#2 UCLA, #13 UC Santa Barbara on the Docket for Pepperdine

Team  (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
Team (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
Feb. 20, 2018


The Last Meeting
February 11, 2017
Malibu, Calif.
#9 Waves Suffer Five-Set Loss to #4 UCLA
Highlights | Final Stats | Photo Gallery | The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team put in solid work and a big fight against 4th-ranked UCLA in Firestone Fieldhouse this Saturday night, eventually falling in a five-set showdown.

MALIBU, Calif. – After a pair of wins over ranked opponents last week, the No. 10 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to action against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara Wednesday on the road and No. 2 UCLA Friday at home.

MATCH 11 – Wednesday (February 21) at Robertson Gymnasium in Santa Barbara, Calif.: No. 10 Pepperdine at No. 13 UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. (PT) | Watch: Big West TV.

MATCH 12 – Friday (February 23) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: No. 10 Pepperdine vs. No. 2 UCLA at 7 p.m. | Watch: WaveCasts.

COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineWaves.com offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams.  WaveCasts broadcasts all home matches for free on your computer or mobile device.  Veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein will once again serve as the voice of Pepperdine volleyball in 2018.  Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the men’s volleyball schedule page at PepperdineWaves.com.  The match at UCSB will stream live on Big West TV.

TICKETS — Each home match costs $10 for adults and $8 for alumni, children, seniors and non-Pepperdine students.  Tickets are free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID.  Purchase tickets in advance at 866-WAVE-TIX or at the ticket office on game day.

UP NEXT – Next week the Waves play only on the road with matches at No. 6 BYU and Stanford, both MPSF opponents.

THE NO. 10 WAVES – Pepperdine dominated the court last week, picking up two wins against ranked opponents.  The team first upset No. 4 UC Irvine 3-1 before overcoming No. 15 USC 3-2 to close the week.  As a team, the Waves post 12.28 kills/set on a .281 success rate, while allowing the opposition 10.90 kills/set on a .229 clip.  Pepperdine adds 11.64 assists/set, 2.03 aces/set, 7.92 digs/set and 2.37 blocks/set as well. 

David Wieczorek leads the team with 4.04 kills/set on a .398 success rate, while adding 0.43 aces/set, 1.14 digs/set and 0.68 blocks/set in the all-around effort.  He ranks third nationally in both points/set and kills/set.  Colby Harriman and Alex Harthaller each post 2.89 and 2.78 kills/set as well.  Harriman adds 0.45 aces/set, 0.71 digs/set and 0.58 blocks/set, while Harthaller leads the team with 0.49 aces/set and tabs 1.38 digs/set and 0.65 blocks/set.  Robert Mullahey ranks fourth nationally and leads the squad with 10.49 assists/set and he also produced 1.41 digs/set and 0.49 blocks/set for the Waves.  Weston Barnes leads the team with 2.38 digs/set and is second with 0.46 assists/set, while Noah Dyer produces 1.54 digs/set and 0.27 assists/set for Pepperdine. 

For the second time this season and third time in his career, redshirt-junior David Wieczorek garnered Molten/MPSF Offensive Player of the Week accolades.  Along with this week, he earned the honor on February 5.  The outside once again led the Waves’ offensive with a .360 success rate in the win over No. 4 UC Irvine and No. 15 USC last week.  He posted 37 smashes with only 10 errors on 75 swings, while adding four aces, 10 digs and five blocks including two solo rejections for the Waves.  The outside hitter put up 44.5 points throughout the week.  In nine sets played, Wieczorek marked 4.94 points/set after amassing 4.11 kills/set, 0.44 aces/set, 0.56 blocks/set and 1.11 digs/set for his team.

First in the four-set upset at UCI, he put up 19 kills on a .350 clip, while finding the floor for three aces and adding four digs and two solo blocks for 24.0 total points.  Then in the five-set win over USC, he put up 18 smashes on a .371 hitting percentage along with one ace, six digs and three blocks for 20.5 points on the night.

LAST WEEK – Pepperdine posted a solid performance at No. 4 UC Irvine and against No. 15 USC last week, winning both matches.  First against UC Irvine, the Waves went up 2-0 with 25-17 and 34-32 set scores before dropping the third 25-14 and prevailing for the win in the fourth with a 25-16 final set.  Against USC, the Waves split sets to force a fifth with 25-19, 24-26, 25-16 and 22-25 set scores.  Pepperdine dominated the fifth, however, en route to a 15-10 win and 3-2 MPSF victory.

OPPONENT NOTES: UC SANTA BARBARA – The Waves hold a 69-35 all-time record against the Gauchos, including a 30-23 record at home and 36-10 record on the road.  The team’s first faced off in 1971 when UCSB took a 3-1 win over Pepperdine at home.  The Waves took home their first win over the Gauchos in 1973 with a five-set bout on the road.  Pepperdine went on a series of winning streaks with either seven or eight wins from 1977-2006 with single-game losses in between mostly.  The longest winning streak the Waves posted was 10-straight matches from 2006-10.  Last season, the two teams faced off once, with Pepperdine collecting a 3-1 win at home, while earlier this season, the Gauchos took home a 3-1 win from Firestone Fieldhouse.  This season, UCSB has an even 4-4 record and recently split a pair of matches at No. 6 BYU.

OPPONENT NOTES: UCLA – UCLA is the only opponent to have an all-time winning record against Pepperdine with an 80-41 output since the 1972 campaign.  The Bruins won the first eight matches through 1975 before the Waves took home a 3-1 win in ‘76.  The longest winning streak is owned by UCLA with 13-straight wins from 1979-82.  Pepperdine’s longest winning streak stands at five-consecutive matches from 2008-10.  Last season, the Bruins won a five-set match-up in Firestone.  This season, the Bruins rank second nationally and currently have a 14-2 overall record.

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 DunphyWidely 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.



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