#8 Waves Hit the Road for #5 BYU, Stanford
The matches will stream live on BYUtv and Pac-12 Networks respectively.
MALIBU, Calif. – After another set of exciting wins over ranked opponents last week, including a 3-0 sweep over then-ranked No. 2 UCLA, the No. 8 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to the road this week for matches at No. 5 BYU and Stanford.
MATCH 13 – Thursday (March 1) at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah: No. 8 Pepperdine at No. 5 BYU at 6 p.m. (PT) | Watch: BYUtv.
MATCH 14 – Saturday (March 3) at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif.: No. 8 Pepperdine vs. Stanford at 7 p.m. | Watch: Pac-12 Network.
UP NEXT – Next, Pepperdine will return to the Los Angeles area, first trekking to now-ranked No. 3 UCLA on March 7 and then take on Loyola Chicago at home on March 10.
THE NO. 8 WAVES – The Waves moved up two spots this week in the AVCA Coaches Poll to No. 8 after collecting a pair of wins last week to advance their record to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the MPSF. As a team, the Waves average 12.28 kills/set, 11.68 assists/set, 1.96 aces/set, 8.04 digs/set and 2.46 blocks/set this season. Pepperdine’s attackers have posted 577 kills with 225 errors on 1,251 swings for a .281 success rate. The team allows opponents 10.89 kills/set on a .229 clip, along with 10.32 assists/set, 0.81 aces/set, 8.09 digs/set and 2.19 blocks/set against them.
David Wieczorek leads the offensive with 3.89 kills/set on a .391 success rate, while also leading the effort with 0.53 aces/set after finding the floor for 19 aces this year. He adds 1.17 digs/set and 0.83 blocks/set as well. Alex Harthaller and Colby Harriman each post 2.96 and 2.72 kills/set and 0.40 and 0.39 aces/set respectively. Harthaller is also good for 1.38 digs/set and 0.67 blocks/set, while Harriman puts up 0.83 digs/set and 0.52 blocks/set for the Waves.
Robert Mullahey leads in the playmaking duties with 10.47 assists/set this season, while amassing 1.45 digs/set, 0.51 blocks/set and 0.19 aces/set for his team. Weston Barnes and Noah Dyer have spent time on the back line, with Barnes posting 2.38 digs/set and Dyer adding 1.65 digs/set. At the net, Max Chamblerain leads the blockers with 1.09 blocks/set after marking 38 blocks this season. Wieczorek, Harthaller and Michael Wexter have all tallied 30 blocks as well.
SPORTS IMPORTS/AVCA AND MPSF WEEKLY HONORS – For the second week in a row and third time this season, David Wieczorek garnered MPSF Offensive Player of the Week honors. He also went on to receive national acclaim after being selected Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week as well. The MPSF honor is Wieczorek’s fourth-career and it is the first time since the 2012 campaign that a player has received the accolade three times in a season. It is the first time someone has won back-to-back honors since Wave alumnus Matt Tarantino did so in the 2016 season. The AVCA honor is the Waves’ 29th all-time and the first time for Wieczorek. The last time Pepperdine received the national honors was in 2015 when Brennan Anderson and Matt West did so in separate weeks.
The outside hitter was instrumental in propelling the No. 10 Waves to a pair of wins over the Bruins and Gauchos last week. He posted a .367 success rate over eight sets played with 27 kills and only five errors on 60 swings. The outside also put down seven aces, 10 digs and 11.0 blocks to amass 40.0 total points. Wieczorek averaged 5.00 points/set with 3.38 kills/set, 1.38 blocks/set, 0.88 aces/set and 1.25 digs/set for the Waves. He was also good for 55 total service receptions with only one receiving error for a .982 success rate on the back line.
First in the five-set win over UCSB on the road, he marked 14 kills with only three errors on 35 attempts for a. 314 hitting percentage, while putting down three aces, seven digs, six block assists and one assist. He totaled 20.0 points in the match and recorded 31 serve receptions without a single error for a perfect 1.000 reception output. Then in the stunning 3-0 upset over No. 2 UCLA, Wieczorek was good for 13 kills with only two errors on 25 swings for a .440 success rate. He added four aces, one shy of his career-best, along with three digs and five blocks including one solo rejection for 20.0 points on the night. He received 24 total service attempts with only one error against the Bruins for a .958 reception percentage.
LAST WEEK – The Waves downed both No. 2 UCLA with a 3-0 sweep and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara with a 3-2 thriller last week to go 2-0.
In the first match, Pepperdine exchanged set wins with UCSB 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25 to find themselves in a fifth set. The Waves came out strong and ended the match with a 15-12 final set for the non-conference win. Pepperdine hit for 55 kills on a .190 hitting percentage, while adding eight aces, 44 digs and 13.0 team blocks. The Gauchos put up 56 kills on a .246 clip, along with four aces, 49 digs and 13.0 team blocks. David Wieczorek led the team with 14 kills on a .314 success rate, along with three aces, seven digs and six blocks. Max Chamberlain added three aces as well as four blocks including one solo rejection. Colby Harriman and Alex Harthaller also hit for 12 and 13 kills respectively. Robert Mullahey did the playmaking duties with 47 assists and eight digs and Noah Dyer led the back line with 10 digs.
Then at home against the Bruins, Pepperdine came out pounding down en route to a 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 sweep. The Waves put up 43 kills on a staggering .455 success rate, while adding 42 assists, five aces, 25 digs and 10.0 team blocks. They allowed the Bruins 31 kills on a .203 output, along with 29 assists, six aces, 22 digs and 3.0 blocks. Harthaller led the squad with 17 kills on a career-high .708 hitting percentage, while adding six digs and four blocks including one solo. Wieczorek amassed 13 kills on a .440 clip along with four aces, three digs and five blocks including one solo rejection. Mullahey led with 36 assists and added five digs, while Dyer was good for six digs. Chamblerain posted a team-high seven blocks.
OPPONENT NOTES: NO. 5 BYU – Pepperdine leads Brigham Young with an all-time record of 34-29 dating back to when the two teams first faced in 1977 and the Waves won in straight sets. After that match, Pepperdine went on their longest winning-streak against the Cougars with eight-matches in a row. Last season, BYU had the edge in both matches, winning them by straight set decisions. This season, the Cougars rank fifth nationally with a 12-4 overall record.
OPPONENT NOTES: STANFORD – The Waves have gone 53-27 overall against the Cardinal, dating back to 1974 when the teams first faced off with a 3-2 Pepperdine win as the outcome. The Waves continued to win 12-straight matches through the 1988 campaign before Stanford picked up the program’s first win over Pepperdine. The Waves have posted two six-match winning streaks from 2002-03 and 2008-09 throughout the years. Last season, the two teams split with Stanford taking the first match 3-1 in Malibu, before the Waves exacted revenge in Palo Alto with a 3-1 win of their own. This season, the Cardinal is unranked with a 3-13 overall record and a 1-4 MPSF output.
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 Dunphy – Widely 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.