No. 9 Waves Crash Down on No. 14 CSUN in Five-Set Brawl
David Wieczorek led the team with 23 kills on a .487 success rate, Clay Carr added eight blocks and Mitchell Penning was good for three aces on the night.
MALIBU, Calif.: – The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team outlasted Cal State Northridge at the Matadome this Wednesday night, winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match-up after a five-set brawl, 22-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12.
The Waves (7-9, 5-8 MPSF) hit for a .303 success rate on the attack with 57 kills on 122 attempts. The Matadors (12-11, 5-9 MPSF) tabbed a .274 hitting percentage with 58 kills on 124 swings. Pepperdine out-blocked CSUN with 13.0 team blocks to 12.0, while the Waves also picked up seven aces to the oppositions three throughout the night.
With the score tied 2-2 overall, the match was any teams to take and each team worked hard. After a 4-4 early tie, the Waves pulled ahead 7-5 with a Harriman smash. The Waves maintained the small lead for a few points, but CSUN stayed in the set and came back to tie the match 12-12. Pepperdine unleashed at that point, posting back-to-back kills from Wieczorek and a forced attack error to finish the night with a Waves’ win 15-12.
Redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) had an outstanding match, posting 23 kills on a solid .487 hitting percentage, while adding two aces, four blocks and four digs for the Waves. Junior Clay Carr (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) led the team with eight block assists and produced five kills as well.
Senior Mitchell Penning (St. Louis, Mo./Westminster Christian HS) led the team with a tied season-high ace output after marking three on the opposition. He also picked up four kills and four blocks for the Waves. Freshman Noah Dyer (San Clemente, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian HS) had a big night on the outside, picking up 13 kills on a .360 success rate, while tallying seven digs.
Senior setters Joshua Stewart (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory/Pacific) and Soren Dion-Kindem (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura HS) split the playmaking duties, posting 30 and 16 assists respectively. Junior Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason) tallied five digs and five assists, and led the team with an impressive 1.000 service reception after returning 39 serves without a single error.
Junior Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS) and Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS) each posted six kills. Harriman added a .556 attack output, two digs and a block, while Wexter produced three blocks and three digs.
In the first set, the two teams worked point-for-point through 5-5, 10-10 and 15-15 tied scores. The opposition then broke slightly ahead at a 21-17 advantage, before the Waves would close the gap to a small one-point deficit at the 20-21 mark. The Matadors then took the sideout momentum to a 25-22 first set win to get the first lead of the night.
The second set belonged to Pepperdine from the beginning, as a strong Penning service put the opposition off-kilter en route to a 7-3 Waves’ start. It was a deficit CSUN was unable to overcome as the Waves kept pounding down to a nine-point lead at 19-12 with the help of a Wexter, Carr rejection and a Wieczorek smash. With the clear advantage, the Waves were comfortable late in the set and a final kill from Penning earned the 25-16 Waves’ set win to tie the overall match.
The third set began as evenly as the first, with teams amassing 6-6 and 13-13 ties, before the Matadors started working ahead. With the slight two-point advantage, CSUN continued to collect kills to eventually amass a 25-21 third set win for the 2-1 lead overall.
The match continued with the intensity, working with a 7-7 tie early on before the Matadors put up a two-point advantage at the 12-10 mark. Pepperdine tied the set at 16’s and each side exchanged tied scores and leads through to a 20-20 score. The Waves kept the momentum up on the back-stretch, however, and an ace from Penning and a set-winning smash from Harriman earned a 25-21 set win for the Waves to extend the match to a fifth.
Next, Pepperdine travels to Palo Alto, Calif. on Saturday, March 18 to challenge No. 8 Stanford. Follow Pepperdine @PeppVolleyball on Twitter and Facebook for immediate updates and head to PepperdineWaves.com for recaps, results and more.