No. 3 Pepperdine Sweeps George Mason


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MALIBU, Calif. - Sophomore setter Kasey Crider posted a double-double with 42 assists and 12 digs to lead the #3 Pepperdine men's volleyball team to a 30-27, 30-22, 30-23 non-conference sweep of George Mason at Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

The Waves (13-2), playing their second and final non-conference match of the season, won their fourth straight. George Mason, playing its final contest of a three-match Southern California swing, dropped to 8-8. The Waves improved to 5-0 all-time against the Patriots, although this was the first meeting since 1990.

Crider (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) led the Waves to a .343 team hitting percentage. Senior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia) had a team-high 17 kills, while senior outside hitter Matt McKee (Aurora, Ill./Aurora West HS) added 11.

The Waves had a 9.5 to 5.0 edge in blocks, led by sophomore middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) and junior middle blocker Rodnei Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil/BYU), who had four apiece. Jaynes added eight kills on 13 errorless swings for a .615 hitting percentage, while Santos had seven kills.

The Patriots, who were held to a .131 hitting percentage as a team, got a match-high 20 kills from senior opposite Kyle Gramit. Junior setter Ryan Kwiatkowski had 36 assists and sophomore libero Eric Lucas had eight digs.

The Waves jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first game after a block by Jaynes, but with three straight points the Patriots evened the score at 7-7. Tied 9-9, Pepperdine went on a 4-1 run with two kills and a service ace by sophomore outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS) to take its biggest lead of the game at 14-10. George Mason rallied again, however, tying the game at 21-21 after a kill by Gramit, and eventually taking their first and only lead at 23-22 after a block by Kwiatkowski and Brandon McLaughlin. The Waves avoided a bigger deficit when Riecks and Santos got a block on the next point. Tied 25-25, the Waves earned a point on a Patriot service error, and then Jaynes got another solo block to give Pepperdine back the advantage. With a 28-27 lead, the Waves ended the game on kills by Santos and McKee.

Pepperdine led wire-to-wire in game two after scoring the first three points and then building a 5-1 lead as Carroll had an early kill and a block assist. The Waves steadily increased their lead from there. They went up by six at 11-5 after a Jaynes kill, by seven at 14-7 after another Jaynes kill, by eight at 17-9 on a Santos kill, by nine at 22-13 on a Riecks service ace and by 10 at 24-14 after a Santos kill.

The Waves didn't trail in the third game either. After a 1-1 tie, a Patriot attack error and a McKee kill put Pepperdine ahead to stay. With a 9-8 lead, the Waves went on a 7-1 run, with Jaynes collecting a service ace and a block assist, to make it 16-9. A Carroll service ace later increased the score to 18-10. George Mason would get no closer than four points at 22-18 after a Luke Maloney service ace. Pepperdine would build its lead back up, however, and ended the match on a block by senior middle blocker Mark Hulse (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS/Rutgers-Newark) and junior setter Kyle Luongo (Palmdale, Calif./Highland HS/Pierce CC).

The Waves resume Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play next week with a road match at #5 USC on Thursday (March 19) at 7 p.m.

Article courtesy of Pepperdine athletics.

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