Waves Upset #11 San Diego on Senior Night

Seniors and Families - from left - Gaby Palmeri (10), Brooke Honeycutt (7) and Reegan Dennis (14) (Photo by Martin A. Folb).
Nov. 22, 2016

Final Stats

PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS

MALIBU, Calif. — In a final gift to the three senior Waves on senior night, the Pepperdine women’s volleyball impressed with a four-set stunning upset over 11th-ranked San Diego this Tuesday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.  Pepperdine put in the all-around effort to produce 25-23, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-22 final set scores to end the 2016 campaign on a high note.

The Waves end the season 13-17 overall and 7-11 in the West Coast Conference.  The team amassed 57 kills on 155 swings for a .245 hitting percentage, while tallying 53 assists, four aces, 63 digs and 15.0 team blocks for the victory.  San Diego (22-5, 15-3 WCC), ranked 11th in the AVCA Coaches Poll, posted a .198 hitting percentage against the Waves after tabbing 64 kills on 177 swings, 61 assists, four aces, 74 digs and 5.0 team blocks.

Three Waves hit for double-figure kills, including senior Gaby Palmeri (Davis, Calif./St. Francis HS), who amassed 11 kills with only three errors on 30 attempts for a .267 hitting percentage.  She also tabbed five blocks and four digs in her final performance on the court for Pepperdine.

Freshmen Jasmine Gross (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS) and Hannah Frohling (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North HS) each tied the team-high 12 kills.  Frohling put in a team-best .409 success rate off 22 swings and Gross posted a .360 hitting percentage along with seven blocks.  Gross finishes her freshman campaign with 154 total blocks, just four blocks shy of tying the all-time single-season block record which has stood at 158 since the 1991 and 1992 seasons when Lesli Asplund and Barbara Stross achieved the feat in the sideout scoring era.

Setter and opposite hitter sophomore duo Heidi Dyer (San Clemente, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian HS) and Jenna Tunnell (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) each ended the season with double-doubles with assists and digs.  Dyer ended the night with a team-high 27 assists and added 11 digs, two aces, seven kills and three blocks.  Tunnell produced 20 assists, 15 digs, four blocks and seven kills on a .275 hitting percentage.

Sophomore Tarah Wylie (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral HS) led the squad with eight blocks, while adding seven kills, freshman Hana Lishman (Kailua, Hawai’i/Punahou School) put up a team-best 19 digs and junior Ashley Morgan (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Canyon HS) finished the night with nine digs and 29 successful service receptions.

The Waves were all fight from the start of the match.  Despite going down to a 7-4 deficit in the beginning moments, the home team fought back to tie the match 7-7 on Dyer’s first ace.  Pepperdine then continued to put in a big attack effort and eventually led the opposition by a 20-16 advantage after three consecutive kills from Gross.  The Toreros were not so easily beaten, however, and tied the match at the 23-23 mark, but a Gross, Dyer block connection and Dyer’s second ace of the night shut the visitors down and earned the Waves a 25-23 win.

San Diego busted out to another 7-4 lead to start the second set, and despite Pepperdine coming within one-point at a 7-8 score, the opposition pulled ahead 15-10 with a strong attack output.  With Tunnell at the service line to put the Toreros off-kilter, the Waves clawed back into the match, with the help of a Palmeri, Wylie block and a kill from Dyer to put the score at 16-15.  USD tried to pull ahead again, but Pepperdine stayed in the match and eventually tied things up 19-19.  After exchanging points to the 22-22 mark, the home team went off with a kill from Tunnell, followed by back-to-back smashes from Palmeri to pull ahead 2-0 on the night with a 25-22 second set victory.

The third set started in similar fashion to the others with the opposition pulling ahead, but there the similarities stopped.  The Waves stayed close throughout, coming within a one-point differential at the 18-19 mark before the Toreros closed the set 25-23 to make it a 2-1 match still in Pepperdine’s favor.

It was close again in the fourth, with USD working ahead to a 14-10 lead after a few back-and-forth battles in the set.  Pepperdine held on and with kills from Frohling, Dyer and Gross, took over the team’s first lead of the set with a 19-18 advantage late.  Despite a timeout called by the opposition, Palmeri and Wylie post back-to-back blocks to pull ahead 22-20.  It was a close battle at the end, but kills from Tunnell and Palmeri and a final well-placed ace from freshman Jaiden Farr (Peterson, Utah/Morgan HS) earn the 25-22 final set score and four-set win for the Waves.

Seniors Palmeri (10), Brooke Honeycutt (7) and Reegan Dennis (14) were celebrated and honored prior to first serve.

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