Pepperdine Swept at UCLA
Leonarto Granato's match-high six blocks not enough to lift Waves to victory.
April 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES – The #6 Pepperdine men’s volleyball led the match with 10 blocks but could not overcome #3 UCLA’s relentless offensive assault and lost 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) on Wednesday night inside Pauley Pavilion.
With the win, the Bruins (19-10, 15-8 MPSF) have secured the No. 4 seed in the MPSF Tournament, and with it first-round hosting privileges. The Waves (13-11, 12-11 MPSF) control their own fate, and a win on Friday at UC Santa Barbara would mean the squad would be heading back to Pauley Pavilion next week Saturday as the No. 5 seed.
A loss in the season finale could mean heading to Long Beach State or UC Irvine for the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals, depending on the outcome of Stanford’s final two matches. The Cardinal is 11-11 in conference play with two matches left. Should Stanford and Pepperdine end the season in a tie in the league standings, the Waves hold the edge in the tiebreaker.
UCLA out-dug the Waves 28-17, providing ample opportunities to put the ball away. Led by Gonzalo Quiroga’s 16 kills, the Bruins held a 40-29 edge in kills.
On defense, Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce HS) was credited with a match-high six blocks, including two solo roofs.
The Waves suffered a 25-22 setback in the opening frame. Although the squads were tied late, 21-21, the Bruins went on a timely 4-1 run that was fueled by two blocks to secure the set.
Although Pepperdine climbed its way out of a 9-4 deficit in set two with a 4-0 run, the Bruins surged forward once again and controlled the tempo the duration of the frame. A Trent Kirsten-Quiroga block clinched the set 25-20.
The Waves got back on track in set three, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. The balanced attack saw kills from Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS), Taylor, Granato and Beau Vandeweghe (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) in the opening points.
The Bruins continued to fight, however, and after three-straight Quiroga kills, the score was tied at 8-all. Pepperdine would lead just twice more after siding out, and eventually fell behind match point 24-21. The Waves killed off two match points with a UCLA service error followed by a solo stuff courtesy of Granato, but Quiroga terminated a ball yet again to put point No. 25 on the board.
The Waves conclude the regular season at UC Santa Barbara on Friday, April 12. First serve inside the Thunderdome is scheduled for 7 p.m.