No. 8 Pepperdine Hosts Final Home Match on Thursday
The Waves hold a 46-3 all-time record against the Tritons, dating back to 1982.
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team will host the final home match of the season at Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday with a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match-up against UC San Diego slated for 7 p.m. All seven seniors will be honored before the match.
MATCH 19 – Thursday (March 30) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: No. 8 Pepperdine (8-10, 6-9 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (7-15, 3-11 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT). Watch: WaveCasts on TheW.tv
COVERAGE – 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 2017. 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.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Follow @PeppVolleyball on Twitter for immediate updates throughout the match. Check on www.PepperdineWaves.com for updates, results and more.
TICKETS - Admission to home matches is $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Admission to regular-season home events is free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.
UP NEXT – After completing home action on Thursday, the Waves will hit the road for the remainder of the season. Pepperdine will first have another match with UC San Diego on April 7 before making the trip to No. 5 UC Irvine on April 8.
THE NO. 8 WAVES – Pepperdine has gone 8-10 overall and 6-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation this season, earning the No. 8-slot in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week. As a team, the Waves produce 12.11 kills/set on a .279 success rate, along with 11.40 assists/set, 1.12 aces/set, 9.00 digs/set and 2.39 blocks/set against opponents. The team ranks 2nd nationally in total attacks/set with 28.34, 9th in digs/set, 10th in blocks/set, 12th in assists/set and 13th in hitting percentage and kills/set.
David Wieczorek leads the team with 3.64 kills/set after amassing 255 kills with only 63 errors on 562 swings for a .342 hitting percentage. He ranks 10th nationally in kills/set, 12th with 8.03 attacks/set and in the top-25 with points/set and hitting percentage. Mitchell Penning is solid on the defensive net this season, amassing 1.10 blocks/set with three block solos and 74 block assists. He ranks 6th in the nation for his blocks/set output, while also tabbing 1.54 kills/set on a .385 clip. Joshua Stewart leads the squad with 598 assists to average 9.34 assists/set which ranks 20th in the nation, and also helps the cause with 1.75 digs/set and 0.64 blocks/set. Weston Barnes has a big presence in the back row with 2.11 digs/set this season which ranks 23rd nationally after digging up 116 attacks. He has also only charted 10 serve receive errors all season. Lastly, Michael Wexter leads the team with 20 total aces, averaging 0.29 aces to rank 12th in the MPSF.
SENIOR WAVES – The Waves will honor seven seniors prior to first serve. Mitchell Penning, a 6-7 middle blocker from St. Louis, Mo.; Kyle Suppes, a 6-7 middle blocker from Union City, Calif.; Soren Dion-Kindem, a 6-2 setter from Agoura Hills, Calif.; James Gehrels, a 6-4 outside hitter from Tucson, Ariz.; Chad McCallister, a 6-0 libero from Huntington Beach, Calif.; Max States, a 6-1 outside hitter from Honolulu, Hawai’i; and Joshua Stewart, a 6-4 setter from San Jose, Calif.
WAVES WENT HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH ANTEATERS – Last week, the Waves had a tough match-up with 5th-ranked UC Irvine at home, resulting in a four-set loss. The Anteaters collected the first two set wins with 25-18 and 25-22 marks, but Pepperdine rallied in the third with a hard-fought 30-28 set win. UCI then finished the match with a 28-26 fourth set win to end the night. The Waves posted 45 kills on a .290 success rate, as opposed to the 78 kills on a .407 clip the opposition put out. Pepperdine led the night with 8.5 team blocks, against UC Irvine’s 6.0 block output, and each team collected three aces.
David Wieczorek led the attack effort with 14 kills on a .345 success rate, while also picking up six digs. Noah Dyer tabbed 10 kills on a .240 clip, while also picking up two blocks. Mitchell Penning led the Waves with six blocks and added five kills on a .455 hitting percentage, while Soren Dion-Kindem led in playmaking duties with 31 assists. Weston Barnes was solid in the back row with 10 digs and 45 successful serve receptions and only one error.
OPPONENT NOTES: UC SAN DIEGO – Pepperdine holds an impressive 46-3 overall record against UC San Diego, dating back to 1982 when the Waves won the first match-up 3-0. From 1982 to 2009, the Waves went on a 38-match winning streak with 30 of the matches won in straight-sets. Currently, Pepperdine has won 10-consecutive matches against UC San Diego, with eight of those matches finishing with three-set results. The Tritons have gone 7-15 overall this season, with a 3-11 MPSF output, tabbing MPSF wins over USC (3-1), CSUN (3-0) and Cal Baptist (3-1) this season.
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 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).