No. 2 Pepperdine Falls to #5 UCLA in Five Games


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Malibu, Calif. - The second-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team battled through its first five-game match of the season, but the Waves dropped a close 3-2 decision (30-21, 20-30, 30-27, 28-30, 12-15) to fifth-ranked UCLA on Friday night in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves (4-2, 4-2 MPSF) dropped their second consecutive match despite hitting .368 as a team, while the Bruins (6-3, 4-2 MPSF) hit .390.

Pepperdine junior outside hitter Matt McKee (Aurora, Ill./Aurora HS) tied a career high with 21 kills and notched his first career double-double by registering 11 digs. Junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS) recorded 18 kills and seven digs, and freshman middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) tallied 10 kills and hit .643 for the match.

The Waves were again without All-American opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia), who missed his fourth consecutive match with a fractured hand.

The Bruins had two players post 20-kill efforts, as Ryan Ratelle notched 23 kills and James Diefenbach recorded 21 kills while hitting .690 for the match. Matt Wade dished out 63 assists.

The Waves broke open a tight game one by scoring five consecutive points to take an 18-13 lead and cruised throughout the rest of the game, eventually claiming a 30-21 victory. The Waves hit .409 while the Bruins hit .138 and committed 10 errors. The Bruins responded in game two, as they never trailed and hit a blistering .548 to the Waves .242 mark en route to the 30-20 win to square the match at 1-1.

The teams played a tight and well-fought game three, with the score remaining deadlocked at 22-22. The Waves scored three consecutive points to take a 25-22 lead and held on for a 30-27 victory. The Waves hit .517 for the game while the Bruins hit .441. The teams played a similar game four, with the score remaining tied until the 22-22 mark. The Waves scored three out of four points to take a 25-23 advantage, but the Bruins rallied to score four consecutive points to take a 27-25 lead. The teams split the next six points as the Bruins claimed the 30-28 victory to even the match at 2-2.

In game five, the Waves had an early 6-3 lead, but UCLA regained the lead at 10-9. Tied 11-11, the Bruins scored the next three points on Pepperdine attack errors, the last coming on a block by Ratelle and Diefenbach. After a UCLA serving error, the Bruins got the match-winner on a Pepperdine serving error.

Up next, the Waves begin a four-game road stretch when they travel to face Long Beach State on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m.

Article courtesy of Pepperdine athletics.

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