#12 Men's Volleyball to Host Princeton on Saturday
The Waves hold a perfect 4-0 record against the Tigers all-time, including three wins by sweeps.
MALIBU, Calif. – The 12th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday to host Princeton at 1 p.m. The match will stream live on WaveCasts.
MATCH 6 – Saturday (February 3) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Cailf.: No. 12 Pepperdine vs. Princeton at 1 p.m. | Watch: WaveCasts.
COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – 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 2018. 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 — Each match costs $10 for adults and $8 for alumni, children, seniors and non-Pepperdine students. Tickets are free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. Purchase tickets in advance at 866-WAVE-TIX or at the ticket office on game day.
UP NEXT – The Waves get back on the road next week to open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action with Grand Canyon and Concordia-Irvine.
THE NO. 12 WAVES – Pepperdine returns from a pair of road wins last week to a 3-2 record after downing George Mason and #14 Ball State in Virginia. As a team this season, the Waves post 12.39 kills/set on a .291 success rate, while allowing the opposition 11.06 kills/set on a .197 clip. Pepperdine adds 11.67 assists/set, 1.72 aces/set, 8.28 digs/set and 2.17 blocks/set as well.
Alex Harthaller leads the team with 0.90 aces/set to rank 2nd nationally. He also amasses 3.12 kills/set on a .280 output, 1.71 digs/set and 0.59 blocks/set. David Wieczorek leads the team with 4.14 kills/set on a staggering .471 success rate. He also amasses 0.29 aces/set, 0.86 digs/set and 0.43 blocks/set for the Waves. Colby Harriman adds 3.28 kills/set as well as 0.22 aces/set, 0.78 digs/set and 0.83 blocks/set.
Robert Mullahey leads the team and ranks 6th nationally with 10.44 assists/set and Weston Barnes leads the team and ranks 6th nationally with 2.61 digs/set this season. From the middle, both Clay Carr, Jack Cole and Max Chamberlain average 1.00 blocks/set.
LAST WEEK – The Waves won both their road matches last week, sweeping Uvaldo Acosta Invitational host George Mason to open the weekend and besting #14 Ball State in four sets to close it. In the win over GMU, the team put up 25-21, 26-24 and 25-14 set scores for the sweep. The Waves marked 46 kills on a .370 success rate, while allowing the opposition only 31 kills on a .176 output. Pepperdine out-blocked the Patriots 3.0 to 2.0, while tabbing five aces to four 42 assists to 29. The Patriots posted 34 digs to the Waves 33 throughout the match. David Wieczorek, Alex Harthaller and Colby Harriman all hit for double figures. Wieczorek led with 14 kills on a .444 clip, while marking two aces. Harthaller led with a .480 success rate after smashing down 12 with no errors on 25 swings. He also posted nine digs. Harriman put up 11 kills as well. Robert Mullahey led the team with 40 assists and Weston Barnes put up 11 digs and 25 successful service receptions. Max Chamberlain led with a team-high two blocks.
The Waves came back from a 25-20 first set loss against Ball State, to win the match with 25-16, 25-23 and 25-14 finals sets. The team produced a .415 collective hitting percentage with 45 kills, while allowing the Cardinals 45 kills but on a .202 success rate. Pepperdine tallied six aces, 30 digs and 44 assists, while Ball State put up five aces, 24 digs and 41 assists. The opposition did out-block the Waves with 9.0 blocks to 7.5. Wiecozrek and Harthaller led the Waves again with 15 and 10 kills respectively. Wieczorek was good for a .500 success rate, while adding two blocks and two digs. Harthaller put up a .292 clip along with two aces, two blocks and four digs. Mullahey led the team with 33 assists and added five digs. Barnes was good for 10 digs and five assists. Chamberlain had a team-high five blocks.
OPPONENT NOTES: PRINCETON – Pepperdine holds a perfect 4-0 record against Princeton all-time, dating back to the 1991 campaign when the Waves won 3-1 at home. In 1992, 1993 and 1998, the Waves once again bested the Tigers with straight-set sweeps on all occasions. This season, Princeton has gone 1-4 with a 3-2 win over then-ranked #8 Stanford and losses to #12 USC, #2 Long Beach State, #11 CSUN and Fort Wayne.
NEW MPSF – Prior to the 2018 season, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation split into two separate conference leagues (MPSF and Big West). Pepperdine, along with Brigham Young, Stanford, UCLA and USC remained in the MPSF. New additions Concordia-Irvine and Grand Canyon also joined the conference in 2018 to make it a seven-team league.
Former MPSF-members Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai’i, along with NCAA Division II member UC San Diego will make up a six-team league sponsored by the Big West Conference.
LAST SEASON – In 2017, the Waves finished 6th in the MPSF and 8th nationally with a 10-12 overall record and 8-10 conference output. The team produced 12.14 kills/set on a .279 clip and tabbed 11.38 assists/set, 1.05 aces/set, 9.06 digs/set, 2.31 blocks/set and 15.49 points/set. Throughout the 2017 campaign, the Waves posted victories over No. 8 Stanford (3-1), No. 8 Loyola-Chicago (3-2), No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (3-1) and No. 14 CSUN (3-2).
HUNTING SEASON – The 2018 campaign marks the premier season for David Hunt at the helm of the Waves after he was elevated to the position in July, 2017. He won his first-ever match as head coach of the Waves on January 7, 2018 at Firestone Fieldhouse with a 3-0 sweep over Cal Lutheran. Hunt has been with the Pepperdine men’s volleyball program for the past 10 seasons beginning in 2007 as a video coordinator and volunteer assistant. He was elevated to assistant in 2010 and associate head coach in 2014, before taking over the leadership role. During his time with the Waves, Hunt has earned national acclaim as an assistant with three American Volleyball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 Awards (2010, 2016, 2017). While Hunt had served under former head coach Marv Dunphy, the Waves produced a 160-104 overall record for a .606 winning percentage*. In the summer of 2016, Hunt once again joined the national coaching ranks with the U.S. Women’s National Team and helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal finish in the 2016 Olympic Games. He first earned a spot on the sideline in 2014 and has continued to excel in a leadership position under legendary coach Karch Kiraly.
WE’RE GOOD HERE: Marv Dunphy – Widely recognized as one of the game’s premier coaches, Dr. Marv Dunphy directed Pepperdine to four NCAA men’s volleyball titles and concluded his 34th and final season as the Waves’ head coach in 2016-17. He is still involved with the program and listed as head coach emeritus for the 2017-18 campaign. He 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 ended his head coaching career with a 612-277 overall record and a .688 winning percentage.
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 17 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 17 of the last 21 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 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 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.