#11 Waves Open MPSF Action on the Road this Week
The Waves have faced both Grand Canyon and Concordia-Irvine once in past history.
MALIBU, Calif. – The 11th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team opens Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action at Grand Canyon and Concordia-Irvine this weekend.
MATCH 7 – Thursday (February 8) at Antelope Gymnasium in Phoenix, Ariz.: No. 11 Pepperdine vs. No. 10 Grand Canyon at 5 p.m. (PT) | Watch: YouTube.
MATCH 8 – Saturday (February 10) at CU Arena in Irvine, Calif.: No. 11 Pepperdine at Concordia-Irvine at 1 p.m. | Watch: Eagle TV.
COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – Follow along on Twitter @PeppVolleyball for immediate updates, results and more. Live stats and stream links will be available on PepperdineWaves.com as well as full schedules, recaps and more.
UP NEXT – After opening MPSF action this week, the Waves continue with a match at No. 4 UC Irvine on February 14 and then return to Malibu to host No. 14 USC on February 17.
THE NO. 11 WAVES – The Waves swept Princeton at home last week to improve to 4-2 on the season. As a team, the Waves post 12.62 kills/set on a .301 success rate, while allowing the opposition 10.76 kills/set on a .206 clip. Pepperdine adds 11.90 assists/set, 1.86 aces/set, 8.14 digs/set and 2.05 blocks/set as well.
Alex Harthaller leads the team with 0.63 aces/set to rank 3rd nationally. He also amasses 3.05 kills/set on a .252 output, 1.63 digs/set and 0.53 blocks/set. David Wieczorek leads the team with 4.40 kills/set on a staggering .521 success rate. He also amasses 0.50 aces/set, 0.80 digs/set and 0.60 blocks/set for the Waves. Colby Harriman adds 3.10 kills/set as well as 0.29 aces/set, 0.71 digs/set and 0.71 blocks/set.
Robert Mullahey leads the nation with 10.62 assists/set and Weston Barnes leads the team and ranks 7th nationally with 2.57 digs/set this season. From the middle, both Clay Carr, and Max Chamberlain leads with 1.11 blocks/set, while Jack Cole has posted 1.00 blocks/set and Clay Carr has amassed 0.92.
MPSF OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – David Wieczorek earned his first MPSF Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season and second of his career this week after leading the Waves past Princeton. He was instrumental in the Waves’ sweep over the Tigers last Saturday afternoon, collecting 19.5 points after plastering 15 kills on his career-high .650 success rate. He added three aces and three blocks as well.
The outside put up 6.50 points/set throughout three sets of action, producing 5.00 kills/set, 1.00 aces/set, 1.00 blocks/set and 0.67 digs/set for the Waves. In 20 swings on the pin, he submitted only two errors. He also had 17 successful service attempts with no errors from the back line.
LAST WEEK – Pepperdine downed Princeton at home last week, sweeping the Tigers in three sets with 25-20, 25-15 and 27-25 final set scores. The Waves posted 42 kills on a .365 collective success rate, while allowing the opposition 27 kills on a .283 output. Pepperdine also led the match with 40 assists, eight aces and 22 digs, while Princeton amassed only 26 assists, one ace and 14 digs. The opposing team did possess more blocks than the Waves with an 8.0-4.0 ratio.
David Wieczorek led the team with 15 kills on a career-best .650 success rate. He also put up three aces, three blocks and two digs for the team. Robert Mullahey led the squad with 35 assists and put in six digs, while Weston Barnes was good for seven digs. Michael Wexter was solid on the attack from the middle with eight smashes on a .727 output, including one ace, while Colby Harriman added six kills and two aces and each Alex Harthaller and Noah Dyer posted five kills.
OPPONENT NOTES: GRAND CANYON – The Waves have faced the Antelope only once in the past, taking down GCU with a 3-0 sweep at home in 2010. This season, the Antelopes currently rank No. 10 in the AVCA Coaches Poll after amassing a 10-2 overall record. There two losses were against No. 4 Hawai’i (3-0) or No. 6 UC Irvine (3-2), on neutral and home courts respectively. Last week, Grand Canyon defeated UC San Diego 3-1, Ottawa 3-0, Lindenwood 3-2 and McKendree 3-1.
OPPONENT NOTES: CONCORDIA-IRVINE – Pepperdine and Concordia-Irvine have faced once in 2016 with the Waves earning a 3-0 sweep over the Eagles in Firestone Fieldhouse. This season, the Eagles are currently unranked and have collected a 3-2 record overall. The downed Cal State Northridge in four sets on the road and Hope International in four sets at home, while losing to UC Irvine and UC San Diego in four sets as well.
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.