No. 9 Waves Put Under by No. 3 BYU
Michael Wexter produced a career-high hitting percentage with a .560 success rate on 15 kills.
HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTO GALLERY | FINAL STATS
MALIBU, Calif.: – The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team was put under for the second time this Saturday night in Firestone Fieldhouse, as the Waves succumbed to 3rd-ranked Brigham Young in a straight set Mountain Pacific Sports Federation win despite putting up a solid comeback effort, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24.
Pepperdine (6-9, 4-8 MPSF) had a strong offensive game, tabbing a .302 hitting percentage with 43 kills and only 14 errors on 96 attempts, while across the net BYU (17-2, 11-1 MPSF) spoke for a .320 success rate with 47 kills and 16 errors on 97 swings. The Waves also amassed three aces, 28 digs and 5.5 team blocks, compared to the five aces, 32 digs and 9.0 team blocks from the opposition.
Sophomore Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS) and redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola HS) led the Waves with double-figure kills after amassing 15 and 11 respectively. Wexter had only one error on 25 attempts for a career-high .560 attacking percentage, while also leading his team with two aces and eight digs. Wieczorek posted 11 kills and added 14 successful service receptions.
Senior Mitchell Penning (St. Louis, Mo./Westminster Christian Academy) was solid on defense with five blocks, including one solo rejection. He added seven kills on a .385 success rate as well. Fellow senior Joshua Stewart (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory/Pacific) led the squad with 36 assists and added six digs. Junior libero Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason) was a sight from the back row, digging up six attacks, while also posting 33 solid service receptions against the powerful Cougar servers.
Freshman Noah Dyer (San Clemente, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian HS) added six kills, an ace, three digs and two blocks and junior Clay Carr (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) produced four kills.
After dropping the first match-up last night, the Waves came out strong tonight, producing a 5-1 lead with blocks from Penning and Wieczorek to start the momentum rolling. BYU came back shortly after to tie the set 6-6, but the Waves would go up once again with a powerhouse service performance by Wexter to give Pepperdine a 14-12 lead. The Cougars tied the set at 18’s and picked up a 23-20 cushion late in the set that the Waves were unable to overcome, eventually winning 25-22 to gain the early advantage.
In the second set, the opposition had the first leads, working ahead to a 10-7 gap early on. The Waves tied things up 12-12 and went ahead 17-15 with kills form Wieczorek, Dyer and Wexter. The team’s then went point-for-point to an eventual 21-21 tie before the Cougars again put the hammer down and went up 2-0 on a 25-22 second set win.
Pepperdine and BYU put up fights on each side of the net in the third, picking up 11-tied scores and one lead change throughout. Early on, Wexter and Penning posted three kills apiece to help the Waves’ effort for a 14-14 tie. The Cougars went up 20-15 on the back stretch, but a triple-block by Penning, Dyer and junior Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS) and back-to-back-to-back kills from Wieczorek tied the set 23-23. The set advanced to a 24-24 tie before BYU once again closed the door with a pair of kills to pick up the MPSF victory.
Next up for the Waves is CSUN on Wednesday, March 15 with a road-bout in Northridge at 7 p.m. Follow Pepperdine @PeppVolleyball on Twitter and Facebook for immediate updates and head to PepperdineWaves.com for recaps, results and more.