No. 10 Waves Play at No. 4 Hawai'i Friday, Sunday
The Waves have five players ranked nationally in blocks/set this week.
MALIBU, Calif. – The 10th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team takes a short trip over the Pacific to Honolulu to challenge the 4th-ranked Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors in the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday and Saturday.
MATCH 12 – Friday (February 24) at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i: No. 10 Pepperdine (6-5, 4-4 MPSF) vs. No. 4 Hawai’i (14-2, 5-2 MPSF), at 9 p.m. (PT). Watch with OC Sports.
MATCH 13 – Sunday (February 26) at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i: No. 10 Pepperdine vs. No. 4 Hawai’i, at 9 p.m. (PT). Listen on ESPN 1420 AM.
COVERAGE/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. The match on Friday will air live with OC Sports and have NBC Sports Radio available. The match Sunday will have radio available on EPSN 1420 AM.
UP NEXT – After the trip to Hawai’i, the Waves return to host 3rd-ranked BYU in back-to-back matches at Firestone Fieldhouse. First serves are set for 7 p.m. on each March 10 and 11.
THE NO. 10 WAVES – The Waves have gone 6-5 overall up to this point in the season, while collecting a 4-4 record against MPSF opponents. The team ranks 2nd nationally with 28.19 attacks/set, 3rd with 2.49 blocks/set, 13th with a 0.286 hitting percentage, 14th with 11.54 assists/set and 15th with 8.88 digs/set. Pepperdine posts 12.19 kills/set on average, tabbing 1.17 aces/set as well. The Waves allow opponents 13.58 kills/set on a .269 success rate on average, while also giving up 1.02 aces/set and 1.83 blocks/set.
There are five Waves that rank nationally in blocking this week, including team-block leader Mitchell Penning who averages 1.16 blocks/set after rejecting 52 attempts so far this season. He ranks 6th nationally and 2nd in the conference in blocks, while also posting 1.60 kills/set on a team-best .437 success rate. Clay Carr is also representing at the net with 0.97 blocks/set on average to rank 23rd in the nation.
David Wieczorek leads the squad with 3.80 kills/set, adding 0.22 aces/set, 0.98 digs/set and 0.62 blocks/set this season. Wieczorek ranks 9th nationally and 6th in the conference with 8.27 attacks/set. He also ranks 13th nationally in kills/set and 21st with a 0.360 hitting percentage. Setter Joshua Stewart has become the ‘Josh-of-all-Trades’ lately, averaging 9.79 assists/set to rank 16th in the country and also tabbing 1.74 digs/set to rank 37th and 0.74 blocks/set to rank 69th.
LAST WEEK – The Waves split two matches last week, first defeating Cal Baptist in four before falling at USC in five. In the first match at CBU, the team tabbed 53 kills on a .429 success rate, while adding three aces, 37 digs and 9.5 team blocks. The Waves gave the opposition only 7.0 team blocks, along with 57 kills on a .285 output with five aces and 28 digs. Colby Harriman led the team with 16 kills on a .520 hitting percentage, while adding an ace, six digs and two blocks. David Wieczorek was next for Pepperdine with 15 kills on a .265. Joshua Stewart led in playmaking duties with 44 assists, and added four kills on a .571 percentage with a team-high five blocks. Mitchell Penning ended the night with four blocks including one solo, and had a 7-0-8 attack effort for a massive .875 success rate.
Then at USC on Saturday, the Waves posted record defensive numbers as three players had career-high block efforts en route to 23.5 team blocks. Pepperdine added 53 kills, three aces and 33 digs, while allowing the opposition 65 kills, eight aces, 51 digs and 9.5 team blocks. Clay Carr, Wieczorek and Stewart were the three Waves who rejected career-best numbers with 11, 10 and seven blocks respectively. Carr added seven kills on a .455 hitting percentage to his block efforts. Wieczorek also led the team with 18 kills on a .283 output, while picking up an ace. Stewart led the squad with 48 assists and posted six digs as well. Penning also tabbed eight blocks and Harriman was good for 14 kills.
OPPONENT NOTES: HAWAI’I RAINBOW WARRIORS – Pepperdine holds a 43-31 overall record against Hawai’i, dating back to the 1981 campaign when the two teams first met and the Waves won in straight sets. The longest Waves’ winning streak was six-consecutive matches, which occurred three times: 1983-85, 1990-95 and 1997-2000. The last time Pepperdine posted wins in Honolulu were in 2009 when the team won back-to-back four-set matches. Last season, the Waves and Rainbow Warriors split the two matches in Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine took the first night in straight sets, but UH picked up the second match in four. The week, Hawai’i ranks 4th in the AVCA Coaches Poll with a 14-2 overall record. The team has gone 5-2 against MPSF opponents, while earning a perfect 9-0 record when playing at home and going 5-2 on the road. Last week, the Warriors swept both McKendree and Lindenwood in Midwestern matches.
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.