#9 Pepperdine Treks to Cal Baptist, USC this Week
The Waves have won matches against both Cal Baptist (3-1) and USC (3-2) earlier this season at home.
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team, ranked 9th in the AVCA Coaches Poll, will make short trips to Riverside and Los Angeles this week to challenge both Cal Baptist and USC.
MATCH 10 – Thursday (February 16) at Van Dyne Gym in Riverside, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine vs. Cal Baptist (3-9, 1-7 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT).
MATCH 11 – Saturday (February 18) at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine vs. USC (3-9, 2-7 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT).
SOCIAL MEDIA – Follow men’s volleyball on Twitter and Facebook, @PeppVolleyball. Stay tuned into all Pepperdine Athletics on Instagram, @PepperdineWaves, and follow the Waves on YouTube for match highlights and special features.
UP NEXT – The Waves will continue life on the road after these road trips, heading to Honolulu, Hawai’i to challenge 4th-ranked Hawai’i on February 24 and 26.
THE NO. 9 WAVES – The Waves have gone 5-4 overall this season, including a 3-3 record in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action and 2-4 against nationally ranked opposition. As a team, Pepperdine amasses 12.28 kills/set on a .290 success rate, along with 11.54 assists/set, 1.28 aces/set, 9.13 digs/set and 2.22 blocks/set. The team’s digs/set ratio ranks 4th in the nation and the 28.54 team attacks/set ranked 2nd in the nation.
Mitchell Penning ranks 5th in the nation with 1.11 blocks/set against opponents. He also adds 1.72 kills/set on a team-high .448 hitting percentage. David Wieczorek and Michael Wexter lead the charge when it comes to offensive numbers. Wieczorek is ahead of the pack with 3.83 kills/set on a .384 percentage. He also posts 1.03 digs/set, 0.44 blocks/set and 0.25 aces/set on average. Wexter has produced 3.05 kill/set on a .259 output, while adding a team-high 0.33 aces/set along with 1.82 digs/set and 0.69 blocks/set. Joshua Stewart is the primary playmaker for the Waves with 319 total sets to average 9.67 assists/set. He also is picks up 1.91 digs/set and 0.58 blocks/set towards the Waves’ effort. Weston Barnes has been picking up some time in the libero spot, posting 1.96 digs/set after 47 digs on the season.
LAST WEEK – The Waves split last week, posting a solid 3-1 win over 12th-ranked UC Santa Barbara at home, before falling in a heart-breaking five-set thriller to 4th-ranked UCLA. To open the week with UCSB, Pepperdine picked up 23-25, 25-12, 34-32 and 31-29 set scores to earn the hard-fought win. The Waves posted a .386 hitting percentage with 58 kills, five aces and 11.5 team blocks, while allowing the opposition a .241 success rate with 73 kills, two aces and 5.0 team blocks. David Wieczorek led the squad with 20 kills with no errors on 41 swings for a .488 success rate. Mitchell Penning tied his career-high with 14 kills on a .609 hitting percentage, while adding seven blocks. Joshua Stewart led the team with 50 assists in just the four sets and earned a double-double with 11 digs, while adding a career-high five blocks. Weston Barnes led the team with 14 digs as well, while Michael Wexter tabbed nine kills and nine digs for the Waves.
Then, in the five-setter against UCLA, the Waves posted a .209 hitting percentage with 51 kills, while adding three aces and an MPSF season-high 17.0 team blocks. Pepperdine allowed the Bruins 64 kills on a .252 output, along with five aces and 11.5 team blocks. Wieczorek led the team for the seventh match this season with 15 kills on a .237 output. Wexter produced 14 kills, eight digs and six blocks and Barnes led the team with 14 digs. Penning posted another career-best output, this time with nine blocks including one solo rejection and Stewart was all-around yet again with his fourth career double-double after tabbing 39 assists and 11 digs. The setter also amassed three blocks and a career-high four kills with no errors on six attempts for a .667 attacking percentage. Alex Harthaller led the team with three aces and added eight kills and four blocks.
OPPONENT NOTES: CAL BAPTIST LANCERS – The Waves hold a 15-2 all-time record over the Lancers, including a perfect 11-0 record at home and a 4-2 record on the road. Earlier this season, Pepperdine downed CBU in a four-set Firestone Fieldhouse match-up. The teams first met in 2003 when the Waves won the match 3-2 before going on a six-match winning streak. Pepperdine is currently on a seven-match winning streak from 2014 to the present season. This season, the Lancers have gone 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the MPSF, averaging 12.66 kills/set on a .182 output along with 8.98 assists/set, 1.13 aces/set, 6.82 digs/set and 1.86 blocks/set against opponents.
OPPONENT NOTES: USC TROJANS – Pepperdine has gone 62-37 against USC all-time, including a 30-13 record at home and a 22-18 record on the road. Earlier this season, the Waves downed the Trojans in a five-set match-up. The two teams first met in 1971 when the Waves won a four-set match. Pepperdine has gone on a few winning-streak against USC, including a 10-match block from 1983-85, a nine-match streak from 2002-05 and an eight-match streak from 1992-99. This season, the Trojans have produced a 3-9 overall record and a 2-7 record in the conference. The team has posted a .248 success rate with 12.48 kills/set, 11.92 assists/set, 0.90 aces/set, 8.21 digs/set and 1.81 blocks/set against opponents.
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 15 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 16 of the last 19 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 for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).
Marv Dunphy – Now in his 34th 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 2017 season with a career record of 602-265 (.694). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at seven Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. Dunphy, along with David Hunt and Joe Trinsey, were on staff when the U.S. Women’s National Team won their first-ever gold medal at a major event (including the Olympics), after winning the 2014 FIVB World Championships. He and Hunt were also a part of the coaching staff with the most recent 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the pair helped lead the team to a Bronze medal. He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), AVCA Hall of Fame (2009) and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame (2010).
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.