Pepperdine Returns to Firestone Fieldhouse, Hosts Cal Baptist and BYU

Ryan Plueger

Feb. 11, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of Firestone Fieldhouse this week for a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contests. The Waves, ranked #5, first host #11 Cal Baptist on Wednesday, Feb. 13 followed by #1 BYU on Friday, Feb. 15.

MATCH 8 - Wednesday (Feb. 13) at Firestone Fieldhouse: #5 Pepperdine (5-4, 5-4 MPSF) vs. #11 Cal Baptist (6-5, 3-3 MPSF) at 7 p.m.

MATCH 9 - Friday (Feb. 15) at Firestone Fieldhouse: #5 Pepperdine vs. #1 BYU (8-2, 7-1 MPSF) at 7 p.m.

GIVE AWAY - Mark your calendars! Free Chick-fil-A will be given out to the first 500 students at Wednesday’s match vs. Cal Baptist. On Friday, Pepperdine will celebrate Sustaining our Legacy night showcasing the University’s commitment to being “green.” Free t-shirts will be given away to the first 200 students.

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. Links to all available coverage can be found on the Pepperdine men’s volleyball schedule page.

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.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves split last week on the road, sweeping #3 Long Beach State in three sets before suffering a five-set loss to #10 Cal State Northridge. Maurice Torres led the way against the 49ers with 16 kills, followed by Josh Taylor with 14. Four player (Torres, Taylor, Kyle Gerrans and Parker Kalmbach) reach double figures in kills vs. the Matadors, including Kalmbach’s kills/blocks double-double. The redshirt sophomore scattered a career-high 13 kills along with a tied-for career-best 10 blocks.

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

LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine finishes out the month of February at home, hosting UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., and UCLA on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 5.m.

NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,031st and 1,032nd matches in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 634-329 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 439-252 and 234-135 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 471-232 ... The Waves are 335-111 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 177-72 all-time during the month of February.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE - Pepperdine is 3-0 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse this season ... The Waves have posted more kills, more digs and logged a higher hitting percentage than all of its opponents at home ... Additionally, Pepperdine has out-aced and out-blocked the opposition in two of the season’s three home matches.

CAL BAPTIST - Although the Waves have faced Cal Baptist eight times prior to Wednesday, this will be the first conference meeting between the two squads ... The Lancers joined the MPSF prior to the 2013 season ... CBU is 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the league ... Cal Baptist defeated UC Irvine when they were ranked No. 1 ... Last week, the Lancers lost to UC Santa Barbara in five sets before defeating UCLA, 3-2 ... Two players average more than 4.00 kills/set including Guilherme Koepp (4.38) and Levi Cabral (4.30) ... CBU has never defeated Pepperdine inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Lancers lead the MPSF in kills (13.96) and assists (13.21) and ranks second in hitting percentage (.317)

BYU - The Cougars are 8-2 on the season, and a league-best 7-1 in MPSF play but have yet to play away from their home court at Smith Fieldhouse ... Lewis and Long Beach State are the only two teams to beat the Cougars thus far in 2013 ... Taylor Sander is BYU’s go-to offensive option. Sander averages 3.97 kills/set ... Ben Patch follows with 3.05 kills/set ... Three players average more than 1.00 blocks/set including Russ Lavaja (1.46 - Leads the MPSF), Michael Hatch (1.43) and Devin Young (1.08).

SERIES SCORE - Pepperdine leads the series score against Cal Baptist 5-1 and is 4-0 vs. the Lancers when playing at home ... Although Pepperdine leads the all-time series vs. BYU 26-24, the Cougars have won the last four meetings ... The Waves’ last official win against the Cougars was during the 2007 season.

MPSF LEADERS - Matt West leads the MPSF with 11.18 assists/set and ranks fourth in aces (0.39) ... Parker Kalmbach ranks fourth in the MPSF standings with a 1.36 blocks/set average and sixth with a .471 hitting percentage ... ... Maurice Torres ranks seventh in kills (4.06), third in points (4.86) and seventh in aces (0.36).

MPSF TEAM STATS - As a team, the Waves rank fourth in the league in both hitting percentage (.308) and blocks (2.85) ... Pepperdine also ranks third in assists (12.09), fifth in kills (12.76), ninth in opponent hitting percentage (.273) and fifth in service aces (1.21).

RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #5 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.

TORRES - Maurice Torres, the Waves’ kills leader the past three seasons, enters his senior campaign with high expectations ... He has surpassed double digit kill totals in every match this season including three 20+ kill performances ... He registered a season-high 21 kills against Cal State Northridge (Feb. 8) ... Against Pacific (Jan. 18), he set a new career-record in hitting percentage after tagging down 11 kills while hitting .714 ... Against USC (Feb. 1) he reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs plateau ...Torres was an AVCA All-American second team selection in 2012 and made the first team in the All-MPSF conference awards.

1,300 K/500 D - With his first of 15 kills and last of nine digs vs. USC (Feb. 1), Maurice Torres reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs career milestones ... He is just one of seven Waves to have ever reached both plateaus ... Other former players to have achieved the feat include Scott Wong (1,700 k/807 d), George Roumain (2,394 k/620 d), Paul Carroll (2,101 k/624 d), Matt Rigg (1,539 k/692 d), Fred Winters (1,525 k/602 d) and Sean Rooney (2,007 k/629 d).

WEST - Matt West is in his second year managing the Waves’ offense ... West was an All-MPSF honorable mention as a freshman and ranked second in the NCAA and the league with 11.38 assists/set ... West, who made use of a float serve last season, has transitioned to a tough jump serve and the change has paid dividends ... He currently leads Pepperdine with 13 service aces and ranks fourth in the conference with a 0.39 aces/set average ... USC (Feb. 1) was only able to sideout at a 48-percent rate when West was serving ... He leads the league with 11.18 assists/set in 2013.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Josh Taylor recorded his first-ever double-double on Sunday, Jan. 20 vs. Stanford ... The sophomore was credited with 13 kills and a career-best 11 digs ... It was the first kills-digs double-double by any Wave in 2013 ... Maurice Torres came up just one dig shy of the feat on two occasions, first against the Cardinal (Jan. 20) with 20 kills and nine digs, and again vs. the Trojans (Feb. 1) with 15 kills and nine digs ... Parker Kalmbach earned his first double-double on Friday, Feb. 8 at Cal State Northridge after recording a career-high 13 kills and 10 blocks.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK - Parker Kalmbach, who missed all of 2012 recovering from major back surgery, is back in 2013 and has made an immediate impact ... After serving as an outside hitter in 2011, Kalmbach now starts in the middle ... He averages 1.36 blocks/set and delivered a phenomenal 10-block performance against UC San Diego on Jan. 12 and again at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 8 ... He also pounds down 2.21 kills/set.

ON THE OUTSIDE - Josh Taylor and Kyle Gerrans have been the Waves’ two outside hitting starters in 2013 ... Taylor, who ranked second behind Torres in 2012 with 3.52 kills/set, currently averages 2.97 kills/set as a sophomore ... Gerrans, who prior to this season has seen limited front row time, averages 2.09 kills/set while hitting .277 ... Gerrans was a regular in the rotation in 2012 as a sophomore, but served primarily as a defensive specialist/libero.

CHECK THE RECORD - In Pepperdine’s career record book, Maurice Torres has made his mark in several categories ... He ranks 10th in career kills with 1,351 ... Three more kills and Torres will move into ninth place ... His 111 service aces rank eighth ... Matt West’s assist total of 1,712 ranks eighth ... West needs 42 more helpers to move up into seventh place.

Marv Dunphy - Now in his 30th 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 532-229* (.699). 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 (2010).

PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 113 points, the Waves were picked to finished third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league’s 13 coaches. UC Irvine tallied the most points with 143, closely followed by BYU with 134.

MOST IMPROVED - Pepperdine ended the 2012 campaign with an eighth-place finish in the MPSF standings and at #10 in the AVCA poll. The Waves are picked to be the most improved team in 2013, as evidence by the MPSF preseason poll and the AVCA preseason rankings, where Pepperdine appeared at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

ROSTER - The Waves return three starters from last season’s lineup including Maurice Torres (OPP), Josh Taylor (OH) and Matt West (S). Several more players with ample playing and even starting experience are also back including Ryan Plueger (L), Parker Kalmbach (MB/OH), Beau Vandeweghe (OH), Scott Rhein (OH), Nikola Antonijevic (MB) and Kyle Gerrans (OH/L). In terms of athletic eligibility, the squad breakdown includes three seniors, four juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen.

NEW GUYS - Pepperdine added two true freshmen, a redshirt freshmen and a redshirt sophomore to the 2013 roster ... Middle blocker Leonardo Granato (MB) comes to Pepperdine by way of Pierce Junior College, while opposite side hitter J.J. Mosolf spend a redshirt season at Hawaii before transferring ... The Waves’ two true freshmen include Vincent Rios (L) and Kyle Suppes (MB).

2012 POSTSEASON AWARDS - Maurice Torres earned a spot on the All-MPSF first team roster ... Matt Pollock and Matt West were named to the honorable mention team ... West, Matt Tarantino and Josh Taylor accounted for three of the six spots on the all-freshman list ... Torres was also named a second team All-American by both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine.

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 in seven of the last 13 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 76 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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