#4 Waves Sweep Matadors, Win Fifth Straight
Pepperdine wins five in a row for the first time since the start of the 2012 season.
March 22, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #4 Pepperdine men's volleyball team was in firm control of tonight's match, and never trailed while beating Cal State Northridge in straight sets. With the 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory, the Waves have now won a season-best five in a row as they enter their final regular-season road trip next week.
After starting the week in third place in the MPSF, Pepperdine (14-5, 14-5 MPSF) now sits in second with a 1.5 match lead over third-place Long Beach State. The 49ers were in second as of Monday, but lost to both the Waves on Thursday and USC this evening to drop in the standings.
Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) once again led all hitters, putting down a match-best 11 kills.
Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood HS) managed the offense with 23 assists, while going an errorless 4-for-5 on the attack to help the Waves' cause.
In addition to West, two other hitters finished the night with a "0" in the error column including Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany) with five kills on six swings and Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS) with three kills off of six attempts.
Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS) finished the night with just one attack error, but still swung at a .400 clip with nine kills to his credit. The senior also paced the Pepperdine defense with six digs.
Antonijevic was practically impenetrable at the net, rejecting a match-high seven Matador (7-14, 6-12 MPSF) attacks.
The Waves opened the match, which doubled as USYVL Night, with a 6-1 run and never looked back as they quickly put the set away 25-17. Antonijevic put down a pair of kills while tallying three blocks to lead the home squad.
After a few back-and-forth plays in set two, Pepperdine scored on four consecutive points to take a 7-3 advantage. The lead expanded to as much as nine at 13-4 before CSUN began to chip away at the deficit. Although the Matadors would come back within three, 20-17, the Waves maintain their control and closed out the stanza 25-20.
Taylor tallied four kills in the frame, while West and Tarantino combined for five kills following five attacks.
After jumping out to a 9-1 lead in the third set, Cal State Northridge was once again able to close the gap behind a stellar blocking performance. Despite the Matadors holding a 6.5-2.0 advantage in blocks, Pepperdine clinched the sweep 25-20.
The Waves make their final regular-season road trip next week, making return visits to Stanford (March 28) and Pacific (March 29). Friday's match vs. the Cardinal will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network.