 30 successful service receptions.
The Waves played tough through the first set, amassing a .375 hitting percentage to start the match. BYU went ahead 12-7 early in the set, but the Waves eventually rallied back with a 7-1 run to pull ahead 17-16 with help from Wieczorek's serving efforts, kills from Penning and Dyer and a Malibu Roofing Company rejection by Stewart and Penning. The two teams exchanged leads through to the 22-22 mark, before the opposition picked up an ace and two kills to win the first set 25-23.
Pepperdine and BYU battled point-for-point to gain the first advantage in the second set. Penning with three near-consecutive aces helped propel the home team forward to a 10-8 lead early in the set and the Waves kept pounding en route to a 17-13 gap. The opposition then countered their attack and tied the set at the 19-19 mark. After once again exchanging leads, this time to 23's, the Cougars capitalized on plays to shut the set down 25-23 and pull ahead 2-0 on the night.
Despite starting the third set in similar fashion, battling to an 8-8 tie, the Waves were unable to keep momentum and their opponents pulled ahead 14-9. An ace from Carr and kill by Dyer aided the early Waves comeback effort to a 13-14 score, but BYU found their stride late in the set and completed the sweep with a 25-17 victory.
The Waves will face off with BYU again tomorrow, March 11 at 7 p.m. in Firestone Fieldhouse to close out the two-match series. Follow Pepperdine @PeppVolleyball on Twitter and Facebook for immediate updates and head to PepperdineWaves.com for recaps, results and more.