No. 5 Pepperdine Sweeps No. 6 Stanford
Malibu, Calif. - In a match between the fifth and sixth-ranked men's volleyball teams in the country, #5 Pepperdine rolled to a three-game sweep of #6 Stanford (30-22, 30-27, 31-29) in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play at Firestone Fieldhouse on Friday night.
The win pushed the Waves (11-8, 10-8) a half-game ahead of the Cardinal (14-8, 9-8) in the MPSF standings and gave Pepperdine the season sweep and a tiebreaker advantage should the teams end up deadlocked.
Junior opposite Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia) finished with 24 kills, his sixth time in the last seven matches with at least 24 kills. He also hit .526 (24-4-38) with eight digs and four service aces. Junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS) added 12 kills.
Senior setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) had 47 assists and nine digs and directed the Pepperdine attack to a .452 hitting percentage. All six Pepperdine players that took a swing hit at least .364.
"It seems like it's been a while since we've played," Pepperdine Coach Marv Dunphy said. "We didn't serve as well as we will need to down the road. I'm looking forward to tomorrow night and every other match along the way."
Stanford had three players reach double-figures in kills: sophomore opposite Evan Romero with 17, senior outside hitter Matt Ceran with 13 and freshman outside hitter Spencer McLachlin with 10. The Cardinal ended up hitting .340 as a team.
Carroll had eight kills on nine errorless swings and added two service aces to lead the Waves to an easy game one victory. Even though Stanford hit a sizzling .476, Pepperdine bested that with a .600 hitting percentage (17-2-25). The Waves scored the first three points of the game and never trailed. Later, with a 9-6 lead, Schleppenbach had three kills during a 4-0 run, and Stanford couldn't close the gap.
The Waves didn't trail in game two either, though the Cardinal made it close at the end. Pepperdine built as much as a six-point lead, last at 18-12. Stanford made a late run to cut it to 27-26, but Carroll had a kill and a service ace to make it 29-26, and Winder ended game two with a kill two points later. Carroll added 10 more kills in game two as the Waves hit .459.
Game three saw a remarkable 27 ties and 11 lead changes. Stanford built a two-point lead at 3-1, and as the teams went back and forth, that was the only two-point lead of the game until the Cardinal's Evan Romero had back-to-back kills to put his team ahead 28-26. After a Pepperdine timeout, however, momentum shifted quickly, and the Waves' resurgent blocking led to the victory.
Junior middle blocker Mark Hulse (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township HS/Rutgers-Newark) had a solo block and a Stanford attack error tied the game at 28-28. After a Stanford timeout, Pepperdine regained the lead on a block by Hulse and Schleppenbach. Stanford's Romero tied the game again at 29-29 with a kill, but a Stanford service error and a game-ending block by Winder and freshman middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) won it for the Waves.
Five of Pepperdine's seven blocks came in game three.
This was the second of six straight home matches that will end the regular season for the Waves. They next host Pacific tomorrow (Saturday, March 29) at 7 p.m.
Article courtesy of Pepperdine athletics.