No. 2 Pepperdine Narrowly Defeats No. 10 UC San Diego in Five


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LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the second consecutive night, the #3 Pepperdine men's volleyball team went the distance for a 30-32, 30-20, 30-26, 28-30, 15-13 victory in a hard-fought road match against #10 UC San Diego.

After claiming the first game, the Tritons dropped the next two games before forcing a fifth and final game for the first time ever against Pepperdine, where the Waves continued their unbeaten streak against UCSD with their 36th consecutive victory and 17th in a row in La Jolla.

The win proved to be a group effort as four Waves had double-figure kills as senior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia/Great Lakes College) led all scorers with 26 kills and 16 digs. Joining him was sophomore outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif. /Placer HS) with 17 kills, senior outside hitter Matt McKee (Aurora, Ill. /Aurora West HS) with 10 kills and junior middle blocker Rodnei Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil /BYU) with 10 kills on .444 (10-2-18) hitting. Sophomore middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) led the team with 10 block assists and sophomore setter Kasey Crider (Granite Bay, Calif. /Granite Bay HS) had 70 assists.

The Waves owned the net as they outblocked UCSD 21-8 and outhit the Tritons .369-.242.

The win moves Pepperdine to 12-2 overall and 11-2 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. Meanwhile, UCSD falls to 8-10 overall and 4-9 in MPSF play.

Leading the Tritons was Jason Spangler with 24 kills and 11 digs and Gerald Houseman with 19 kills on .464 (19-6-28) hitting.

In game one UCSD jumped out to an early 6-1 lead highlighted by a pair of aces from Phil Bannan. However, the Waves responded as McKee added an ace as well as a kill during a 4-1 run to push the game to 7-5. Pepperdine was then able to tie the game 9-9 after back-to-back blocks with the first from Crider and Jaynes and the second from Carroll and Jaynes. The Tritons responded with a 4-0 run while Pepperdine countered with a 3-0 run with kills from Carroll and Riecks to bring the game within one at 13-12. The teams then battled back-and-forth until Pepperdine grabbed its first lead of the game at 23-22 after a UCSD attacking error. Down 26-24, the Tritons went on another 4-0 run to push to a 28-26 lead. The Waves fought until the end as they tied the game at 28, 29 and 30 before losing on a kill by Spangler on UCSD's third game point.

For the second consecutive game UCSD jumped out to an early lead as the Tritons held an 8-4 advantage at the start of game two. After their slow start the Waves went on to dominate the match as they outhit UCSD .552-.179. Pepperdine came back to take the lead in impressive fashion as a pair of kills from Riecks along with a kill from McKee and Carroll pushed Pepperdine on a 6-0 and a 16-12 lead. The Waves would never look back from that point. UCSD got within five at 20-15 but Pepperdine went on to outscore the Triton's 10-5 to win the game on a Santos kill.

In the third game both teams fought to a 6-6 tie before a group effort by the Waves gave Pepperdine a 5-1 run and an 11-7 lead. Riecks, Jaynes and McKee all added kills while Crider had an ace during the run. Up 13-10 Pepperdine went on another run as Santos added a kill as well as a block alongside Crider and McKee scored an ace during a 6-0 run to give the Waves a dominate 19-10 lead. The Triton's would immediately counter with a 5-0 run of their own but it wasn't enough as Pepperdine would not let UCSD get any closer than 24-21 before closing the game with kills from Riecks and Jaynes.

In an evenly matched game four, Pepperdine grabbed an early 10-8 lead after a kill from Jaynes followed by back-to-back blocks from Carroll and Jaynes with an assist from McKee on the second. UCSD immediately responded with a 4-0 run which included a kill and pair of aces from Will Ehrman to give the Tritons a 12-10 lead. The Waves slowly battled back and grabbed the lead at 17-15 after a UCSD attacking error and a Carroll kill. The game continued to be tight through the end as both teams tied at 20, 23, 24 and 25 before a 3-0 UCSD run gave the Tritons the lead at 28-25. A block by Santos and Carroll would push the Waves within one at 29-28 but UCSD closed out the game with a kill from Ross Calvin.

In the final game of the evening, Pepperdine capitalized on five UCSD errors and added kills from Carroll and Riecks to give the Waves an early 7-4 lead. However, the Tritons responded with a 3-0 run to tie the game at 7-7. Down 9-8, Pepperdine rallied on a 4-0 run with kills from Riecks and Carroll along with a pair of blocks, first from Jaynes and Santos and then from Jaynes, Carroll and junior outside hitter Brent Schirripa (Los Angeles, Calif. /Crespi Carmelite HS) for a 12-9 lead. The teams would then alternate points until a Carroll kill ended the game and match.

Next week the Waves will return to the confines of Firestone Fieldhouse for a non-conference matchup with George Mason next Saturday (March 14) at 7 p.m.

Article courtesy of Pepperdine athletics.

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