Waves Return Home to Host UCLA and UC Santa Barbara

Maurices Torres

Jan. 30, 2012

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Jan. 30, 2012

MALIBU, Calif. - After spending last week on the road, the #8 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to Firestone Fieldhouse to play host to #3 UCLA on Wednesday, Feb. 1 followed by a Friday, Feb. 3 match versus #15 UC Santa Barbara.

MATCH #9 - Wednesday (Feb. 1) at Firestone Fieldhouse:  #3 UCLA (9-1, 4-0 MPSF) at #8 Pepperdine (6-2, 5-1 MPSF) at 7 p.m.

MATCH #10 - Friday (Feb. 3) at Firestone Fieldhouse:  #15 UC Santa Barbara (2-4, 0-2 MPSF) at #8 Pepperdine at 7 p.m.

WHAT’S NEXT - The Waves remain in Malibu next week when they host a lone match against USC on Friday, Feb. 10

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine split its two road contests last week, falling to #2 UC Irvine before coming back with a 3-2 triumph over UC San Diego. Maurice Torres achieved the kills-digs double double in both contests and picked up a career-best 14 digs against the Tritons. At UCI, Torres improved his career-high hitting percentage to .565 (15-2-23).

SIGHT & SOUND - All home Pepperdine men’s volleyball home matches are broadcast live and for FREE via WaveCasts. In addition to live broadcasts, WaveCasts also offers a large selection of game highlights, interviews, features and more! GameTracker is also available and offers live scores and statistics. Go to PepperdineSports.com to find links to all available media.

TICKETS - Single-game prices for home events are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff (and their dependents) with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine home sporting events, with the exception of men’s basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.

SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter  @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics or Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball.

NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,001st and 1,002nd match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 687-313 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 481-236 and 276-119 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 524-216 ... The Waves are 363-106 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ...  The Waves are 173-67 all-time during the month of February ... Pepperdine is 13-13 when ranked #8 by the AVCA, and is 25-31 when playing a #3-ranked opponent ... The Waves are 24-1 when playing a #15-ranked opponent.

UCLA - UCLA, ranked #3 in the AVCA poll, is 9-1 with its only loss come to UC Irvine at the UCSB Invitational ... The Bruins have won the last six consecutive contests by a 3-0 decision ... Thomas Amberg is the reigning MPSF Player of the Week, and averages 2.45 kills/set and 1.58 blocks/set ... This is the 50th and final season for legendary head coach Al Scates ... Jeremy Casebeer paces UCLA with 3.23 kills/set

UC SANTA BARBARA -  UC Santa Barbara, who reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011, is just 2-4 and 0-2 in the league in the opening weeks of the 2012 season ... Miles Evans paces the offense with 3.96 kills/set ... The Gauchos’ two wins this year were versus Cal State Northridge and Cal Baptist ... UCSB is coming off a pair of 3-1 losses last week to Pacific and Stanford.

RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #8 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.
Josh Taylor - After a phenomenal collegiate debut versus Lewis in the opening week, freshman Josh Taylor continues to prove himself on the court. He has led the Waves in kill totals in six of this season’s eight matches including a 27 kill performance against the UC San Diego on Jan. 27.  The 27 kills ranks as the third most by any Pepperdine freshman in the rally scoring era.  Sean Rooney and Maurice Torres both pounded down 28 kills as freshman to tie for first place. Taylor leads the Waves and ranks second in the MPSF with 4.32 kills/set.

Maurice Torres - With a career tally of 885 kills, Maurice Torres is on pace to become Pepperdine’s 17th member of the 1,000 kill club by the end of the season. Torres, the Waves’ opposite side hitter, has averaged 3.88 kill/set during his career as a Wave, including a 3.47 average this season as a junior.  He is coming off a season-best 21 kills versus Hawaii on Jan. 21. Torres is coming off back-to-back double doubles last week vs. UCSD and UCI.

OUTSIDE HITTERS - Redshirt senior Chase Ross and freshman Josh Taylor have shined as outside hitters so far season. Together, they average 6.44 kills/set (Taylor, 4.32; Ross, 2.12) and have committed just 13 total serve receive errors as primary passers. Scott Rhein has also seen action in the outside hitting spot, and splayed extensively at UCI and tagged down six kills.

SETTER - Freshman Matt West has assumed the starting setting duties this season, and has gotten off to a solid start. West averaged over 12 assists/set last week during the Hawaii series to bring his season average to 10.91, which ranks fifth in the MPSF.

LIBERO/LIBERO - With the first year of the new two libero rule in effect, Mike McMahon and Ryan Plueger have been sharing the defensive duties. McMahon, who has started the majority of the time, leads the team with 1.84 digs/set. Plueger has proved to be a capable passer as well and averages 1.54 digs/set.

MIDDLE MEN - Senior Matt Pollock and freshman Nikola Antonijevic, have started the majority of the time this season in the middle, and together average 1.91 blocks/set. Opposite side-turned middle blocker Matt Tarantino made his first start of the season at UC San Diego and tallied five blocks and five kills.

MPSF INDIVIDUAL STATS - Josh Taylor ranks second with 4.32 kills/set and third with 4.74 points/set ... Matt Pollock ranks sixth in hitting percentage (.478) and ninth in blocks (1.03) ... Maurice Torres ranks 11th in kills (3.47), 13th in blocks (0/91), fourth in service aces (0.44), 12th in digs (1.82) and seventh in points (4.44) ... Matt West ranks fifth with 10.91 assists/set ... Mike McMahon averages 1.84 digs/set to rank 11th.

MPSF TEAM STATS - As a team, the Waves hit for a .298 attack percentage to rank sixth ... Pepperdine limits opponents to a .255 hitting percentage to rank third ... The Waves rank sixth in kills (12.59), fifth in assists (12.09), fourth in blocks (2.50) and seventh in digs (8.18).

PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 62 points, the Waves were picked to finished eighth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league’s 12 coaches. BYU tallied the most points with 115, closely followed by UC Irvine with 112.

Marv Dunphy — Now in his 29th 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 2012 season with a career record of 518-214 (.708). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at five 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 (2010).

ROSTER — The Waves return four starters to the lineup including Maurice Torres (OPP), Matt Pollock (MB), Chase Ross (OH) and Mike McMahon (L).  Nine letterwinners are joined by seven freshmen to bring the squad total to 20.  In addition to the returning starters, rookies Matt West (S), Josh Taylor (OH) and Nikola Antonijevic (MB) are expected to shoulder starting duties this season. In terms of athletic eligibility, the squad break down includes four seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and seven freshmen.

VOLLEYBALL HISTORY — Pepperdine has won five NCAA men’s volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament four times and have won or shared nine regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title in seven of the last 12 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in each of the last 13 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors eight times and All-American accolades 75 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).

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 enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. 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 #55 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine’s 75th anniversary.



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