Waves Entertain #1 UCLA on Wednesday, #8 UCSB on Saturday

Matt Tarantino

Feb. 3, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team gets set for two challenging matches this week, starting with #1 UCLA on Wednesday. The Waves continue home action on Saturday when they entertain #8 UC Santa Barbara. A pair of wins this week would guarantee Pepperdine at least a share of first place in the MPSF standings.

WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE - #1 UCLA (9-1, 6-0 MPSF) at #3 Pepperdine (5-1, 5-1 MPSF) | Wednesday, Feb. 5 | 7 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse /// #8 UC Santa Barbara (5-2, 4-2 MPSF) at #3 Pepperdine | Saturday, Feb. 8 | 7 p.m. | Firestone Fieldhouse.

TICKETS - Admission 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. The Pepperdine All-Sports Pass includes admission to all 2013-2014 regular-season home athletics events at excluding all men’s basketball competitions.

LIVE FROM FIRESTONE FIELDHOUSE - Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineSports.com offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams. WaveCasts broadcasts most home matches for free on your computer or for a monthly subscription on mobile devices. Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the schedule page. The Pepperdine mobile app is also available for iPhone, Android and iPad users. Download the free app today!

FREEBIES - FREE Chick-fil-A sandwiches will be given away to the first 500 students in attendance on Wednesday ... Wednesday’s match is an Orange Out and fans are encouraged to wear their orange in support of the Waves ... An Alumni Reception will follow Saturday’s match vs. UC Santa Barbara ... Complimentary tickets to Saturday’s contest are available for men’s volleyball alums and their families ... Contact Jamil Macias for more information on tickets.

QUICK HITS - Last week there were two teams undefeated in MPSF play, BYU and UCLA, until Pepperdine topped the Cougars 3-2 on Friday ... The Bruins are on a nine-match win streak ... Their only official loss was in a non-conference match vs. Stanford at the UCSB Invitational ... UC Santa Barbara topped the Cardinal when Stanford held the #1 ranking ... Pepperdine leads the NCAA in blocks ... Josh Taylor ranks #1 in points per set.

SOCIAL CIRCLE - In addition to team information on PepperdineSports.com, 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).

NCAA RANKING NOTABLES - Josh Taylor leads the nation in points per set (5.40) while ranking #2 in kills (4.73) ... Nikola Antonijevic sits in first place in the NCAA for his blocks average (1.50) ... As a team the defensive minded Waves lead the nation in blocks (3.37) and sit in second place for their digs average (10.77).

UCLA -  The Bruins currently have the best record in the NCAA at 9-1 ... UCLA enters Wednesday’s contest on a nine-match win streak ... UCLA fell to Stanford 3-1 in a non-conference contest at the UCSB Invitational ... Gonzalo Quiroga  ranks #1 in the MPSF with a 0.54 aces average ... The outside hitter also accounts for 3.46 kills/set ... Robart Page paces UCLA with 4.17 kills/set ... Page has picked up both MPSF and AVCA Player of the Week nods once already this season.

UCSB - The Gauchos are 5-2 on the year, with loses to UCLA (3-0) and UC Irvine (3-1) ... UCSB opened 2014 with four consecutive 3-0 wins before taking down then-#1 Stanford in a five-set decision ... The Gauchos rely on a very balanced attack led by Austin Kingi’s 3.00 kills/set ... Five other players are averaging 1.43 kills/set or more ... Jake Staahl helps both offensively and defensively with 1.56 kills and 1.50 blocks.

WAVES VS. NUMERO UNO - Pepperdine has faced an AVCA #1-ranked team 52 times since the organization began issuing rankings in 1986 ... The Waves have produced a 17-35 record against #1 teams, with their last win over a #1 coming on Feb. 15, 2013 when Pepperdine, #5 at the time, topped #1 BYU 3-2 ... The Waves are 74-20 while ranked #3 themselves.

CURSE OF THE #1 - For the first four weeks of the season, a different team has held the No. 1 spot in the AVCA rankings ... All four teams, with Pepperdine being no exception, lost while being #1 resulting in a new team taking over the pole position ... UC Irvine opened the year at #1, followed by Long Beach State, Stanford and Pepperdine ... UCLA, now in its second week at #1, is the first team to hold the #1 ranking for more than one week in 2014.

CAN YOU DIG IT? - Pepperdine is averaging 10.77 digs per set, second in the NCAA ... The Waves have recorded 60+ digs in two matches in 2014 ... At Long Beach State (1/24), Pepperdine set a new single-match record (rally scoring era only) with 71 total digs ... The previous record was set at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 31, 2007 with 67 digs ... Individually, Brennan Anderson’s single-match dig total of 18 vs. the 49ers ties for second in program history, while Matt West’s 17 digs puts him in a tie for fifth ... Pepperdine tallied 61 digs in a four-set win at USC (1/16) which ties for fifth in the rally-scoring era program record book.

MALIBU ROOFING CO. - Business for the Malibu Roofing Company has been booming in 2014 ... The Waves lead the NCAA with 3.37 blocks per set ... The Waves posted 21.5 blocks in a 3-2 win at Cal State Northridge (1/22), just a half a block shy of this season’s MPSF best ... Nikola Antonijevic posted a career-high 12 blocks in the contest, just three short of the program record ... Antonijevic enters this week ranked #1 in the MPSF and the NCAA with 1.60 blocks per set.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine handed BYU its first MPSF loss of the season, 3-2, last week Friday ... Josh Taylor led the match with 21 kills, while Parker Kalmbach followed with 17 ... NCAA blocks leader Nikola Antonijevic finished the night with eight roofs.

NOTING THE WAVES - This week Pepperdine will play in its 1,054th and 1,055 matches in program history ... ... The Waves are officially 648-338 all time ... In conference play the Waves are officially 452-260 and 247-143 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts an official career record of 485-241... The Waves are officially 345-113 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

SERIES NOTES - Pepperdine is 37-77 all-time vs. UCLA, dating back to 1972 ... The Bruins have won the last five straight against the Waves ... Pepperdine is 65-30 all-time vs. UC Santa Barbara, dating back to the first meeting in 1971 ... The Waves have won the last three in a row vs. UCSB, and 14 of the last 16.

AVCA PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Opposite side hitter Parker Kalmbach was honored as AVCA National Player of the Week on Jan. 21 following his triple-double performance the prior 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).

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves are nearing the half way point of the conference season, and make return trips to UC Irvine and UC San Diego next week ... Pepperdine opened the season vs. the Anteaters with a 3-1 victory.

MPSF RANKS - Pepperdine ranks in the top-five in five of the seven major statistical categories ... The Waves rank #1 in blocks (3.37) ... Pepperdine ranks second in digs (10.77) and opponent hitting percentage (.220) ... Pepperdine ranks fourth in assists (12.50) and kills (13.23) ... Josh Taylor leads the league with 5.40 points per set, while Nikola Antonijevic paces the MPSF with 1.60 blocks per set ... Taylor’s 28 kills and 31 points at Long Beach State (1/24) ties for the most by any MPSF player during the 2014 season.

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 has led the team in kills in every single appearance ... 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 ... Ranks No. 2 behind Taylor with his kills average and has surpassed double-digit kill totals in every match this season ... Kalmbach 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 impress as the offensive conductor ... 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 ... The Waves have hit .300 or better in three of six matches this season with West setting ... He earned AVCA All-American first team acclaim as a sophomore ... 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 2.48 digs ... He is coming off a season-best 18 dig performance at Long Beach State ... That stat ties for second all-time in the Waves’ single-match record book (rally scoring era only).

IN THE MIDDLE - Nikola Antonijevic, Matt Tarantino and J.J. Mosolf have all gotten the starting bid in 2014 ... Antonijevic has started in every match ... Mosolf had a break-out performance at USC (1/16) with an errorless 10-for-13 attacking performance coming off the bench ... Antonijevic threw the roof on 12 times at Cal State Northridge (1/22) ... Tarantino posted seven blocks in a three-set win over UCSD (1/11) ...  Together they’ve helped the Waves to an NCAA-high 3.37 blocks per set average.

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 2.15 kills, 2.08 digs and 0.65 block ... As a primary passer, he has just eight miscues in 153 attempts (.948).

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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