No. 8 Men's Volleyball to Close Regular Season
The Waves defeated UC San Diego in three sets and fell to UC Irvine in four sets in the last match-ups.
MALIBU, Calif. – The 8th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team has two regular season matches left this season, slated for Friday and Saturday at UC San Diego and 5th-ranked UC Irvine.
MATCH 20 – Friday (April 7) at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla, Calif.: No. 8 Pepperdine (9-10, 7-9 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (7-17, 3-13 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT). Watch on TheW.tv
MATCH 21 – Saturday (April 8) at Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.: No. 8 Pepperdine vs. No. 5 UC Irvine (17-6, 11-5 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT). Watch with UC Irvine live stream.
COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – The matches will have live stream available with links to be found of PepperdineWaves.com. Follow @PeppVolleyball on Twitter for immediate updates throughout the match. Check on www.PepperdineWaves.com for updates, results and more.
UP NEXT – The Waves close out the regular season with the match on Saturday. The Waves have clinched a MPSF Tournament bid and are now playing for seeding in the tournament. The tournament begins on April 15 with the quarterfinal match-up.
MPSF TOURNAMENT – Pepperdine has officially earned a berth in the 2017 MPSF Tournament beginning on April 15 with the quarterfinals. Currently, the Waves are ranked 6th in the conference heading into the final week of regular season. Other teams that have clinched an MPSF Tournament bid include No. 1 Long Beach State and No. 3 BYU, who are already charted to host the first round, No. 4 Hawai’i, No. 5 UC Irvine, No. 6 UCLA and No. 9 Stanford. Fighting for the final spot include USC, UC Santa Barbara and CSUN.
#NCAATOP10 – Pepperdine earned the No. 7-slot in the NCAA Top 10 weekly plays this week. The play featured a diving dig by libero Weston Barnes, followed by a one-handed off-court set by senior Soren Dion-Kindem and the smash to end it by middle blocker Clay Carr. It is the first time any men’s volleyball team has made the list in the five weeks since the list’s debut.
THE NO. 8 WAVES – The Waves have gone 9-10 overall and 7-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, ranking 8th in the national AVCA Coaches Poll. As a team, Pepperdine produces 12.22 kills/set on a .282 success rate, while adding 11.47 assists/set, 1.11 aces/set, 9.18 digs/set and 2.41 blocks/set. The team’s 28.50 attacks/set ranks 2nd in the nation and the Waves also rank 5th nationally in digs/set, 8th in blocks/set, 10th in assists/set and 12th in kills/set at this point in the season.
David Wieczorek leads the Waves with 3.73 kills/set on a .351 attack output. He also adds 0.21 aces/set, 0.99 digs/set and 0.63 blocks/set towards the effort and ranks 9th nationally with 8.07 attacks/set, 10th in kills/set, 13th in points/set and 17th in hitting percentage. Mitchell Penning leads the Waves’ blocking efforts with 1.14 blocks/set, ranking 7th nationally and 2nd in the MPSF. He also adds 1.55 kills/set on a .390 hitting percentage. Joshua Stewart and Soren Dion-Kindem each set for the Waves, with Stewart amassing 9.22 assists/set, 1.72 digs/set and 0.63 blocks/set and Dion-Kindem tabbing 10.24 assists/set, 2.29 digs/set and 0.47 blocks/set for the Waves. Weston Barnes leads the back row with 2.17 digs/set to rank 23rd nationally, while Michael Wexter is good for 20 aces this season to lead the team with 0.28 aces/set.
LAST MATCH-UPS VS. TRITONS & ANTEATERS – The Waves have recently faced both UC Irvine and UC San Diego to close out the home campaign the last two weeks, dropping a four-setter to the Anteaters and sweeping the Tritons. In the first match-up with UCI, the Waves posted a .290 hitting percentage on 45 kills, along with three aces, 37 digs and 8.5 team blocks. Comparatively, the opposition was good for a .407 success rate on 78 kills, along with three aces, 44 digs and 6.0 team blocks. David Wieczorek led the team with 14 kills on a .345 output, while also producing six digs. Noah Dyer also tabbed 10 kills, while Mitchell Penning led the team with six blocks. Max States was good for two aces, Weston Barnes had a team-best 10 digs and Soren Dion-Kindem had a team-high 31 assists on the night.
In the sweep over UCSD, Pepperdine amassed a .340 attacking percentage with 45 kills, while adding two aces, 41 digs and 9.0 team blocks, compared to the Tritons .125 output on 34 kills with three aces, 36 digs and 5.0 team rejections. Wieczorek led the team again with 17 kills on a solid .556 success rate, while picking up four blocks and a team-best two aces. Dion-Kindem tabbed his fourth-career double-double with 34 assists and 13 digs, while adding four blocks. Dyer also picked up nine kills and seven digs, while Penning led the squad with another six blocks, including one solo rejection. Barnes finished the night with 10 digs as well.
OPPONENT NOTES: UC SAN DIEGO – Pepperdine holds an impressive 47-3 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 11-consecutive matches against UC San Diego, with nine of those matches finishing with three-set results. Last week, the Waves swept the Tritons on senior night at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Tritons have gone 7-17 overall and 3-13 in the MPSF, most recently including two losses last week, one in three sets at Pepperdine and one in five at Stanford.
OPPONENT NOTES: NO. 5 UC IRVINE – Pepperdine leads UC Irvine with a 53-23 overall all-time record, including a 29-8 record when playing in Malibu. After dropping the first match to UCI in 1971, Pepperdine went on a 24-match winning streak through the 1994 campaign. Last season, the Waves downed the Anteaters twice, winning 3-1 at home and 3-2 on the road during regular season. In the last meeting two weeks ago, the Anteaters won a four-setter at Firestone Fieldhouse. This season, UC Irvine has a 17-6 overall record and an 11-5 record in MPSF action, ranking the team 5th in the AVCA coaches poll this week. The team is currently on a six-match winning streak with three of those matches being by three-set decisions, including a sweep over then-ranked No. 1 Ohio State to break the team’s 42-match winning streak. Last week, the Anteaters bested Stanford on the road in four sets.
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).
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.