Pepperdine Wins at UCLA in MPSF Quarterfinals


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Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 5 Pepperdine men's volleyball team defeated No. 6 UCLA in four games (30-27, 20-30, 30-21, 30-28) in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament quarterfinal match on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion.

The fifth-seeded Waves (14-10) now head to the MPSF semifinals, where they'll face No. 1 seed and host Long Beach State on Thursday (April 24) at 5:30 p.m. No. 2 seed BYU and No. 3 seed Cal State Northridge will play the other semifinal later that night.

Tickets are available through the Long Beach State ticket office (562-985-4949) or Semifinal tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth and seniors.

The Bruins defeated the Waves twice in the regular season, but both times Pepperdine was without junior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia), who was out with a wrist injury. Carroll made quite a difference tonight with a match-high 29 kills to go with 11 digs, five blocks and four service aces. It was his first double-double of the season.

Freshman outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS) added 22 kills and junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS) had 10 kills and nine digs. Senior setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) had 58 assists, five kills and five digs.

In game one, the Waves used one 3-0 run to go ahead 18-16 and then used another, with consecutive kills by Carroll, Schleppenbach and junior middle blocker Mark Hulse (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS/Rutgers-Newark), to go up 23-18. UCLA came back with a 4-0 run of their own and eventually tied the game at 27-27. But Pepperdine scored the final three points of game one, as Carroll and Hulse combined on a block, Riecks had a kill and Winder finished it off with a kill. UCLA outhit Pepperdine .371 to .364. Carroll had eight kills for the Waves.

The Bruins got seven blocks in game two and forced the Waves to just a .194 hitting percentage. The Bruins scored the first two points and never trailed. UCLA had three blocks during a 6-1 run that made the score 18-11, and the Bruins would take a double-digit lead at 24-14. UCLA hit .519 in game two.

The Waves turned it around quickly in game three, scoring four of the first five points. With a 6-5 lead, Pepperdine scored points with each of its next six servers, with runs of 2-0, 3-0, 2-0, 5-0, 3-0 and 2-0. All together, the Waves had a 17-5 run to take a 23-10 lead. Carroll had another big game with seven kills, two service aces and a block assist. The Waves hit just .273 but held the Bruins to a .000 hitting percentage with the help of six blocks.

UCLA built a 14-10 lead in game four, which prompted a Pepperdine timeout. The Waves came back with a kill by Riecks and two service aces and a kill by Carroll, tying the game at 14-14. Schleppenbach had back-to-back kills to give the Waves a 17-16 lead, but UCLA scored four of the next five points to go up 20-18. Then, two straight kills by Carroll and two UCLA attack errors put Pepperdine back ahead 22-20. Later, two straight kills by Riecks made it 24-21. UCLA got within a point several times down the stretch, but on the Waves' second match point, Carroll put down his final kill for the victory.

The Bruins (17-14) actually outhit the Waves .368 to .293 in game four and also had a better overall percentage for the match, .313 to .286.

Pepperdine sophomore libero Sean Grubbs (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor HS/Irvine Valley CC) had 11 digs. Hulse had a match-high seven blocks.

This was the fourth-ever meeting between Pepperdine and UCLA at the MPSF Tournament, and Pepperdine evened the record to 2-2.

Article courtes of Pepperdine athletics.

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