No. 7 Pepperdine Sweeps UC San Diego
Malibu, Calif. - The No. 7-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team defeated visiting UC San Diego in three games (30-22, 30-20, 30-24) on Saturday afternoon in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action in Firestone Fieldhouse.
A Homecoming crowd of 1,074 witnessed the Waves (7-5 overall, 7-5 MPSF) improve to 34-0 all-time in the series with the Tritons (4-10, 1-10). During a prematch ceremony, Pepperdine honored its 1978 NCAA men's volleyball championship team.
Junior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia) had match highs of 17 kills and six digs while hitting .520 on 25 swings. Senior setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) had 43 assists and led Pepperdine to a .437 team hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS) added 11 kills, freshman outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS) had 10 kills and junior middle blocker Eric Liebert (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) had seven kills and five blocks.
"I thought that we played well today," Pepperdine Coach Marv Dunphy said. "We sided out really well. We've been working with some of our guys on serves that they haven't hit before, so that's still a work in progress. But today was really nice, honoring our first championship team and getting this victory."
UC San Diego got 12 kills from Frank Fritsch and 11 from Jason Spangler. The Tritons hit .160 as a team.
Game one was close early and was tied at 9-9 when the Waves scored three straight points. From there, Pepperdine steadily grew its lead en route to the eight-point win. Carroll had seven kills on nine errorless attempts and the Waves hit .600 compared to UCSD's .250. Spangler had five kills to lead the Tritons.
The Waves went on a 7-0 run early in game two to grab a 13-5 lead. Winder had two service aces and two assists during the run. Pepperdine continued to hit well at a .542 clip compared to .222 for UCSD. Carroll, Schleppenbach and UCSD's Fritsch each had five kills in game two.
The Tritons got off to a good start in game three and led 8-3 after three straight blocks, with Tyler Kern earning block assists on all three. But the Waves rallied and took the lead at 11-10 and eventually went up 20-15. UCSD went on a 4-0 run to get back within one point at 20-19, but Pepperdine finished the Tritons off shortly after that. Hitting percentages in game three dropped to .212 for the Waves and .033 for the Tritons. Carroll had five kills in game three.
The Waves have a week off and will host their Alumni Match next Saturday (Feb. 23) at 1 p.m. After that, Pepperdine plays five straight on the road, beginning at USC on Friday, Feb. 29.
Article courtesy of Pepperdine athletics.