#7 Pepperdine Hosts #10 Stanford on Friday

Mitchell Penning (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
Jan. 17, 2017


MALIBU, Calif.:
– The 7th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns home after a Midwestern road trip this Friday night in Firestone Fieldhouse, opening Mountain Pacific Sports Federation competition with 10th-ranked Stanford at 7 p.m.

MATCH 4 – Friday (January 20) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: No. 7 Pepperdine (2-1) vs. No. 10 Stanford (3-2), at 7 p.m. (PT).

COVERAGE – Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineWaves.com offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams.  WaveCasts broadcasts all home matches for free on your computer or mobile device.  Veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein will once again serve as the voice of Pepperdine volleyball in 2017.  Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the men’s volleyball schedule page at PepperdineWaves.com. 

TICKETS - Admission to home matches is $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Admission to regular-season home events is free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Follow men’s volleyball on Twitter and Facebook, @PeppVolleyball.  Stay tuned into all Pepperdine Athletics on Instagram, @PepperdineWaves, and follow the Waves on YouTube for match highlights and special features.

THE NO. 7 WAVES – Pepperdine ranks 7th in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll after going 2-1 to open the first three matches of the season.  The team ranks 1st nationally with 14.00 kill/set and with 13.00 assists/set, while also ranking 2nd with 30.07 team attacks/set at this point in the season.  Altogether, the Waves have posted 196 kills with only 62 errors on 421 swings for a .318 hitting percentage.  The team adds 1.14 aces/set, 9.64 digs/set and 1.43 blocks/set, while allowing opponents a .339 hitting percentage on roughly 12.71 kills/set.

Redshirt sophomore David Wieczorek ranks 5th nationally with 4.18 kills/set, 10th with 4.68 points/set, 12th with 1.82 digs/set and 20th with 7.45 attacks/set.  He is currently second on the team with 46 total kills on a team-high .476 hitting percentage.  Sophomore Michael Wexter leads the team with 50 total kills after averaging 3.57, a feat that ranks 19th nationally.  He also ranks 21st with 4.11 points/set, 22nd with 7.36 attacks/set and 38th with 1.71 digs/set.  Senior Mitchell Penning leads the squad with nine total blocks, averaging 0.64 blocks/set against opponents.  He also posts 2.07 kills/set on top of a .472 success rate. 

Seniors Joshua Stewart and Soren Dion-Kindem each have spent time as playmakers for the Waves, averaging 11.22 and 11.00 assists/set respectively.  Fellow senior Max States ranked 29th in the nation with 0.42 aces/set so far this season.  Lastly, Wexter leads the Waves’ diggers with 24 on the season, but Stewart and junior Owen Yoshimoto each have posted 20 digs as well.  Yoshimoto’s 1.82 digs/set ranks 29th nationally.

WAVES IN CHICAGO – Last week, the Waves took a trip to the Midwest, challenging then-ranked #8 Loyola Chicago and #9 Lewis on back-to-back nights.  On the first night, the Waves went set-for-set with the Ramblers, heading to a fifth that Pepperdine would win 15-11.  The team produced a .310 hitting percentage with 71 kills on 158 swings, as opposed to LUC’s 62 kills after 137 attempts for a .343 hitting percentage.  The Waves added three aces, 51 digs, 67 assists and 8.0 team blocks, compared to the Ramblers’ one ace, 59 assists, 54 digs and 11.5 team blocks.  Michael Wexter had a career night for Pepperdine, posting a career-best 22 kills on a .405 hitting percentage with eight digs.  Alex Harthaller and Noah Dyer also hit for double figures with 18 and 16 respectively.  David Wieczorek came in late in the match and led the squad with four blocks.  Soren Dion-Kindem produced a double-double with 25 assists and 11 digs and Joshua Stewart led the team with 37 assists. 

Then, in the following night, the Waves suffered the first loss of the season to the Flyers.  After dropping the first two sets, the Waves won the third 26-24, but the Flyers came back in the fourth and put the match away with a 25-21 set win.  Pepperdine put up a .294 success rate on 58 kills after 126 swings.  The team also picked up six aces, 41 digs, but fell short with 4.0 team blocks.  The opposition was good for 13.5 team blocks, along with a .333 hitting percentage after 57 kills on 123 attempts.  Lewis also added nine aces and 38 digs.  Wieczorek led the Waves with a career-best 26 kills on a staggering .457 hitting percentage.  He also tied the team-high, along with Max States, after putting down two aces.  Wexter also hit for double-figures with 11 kills and added nine digs and an ace.  Dion-Kindem led the team with 41 assists and Owen Yoshimoto also picked up nine digs throughout the match.  Harthaller added eight kills and eight digs for the Waves as well.

A HISTORY: PEPPERDINE VS. STANFORD – Pepperdine holds a 52-26 overall record against the Cardinal, with competition dating back to 1974 when the Waves won the first-ever match 3-2 before going on a 12-match winning streak.  Pepperdine went on another notable streak from 2001 to 2009, when the Waves won 16-consecutive matches, seven of which were by straight-set decision.  Last season, Pepperdine earned an exciting upset-win in Palo Alto as the then-ranked 7th Waves defeated the 3rd-ranked Cardinal in the closing weeks of the season.

OPPONENT NOTES: #10 STANFORD CARDINAL – Stanford has gone 3-2 to start the 2017 campaign, defeating three Midwestern teams to start the season before challenging top-ranked Ohio State in Palo Alto last weekend.  OSU won both matches in straight sets, but with close set scores in the second match-up (25-23, 29-27, 26-24).  The team puts up 11.75 kills/set on a .306 attack output each match, while adding 10.88 assists/set, 2.19 aces/set, 6.69 digs/set and 2.31 blocks/set against opponents.  Stanford allows opponents a .266 hitting percentage on average, along with 11.38 kills/set.  Jordan Ewert leads the squad with 3.73 kills/set on a .327 hitting percentage.  He also is on top of the stats with 1.80 digs/set.  Matt Klassen leads the Cardinal with 0.77 aces/set and Kevin Rakestraw and Stephen Moye are the team-leaders with 0.94 blocks/set (15 blocks) and 1.00 blocks/set (14 blocks) respectively.

LAST SEASON HIGHLIGHTS – In the 2016 season, the Waves went 13-11 overall and 12-10 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, tabbing a 7-5 record at home and an even 6-6 output in away venues.  The squad went 8-10 against nationally ranked opponents, highlighting the season with road wins over top-ranked BYU in four sets and 3rd-ranked Stanford in a reverse sweep towards the end of the season.  The Waves were road warriors during the year, defeating No. 3 Stanford in reverse-sweep fashion on the road in one week before downing top-ranked BYU in four sets in the following week.

VOLLEYBALL HISTORY – Pepperdine has won five NCAA men’s volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament three times and have won or shared 10 regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title (or both) in six of the last 15 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 16 of the last 19 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors nine times and All-American accolades 82 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).

Marv Dunphy – Now in his 34th season as head coach of the Waves, Marv Dunphy has time and again proven himself to be one of the top teachers in the sport. He has directed Pepperdine to four NCAA championships, each in a different decade (1978, 1985, 1992, 2005). He was the 2005 National Coach of the Year and is a three-time MPSF Coach of the Year. He entered the 2017 season with a career record of 602-265 (.694).  Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at seven Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. Dunphy, along with David Hunt and Joe Trinsey, were on staff when the U.S. Women’s National Team won their first-ever gold medal at a major event (including the Olympics), after winning the 2014 FIVB World Championships.  He and Hunt were also a part of the coaching staff with the most recent 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the pair helped lead the team to a Bronze medal.  He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), AVCA Hall of Fame (2009) and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame (2010).

ABOUT PEPPERDINE – Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I Championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 17 schools to have accomplished this feat — and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment, is the only school without football and is the only university that has not been affiliated with a “major” conference. The Waves have won a total of 25 team or individual national championships in their history. Pepperdine has also earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12).  Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful.  Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks No. 50 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



The Last Meeting
March 12, 2016
Palo Alto, Calif.
No. 9 Pepperdine Upsets No. 3 Stanford in Five
Final Stats | The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team pulled off the biggest upset of the 2016 campaign this Saturday night in Palo Alto, coming back from a 2-0 early deficit to reserve sweep the 3rd-ranked Stanford Cardinal with 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21 and 16-14 set decisions.

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