Men's Volleyball Prepares for 2013 Season at Thompson Rivers Tournament

Josh Taylor

Dec. 28, 2012

MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s volleyball team tunes up for the 2013 season, which officially opens on Jan. 8 at UC Irvine, with the McDonald’s Classic hosted by Thompson Rivers University on Dec. 29-30. The two-day event, held at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops, British Columbia, brings together the University of British Columbia and Dalhousie in addition to the Waves and hosting WolfPack.

Pepperdine, recently picked to finish third in the league in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation preseason coaches’ poll, opens the tournament with a 1 p.m. match vs. UBC on Saturday followed by a 7 p.m. tilt against Thompson Rivers.

Round robin play concludes on Sunday with an 11 a.m. match vs. Dalhousie. From there, the third and fourth place teams, based on previous match results, square off at 5 p.m. while the first and second place teams duke it out for the tournament title at 7 p.m.

The last time the event was held, back in 2010, the Waves walked away with the championship trophy.

Following this weekend’s action, Pepperdine hosts one final exhibition at home on Saturday, Jan. 5 against the University of Alberta.

The Waves, once again led by head coach Marv Dunphy, return four starters plus two liberos from last season’s 14-15 squad. Leading the way is AVCA All-American second team selection Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS). The senior opposite side hitter enters his ultimate season with 1,217 career kills and a 3.96 kills/set average, and is on track to rank in the top-10 in several categories in the Pepperdine record book.

Other returning starters include sophomore setter Matt West (Seattle, Wash./Shorewood Academy), sophomore outside hitter Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and sophomore middle blocker Matt Tarantino (Van Nuys, Calif./Bishop Alemany HS).



A defensive trio of liberos, including Mike McMahon (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS), Ryan Plueger (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake) and Kyle Gerrans (Los Gatos, Calif./Valley Christian HS), are also back and vying for a spot in the starting rotation. All three saw significant action last season, which was the first year a new two libero rule was implemented.

Outside hitters Beau Vandeweghe (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS), Scott Rhein (Pleasant View, Tenn./Aaron Academy) and Parker Kalmbach (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro HS), as well as middle blocker Nikola Antonijevic (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Stevenson HS), all have ample playing experience and can also be expected to see action this weekend.

Four newcomers could also see court time including junior middle blocker Leonardo Granato (Reseda, Calif./Grover Cleveland HS/Pierce College) and freshman middle blocker Kyle Suppes(Union City, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory). J.J. Mosolf (Saugus, Calif./Hart High School/Hawaii), who spent his freshman season redshirting at Hawaii, adds support to the right side, while freshman libero Vincent Rios (Torrance, Calif./South HS) is expected to help out the defense.

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