Waves Hit Road for Return Trips to UC Irvine, UC San Diego

Matt West

Feb. 12, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #3 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team hits the road this week for matches at #9 UC Irvine on Friday, followed by a Saturday night contest at UC San Diego. The Waves defeated both the Anteaters and Tritons at home earlier in the season, and will be looking for the series sweep.

WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE - #3 Pepperdine (6-2, 6-2 MPSF) at #9 UC Irvine (7-7, 4-6 MPSF) | Friday, Feb. 14 | 7 p.m. | Bren Center /// #3 Pepperdine at UC San Diego (0-11, 0-10 MPSF) | Saturday, Feb. 15 | 7 p.m. | RIMAC Arena.

LIVE COVERAGE - Live stats and video will be available for both road matches this week ... UCIrvineSports.com will provide live coverage on Friday night, while UCSDTritons.com will offer live stats and video on Saturday.

QUICK HITS - Two weeks ago, there were two teams left undefeated in MPSF play, BYU and UCLA ... Pepperdine topped the Cougars 3-2 on Jan. 31 to spoil their perfect league record ... The following Wednesday, the Waves shut out a stunned #1 UCLA squad ... UC Santa Barbara then played the role of spoiler, fending off a furious Pepperdine comeback to hold on for the 3-2 triumph ... Pepperdine topped UC Irvine to open the 2014 season 3-1 and followed that up with a 3-0 sweep vs. the Tritons inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

NCAA RANKING NOTABLES - Pepperdine leads the NCAA with 3.40 blocks per set, proving the Malibu Roofing Company is still open for business after almost 30 years ... Nikola Antonijevic ranks No. 2 in the NCAA with a 1.61 blocks per set average ... Josh Taylor ranks No. 2 in kills (4.65) and points (5.26).

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).

UC IRVINE -  The Anteaters are in the midst of a rollercoaster season, and are 7-7 overall ... UCI has not beat a team in 2014 ranked higher than #8, but still has several key members of the 2013 NCAA Championship winning squad on this year’s roster ... A well-balanced contingent of attackers, including Zack La Cavera, Tamir Hershko, Jeremy Dejno and Connor Hughes, lead the ‘Eaters’ offense ... Daniel Stork, son of Pepperdine alum Jeff Stork, is a back up setter for UCI.

UCSD - The Tritons are still in search of their first win in 2014 ... Johl Awerkamp tacks down 2.71 kills for UCSD ... The team is coming off a 3-1 loss to Pacific last week.

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 #2 in the MPSF and the NCAA with 1.60 blocks per set.

CAN YOU DIG IT? - Pepperdine is averaging 10.59 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.

WAVES VS. NUMERO UNO - Pepperdine has faced an AVCA #1-ranked team 53 times since the organization began issuing rankings in 1986 ... The Waves have produced an 18-35 record against #1 teams, with their last win over a #1 coming last Wednesday, Feb. 5 vs. UCLA ... The Waves are 75-21 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 was the first team to hold the #1 ranking for more than one week in 2014 ... Loyola Chicago has taken over #1 and is now in its second week as the top team.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine stunned #1 UCLA last week Wednesday, 25-14, 25-20, 25-19 led by Josh Taylor’s 14 kills and Nikola Antonijevic’s nine blocks ... The Waves were unable to replicate the energy on Saturday and fell to UC Santa Barbara 3-2 ... Pepperdine battle back from an 0-2 deficit, but ultimately fell 15-12 in set five.

NOTING THE WAVES - This week Pepperdine will play in its 1,056th and 1,057th matches in program history ... ... The Waves are officially 649-339 all time ... In conference play the Waves are officially 453-261 and 248-144 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts an official career record of 486-242... The Waves are officially 346-114 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse.

SERIES NOTES - Pepperdine is 50-19 all-time vs. UC Irvine but just 23-11 on the road .... The Waves are 43-3 all-time vs. UC San Diego.

LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine hosts Cal Baptist next week Saturday, Feb. 22 as it nears the halfway point of the season ... The Waves will complete the two-match series with UC Irvine and UC San Diego this week but still have yet to play the Lancers, as well as Pacific, Stanford and Hawaii.

MPSF RANKS - Pepperdine ranks in the top-five in five of the seven major statistical categories ... The Waves rank #1 in blocks (3.40) ... Pepperdine ranks second in digs (10.59) and opponent hitting percentage (.219) ... Pepperdine ranks fourth in assists (12.29) and fifth in kills (13.06) ... Josh Taylor ranks No. 2 in the league with 5.26 points per set, while Nikola Antonijevic ranks second in the MPSF with 1.61 blocks per set.

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 ... His season kills average of 4.65 is on track to rank in the top-10 in Pepperdine’s single-season record book.

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 all but one 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.

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).

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 four of seven 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 ... With 2,834 career assists, West is close to overtaking John Mayer (2003-05) for sixth place on the career records chart ... Mayer currently ranks sixth with 2,885 career assists.

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 had a season-best 18 dig performance at Long Beach State (1/24) ... 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 3.40 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 2.24 kills, 2.12 digs and 0.68 blocks ... As a primary passer, he has just nine miscues in 195 attempts (.954).

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 2014 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.

#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.

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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