#3 Waves Face #15 USC on the Road on Thursday

Matt West

March 19, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #3 Pepperdine men’s volleyball team opens it three-match road swing this Thursday, March 21 at USC. First serve inside the Lyon Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.

MATCH 19 - Thursday (March 21) at USC Lyon Center: #3 Pepperdine (12-6, 11-6 MPSF) vs. #15 USC (4-13, 4-13 MPSF) at 7 p.m.

COVERAGE - Live stats will be available for Thursday’s match, as well as an internet audio broadcast courtesy of USC.

MPSF STANDINGS - The Waves, now in the second half of the conference season, sit a half a game in front of UCLA in fourth place with an 11-6 record ... Pepperdine is 4-1 against teams ahead of them in the standings ... The Waves defeated BYU 3-2 at home on Feb. 15 ... The Cougars are a first-place 14-2 in the MPSF ... Pepperdine swept Long Beach State on the road on Feb. 6 ... The 49ers sit in third place with a 12-5 record ... UC Irvine is in second place behind a 14-5 record ... The Waves and Anteaters split the season series ... The top eight of the league’s 13 teams advance to the MPSF Tournament, with the top four teams earning hosting privileges.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine won back-to-back matches last week, first holding off UC Irvine 3-1 before sweeping UC San Diego 3-0 ... Maurice Torres pounded home 22 kills, while Ryan Plueger picked up a career-high 16 digs vs. the Anteaters ... Scott Rhein hit a blistering .812 (13-kills-0 errors-16 attempts) against the Tritons to rank fifth in the program’s rally-scoring era record book.

MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The maestro behind the Waves’ success, setter Matt West, was voted this week’s MPSF Player of the Week for his efforts vs. UCI and UCSD ... West averaged 12.43 assists/set in two matches ... It was West’s first player of the week award and Pepperdine’s second overall in 2013 ... Maurice Torres has also been named MPSF Player of the Week this season.

HIT ‘EM HIGH - The Waves hit .542 vs. Hope International on March 8 ... That hitting percentage stands as the highest achieved by any team in the league in 2013 ... Scott Rhein individually hit .812 vs. UC San Diego on March 15 which ranks as the second-best clip by any MPSF player in this season.

RHEIN TIME! - Sophomore Scott Rhein nearly set a Pepperdine record in hitting percentage on March 15 vs. UC San Diego ... Rhein was hitting over .900 for most of the night - a would-be Pepperdine record - going an errorless 4-for-4 in the opening frame, followed by a 5-for-6 effort in set two ... The Tritons dug two Rhein attacks in the third set to push his success rate down to .812 (13 kills-0 errors-16 attacks), which still ranks fifth all-time at Pepperdine (rally scoring era only) ... Two-time All-American Andy Hein (2006-06) holds the record with a .909 (10-0-11) hitting percentage which was achieved vs. Long Beach State on April 30, 2005 ... Rhein in the only outside hitter to rank in the top-five in the single-match hitting percentage category ... Hein also ranks second (.882), followed by Tyler Jaynes (2008-11, .875) and Brad Keenan (2000-03, .833) – all middle blockers.

SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PepperdineMVB and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics or Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves continue life on the road with matches at BYU (March 28) and Cal Baptist (March 30)

NOTING THE WAVES - This will be the 1,040th match in Pepperdine history ... The Waves are 641-331 all time ... In conference play the Waves are 445-254 and 240-137 in MPSF action ... Marv Dunphy boasts a career record of 478-234 ... The Waves are 342-113 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves are 210-109 all-time during the month of March.

RANKINGS - Pepperdine is currently listed at #3 in the AVCA Coaches’ Top-15 Poll.

USC - The Trojans are 4-13 this season ... USC is trying to snap a five-match losing streak ... Tanner Jansen averages 3.80 kill/set to pace the team ... Micah Christianson, the 2012 MPSF Freshman of the Year, dishes 10.48 assists/set ... The Trojans’ last win was on March 2 vs. Pacific (3-1) ... USC has also defeated UC Irvine (3-0), Stanford (3-0), and Cal Baptist (3-1) this year.

SERIES SCORE - Pepperdine topped USC 3-1 in Malibu on Feb. 1 ... The Waves lead the all-time series vs. the crosstown adversary 51-34 ... The last official time Pepperdine won at USC was during the 2007 season.

MPSF LEADERS - Matt West ranks second in the MPSF with 11.42 assists/set and ranks eighth in aces (0.33) ... Parker Kalmbach ranks fourth in the league with a 1.33 blocks/set average and ranks seventh with a .422 hitting percentage ... Maurice Torres ranks fourth in kills (4.15), tied for first in points (4.96) and 10th in aces (0.31) ... Nikola Antonijevic averages 1.15 blocks/set to rank ninth ... Ryan Plueger sits in 11th place with 1.69 digs/set.

MPSF TEAM STATS - As a team, the Waves lead the MPSF with 2.96 blocks/set ... Pepperdine sits in second in the league in hitting percentage (.318), assists (12.45) and kills (13.00) ... Pepperdine also ranks sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.261), fourth in service aces (1.21) and 10th in digs (7.61).

NCAA RANKS - In the latest NCAA rankings release (March 18), which is calculated slightly differently than the MPSF stats, Matt West ranks No. 1 in the NCAA with 11.42 assists/set ... Parker Kalmbach ranks fourth in the NCAA in blocks (1.33) followed by Nikola Antonijevic in 15th (1.15) ... Maurice Torres ranks fourth in kills (4.15) ... As a team, Pepperdine ranks second in the country (behind Ball State) in blocks (2.96), second in hitting percentage (.318), third in assists (12.45) and third in kills (13.00).

TORRES - Maurice Torres, the Waves’ kills leader the past three seasons, enters his senior campaign with high expectations ... Torres leads the team this year with 4.15 kills/set ... He has surpassed double digit kill totals in all but two matches this season including six 20+ kill performances ... He registered a season-high 23 kills against BYU (Feb. 15) ... He was later named MPSF Player of the Week on Feb. 18 for his efforts ... Versus Pacific (Jan. 18), he set a new career-record in hitting percentage after tagging down 11 kills while hitting .714 ... Against USC (Feb. 1) he reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs plateau ... When Torres is hitting over .300 the Waves are 9-0. Conversely, when he’s hitting at a sub-.300 clip, Pepperdine is 3-6 ... Torres was an AVCA All-American second team selection in 2012 and an All-MPSF first team member.

1,300 K/500 D - With his first of 15 kills and last of nine digs vs. USC (Feb. 1), Maurice Torres reached the 1,300 kills and 500 digs career milestones ... He is just one of seven Waves to have ever reached both plateaus ... Other former players to have achieved the feat include Scott Wong (1,700 k/807 d), George Roumain (2,394 k/620 d), Paul Carroll (2,101 k/624 d), Matt Rigg (1,539 k/692 d), Fred Winters (1,525 k/602 d) and Sean Rooney (2,007 k/629 d).

WEST - Matt West is in his second year managing the Waves’ offense ... West was an All-MPSF honorable mention as a freshman and ranked second in the NCAA and the league with 11.38 assists/set ... West, who made use of a float serve last season, has transitioned to a tough jump serve and the change has paid dividends ... He currently leads Pepperdine with 22 service aces and ranks eighth in the conference with a 0.33 aces/set average ... He tallied a career-best four aces vs. Hope International (March 8) ... USC (Feb. 1) was only able to sideout at a 48-percent rate when West was serving ... He ranks second the league and first in the NCAA with 11.42 assists/set in 2013 ... He was awarded MPSF Player of the Week honors on March 18.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Josh Taylor recorded his first-ever double-double on Sunday, Jan. 20 vs. Stanford ... The sophomore was credited with 13 kills and a career-best 11 digs ... It was the first kills-digs double-double by any Wave in 2013 ... Maurice Torres has registered three kills-digs double-doubles this season, first against Cal Baptist (Feb. 13), and again versus BYU (Feb. 15) and UC Irvine (March 12) ... Against the Cougars, Torres earned his double-double with season highs in kills (23) and digs (12) .. Parker Kalmbach earned his first double-double on Friday, Feb. 8 at Cal State Northridge after recording a career-high 13 kills and 10 blocks.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK - Parker Kalmbach, who missed all of 2012 recovering from major back surgery, is back in 2013 and has made an immediate impact ... After serving as an outside hitter in 2011, Kalmbach now starts in the middle ... He ranks fourth in the MPSF with a 1.33 blocks/set average ... Delivered a phenomenal 10-block performance against UC San Diego on Jan. 12 and again at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 8 ... He also pounds down 1.98 kills/set.

ANTONIJEVIC - Nikola Antonijevic is equally as impressive as Kalmbach in the middle ... The sophomore provides 1.15 blocks/set for the defense and 1.02 kills/set on the offensive end ... He set a new career-high with nine blocks vs. UCI (March 12).

ON THE OUTSIDE - Josh Taylor and Kyle Gerrans opened 2013 as the two starting outside hitters ... With Gerrans’ on the disabled list, Scott Rhein has taken over his spot on the outside ... Taylor, who ranked second behind Torres in 2012 with 3.52 kills/set, currently averages 2.99 kills/set as a sophomore ... Rhein came off the bench against the Cougars and tallied a then-season high nine kills and five blocks ... He has since extended his season-best to 13 kills (Pacific, March 1; UCSD, March 15) ... Rhein has averaged 2.43 kills/set since Feb. 15 and 1.74 kills/set on the season.

CHECK THE RECORD - In Pepperdine’s career record book, Maurice Torres has made his mark in several categories ... He ranks eighth in career kills with 1,495 ... His 120 service aces rank eighth ... Matt West’s assist total of 2,108 ranks seventh all-time ... Torres is close to breaking into the top-10 in digs with 572 ... 602 would tie for 10th with Fred Winters.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE - Pepperdine was a perfect 6-0 when playing inside Firestone Fieldhouse before UCLA snapped that streak on Feb. 23 ... The Waves, 9-1 at home in 2013, typically play very well in Firestone and average 13.19 kills, 12.81 assists, 1.42 aces, 8.06 digs and 2.97 blocks while hitting .344 in Malibu.

TICKETS - Single-game prices for home events are $8 for adults, $5 for students/seniors/children and free to all Pepperdine students, faculty and staff (and their dependents) with a valid Pepperdine ID. An all-sports pass, which provides admission to all Pepperdine home sporting events, with the exception of men’s basketball, is $100. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.

Marv Dunphy - Now in his 30th 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 2013 season with a career record of 532-229* (.699). 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).

PRESEASON MPSF POLL - With 113 points, the Waves were picked to finished third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in a preseason vote of the league’s 13 coaches. UC Irvine tallied the most points with 143, closely followed by BYU with 134.

2012 POSTSEASON AWARDS - Maurice Torres earned a spot on the All-MPSF first team roster ... Matt Pollock and Matt West were named to the honorable mention team ... West, Matt Tarantino and Josh Taylor accounted for three of the six spots on the all-freshman list ... Torres was also named a second team All-American by both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine.

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 in seven of the last 13 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in each of the last 13 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors eight times and All-American accolades 76 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. 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 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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