Pepperdine Pays Visits to Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State

Kyle Gerrans

Jan. 21, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The newly minted #1 Pepperdine men's volleyball team continues its road swing, paying visits to both Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State this week. The Waves will be looking to get two important wins to help ensure they keep their #1 ranking for more than one week -- something no team has been able to do thus far in 2014.

WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE - The Waves face CSUN inside the Matadome, located in Northridge, Calif., on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ... The Pepperdine vs. Long Beach State match is set for 7 p.m. on Friday inside the Walter Pyramid.

COVERAGE - Live stats will be available for both matches this week, while Cal State Northridge offers a live video stream on ... Links to available coverage can also be found on the Pepperdine men's volleyball schedule page.

TOP RANKING - Pepperdine earned the top spot in both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine polls this week ... The Waves are the fourth team to earn a No. 1 ranking in the AVCA poll in as many weeks ... UC Irvine, Long Beach State and Stanford all spent a week at No. 1 ... All three teams lost while holding the top ranking ... This is the first time Pepperdine has been ranked No. 1 since March of 2010.

AVCA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Opposite side hitter Parker Kalmbach was honored as this week's AVCA National Player of the Week following his triple-double performance last Thursday at USC ... Kalmbach posted 11 kills, a career-high 13 digs and 10 blocks ... It was the first triple-double by any MPSF player in almost a year and just the fourth since the 2007 season ... The last triple-double by a Pepperdine player came courtesy of Maurice Torres on March 3, 2010 vs. UC Santa Barbara (16 kills, 10 digs, 10 blocks).

SOCIAL CIRCLE - In addition to team information on, fans can also keep up with the latest surrounding the men's volleyball team by following the squad on Twitter (@PepperdineMVB) or liking Pepperdine men's volleyball on Facebook. Pepperdine Athletics is also on Instagram (PepperdineWaves).

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine played its first match on the road last week and topped the previously undefeated USC by a 3-1 score ... Josh Taylor nailed down a match-high 17 kills ... Kyle Gerrans finished with 16 kills while hitting .452 ... J.J. Mosolf came off the bench with 10 kills earned at a .769 clip ... Parker Kalmbach posted 11 kills, 13 digs and 10 blocks ... Kalmbach clinched the match with a block, 26-24, in the fourth set ... Five players reached double-digit dig totals including Gerrans, Kalmbach, Taylor, Matt West and Brennan Anderson ... The Waves' team dig total of 61 is tied for the fourth-most in program history (rally scoring era only).

NOTING THE WAVES - Wednesday's  match vs. Cal State Northridge will be the 1,051th match in Pepperdine history, Friday's at Long Beach State will be the 1,052nd ... The Waves are officially 646-337 all time ... In conference play the Waves are officially 450-259 and 245-142 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts an official career record of 483-240 ... The Waves are officially 344-113 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

SERIES NOTES - Pepperdine is 54-21 all-time vs. Cal State Northridge, dating back to 1978 ... Although the Waves hold a 20-11 record when playing in Northridge, Pepperdine has not won inside the Matadome since the 2011 season ... Pepperdine is 47-40 all-time against Long Beach State ... The Waves swept the 49ers inside the Pyramid last year before suffering a 3-2 loss at home ... The 49ers lead the series when playing in Long Beach, 23-15.

OPPONENT NOTES - Cal State Northridge is playing in its first match since Jan. 10 (A 3-0 loss to BYU) ... CSUN is 1-2 with a win over Cal Baptist and losses to Pacific and BYU ... Long Beach State is 3-2 on the season ... The 49ers won the UCSB Invitational to open the year ... Long Beach State is coming off a 1-1 showing vs. Hawaii in Honolulu last week ... Long Beach State is playing at home for the first time this week.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves return to Firestone Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 31 to host BYU ... The three-match homestand continues on Wednesday, Feb. 5 versus UCLA and Saturday, Feb. 8 against UC Santa Barbara.

MPSF RANKS - Pepperdine ranks first or second in six of the seven major statistical categories ... The Waves rank No. 1 in hitting percentage (.348), blocks (3.91) and digs (11.82) ... Pepperdine ranks second in kills (14.82), assists (14.00) and opponent hitting percentage (.205) ... A Pepperdine player ranks No. 1 in four categories ... J.J. Mosolf holds the top spot in hitting percentage (.733) ... Josh Taylor averages an MPSF-best 5.00 kills/set ... Matt West ranks No. 1 in assists (12.45) ... Parker Kalmbach is tied for first for his 1.64 blocks/set average.

Josh Taylor - Josh Taylor has taken over the reigns as the Waves' go-to offensive option ... After ranking No. 2 to Maurice Torres as a freshman and sophomore, Taylor has stepped into his new role with ease ... He's hit .440 or higher in two of the three matches this season ... In exhibition play, he finished two matches hitting over .500 and averaged .430 in his three matches played ... He was an All-MPSF second team pick as a sophomore and an All-Freshman selection the year prior.

Parker Kalmbach - After earning All-MPSF honorable mention accolades as a middle blocker in 2013, Kalmbach has moved over to the right side ... Like Taylor, Kalmbach has started the season with a remarkably efficient hitting percentage ... He hit for a .469 clip with 18 kills in the season opener vs. UCI, followed by a 12 kills earned at .375 performance against UCSD ... He earned the Waves' first AVCA National Player of the Week award since 2010 after achieving a kills-digs-blocks triple-double vs. USC (1/16) ... Kalmbach, who redshirted in 2012 following back surgery, began his career at Pepperdine as an outside hitter.

Matt West - Now in his third season as Pepperdine's starting setter, Matt West continues to manage the offense with ease ... He has set the Waves to a MPSF-best .348 team hitting percentage while leading the league with an assists average of 12.45 ... He was named to the Lloy Ball Award watch list, an honor that is given to the nation's best setter by Off the Block ... He earned AVCA All-American first team acclaim as a sophomore ... On defense, West leads the team with 3.00 digs ... West was also a Volleyball Magazine second team All-American in 2013.

Brennan Anderson - Transfer Brennan Anderson joins West as the Waves' second VBM All-American on the floor ... Anderson was a third team pick while at Ohio State last year ... He set the Buckeyes' single-season record with a digs average of 3.12 in 2013 ... He has started every match for the Waves, averaging 2.30 digs.

IN THE MIDDLE - Nikola Antonijevic and Matt Tarantino have been the starting middles of record thus far, with right side-turned middle J.J. Mosolf coming off the bench ... Mosolf played in two sets vs. UC San Diego and picked up four blocks ... He followed that up with an errorless 10-for-13 attacking performance coming off the bench at USC ... Antonijevic threw the roof on eight times against the Anteaters, while Tarantino was credited with seven rejections ...  Together they've helped the Waves to an MPSF-high 3.91 blocks per set average ... All three rank seventh or higher in the individual MPSF block rankings.

Kyle Gerrans - Senior Kyle Gerrans holds down the other spot on the outside ... A solid passer on serve receive, Gerrans is a consistent all-around player and an important contributor ... He's currently averaging 2.82 kills and 1.91 digs ... Despite being one of the shorter players on the floor at 6-foot-1, Gerrans is a solid threat at the net ... He's averaging 0.73 blocks  ... As a primary passer, he has just five miscues in 70 attempts (.929) ... With Taylor and Kalmbach drawing most of the defensive attention, Gerrans reaps the benefits ... He hit for a .452 (16-2-31) clip last week against the Trojans ... He earned his first-ever double-double vs. USC with 16 kills and 13 digs.

EXHIBITION SEASON NOTABLES - Josh Taylor led the Waves in kills in all three of his exhibitions appearances, including 23 put aways in Pepperdine's 3-1 win vs. British Columbia ... The outside hitter finished both matches against the Thunderbirds hitting over .500 ... Kyle Gerrans picked up a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs against UBC (a would be career first) ... In the Waves' first match against Alberta, Gerrans posted 11 kills, nine digs and six blocks ... The latter stat is an unofficial new career best ... Freshman Soren Dion-Kindem started in all four contests and averaged 10.40 assists per set ... Nikola Antonijevic averaged a team-best 1.50 blocks per set including four roofs in one set of work on Sunday against the Golden Bears ... Although Pepperdine went just 2-2 during the exhibition season, several players beyond the starting seven saw valuable time on the floor.

PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 90 points, the Waves were picked to finished sixth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league's 13 coaches ... BYU and Long Beach State tied for first with 126 points and three first-place votes each.

BON VOYAGE - The Waves lost one starter from last season in Maurice Torres ... Torres led Pepperdine in kills and aces in each of his four seasons in Malibu ... He also led the Waves in digs during his junior and senior campaigns ... Torres goes down in the record books ranked sixth in career kills (1,634), fifth in aces (135) and 10th in digs (618) ... He is currently playing professionally in France for Montpellier A.V.U.C. on loan from Andreoli Latina in Italy ... Torres is a "medical joker" for Montpellier, or a player added to the roster to replace an injured player.

#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its "Competing with Purpose" campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.

ALUMNI NEWS - Three-time All-American, NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist Troy Tanner was chosen to succeed Nina Matthies as the new Pepperdine women's volleyball head coach ... Tanner won two NCAA titles while at Pepperdine, first in 1985 and again in 1986 ... He went on to play for Marv Dunphy at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul where Team USA took home the gold ... Tanner was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 ... Former men's volleyball director of operations Alex Dunphy (Marv's daughter), was the first assistant coach added to Tanner's staff.

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 nine regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title (or both) in six of the last 14 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 15 of the last 17 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors nine times and All-American accolades 79 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 31st 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 2013 season with a career record of 546-241* (.694). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at six Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), AVCA Hall of Fame (2009) and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame (2010).

CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT - In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves' home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.

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 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.



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