The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team returns to road action this week with bouts at No. 14 CSUN and No. 8 Stanford on Wednesday and Saturday. Each match will have live stream available on PepperdineWaves.com.
MATCH 15 – Wednesday (March 15) at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine (6-9, 4-8 MPSF) vs. No. 14 CSUN (12-10, 5-8 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT). Watch: CSUN Live Stream
MATCH 15 – Saturday (March 18) at Burnham Pavilion & Ford Center in Palo Alto, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine vs. No. 8 Stanford (11-9, 6-7 MPSF), at 5 p.m. (PT). Watch: Stanford Live Stream
COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – Live streams for each match are available on PepperdineWaves.com. Follow men’s volleyball on Twitter and Facebook, @PeppVolleyball. Stay tuned into all Pepperdine Athletics on Instagram, @PepperdineWaves, and follow the Waves on YouTube for match highlights and special features.
UP NEXT – After the road-week, the Waves return to Malibu to close out home action with UC Irvine and UC San Diego on March 25 and 30. Senior day will be on March 30.
THE NO. 9 WAVES – Pepperdine currently ranks 9th in the AVCA Coaches Poll after producing a 6-9 overall record and a 4-8 record in the MPSF. As a team, the Waves amass 12.25 kills/set on a .275 hitting percentage, while tabbing 11.55 assists/set, 1.15 aces/set, 9.10 digs/set and 2.29 blocks/set so far this season.
David Wieczorek leads the team with 3.56 kills/set on a .328 success rate. He adds 0.53 blocks/set, 0.96 digs/set and 0.19 aces/set. Mitchell Penning leads the squad with 1.11 blocks/set this season, after amassing 60 block assists and three block solos against opponents. He also adds 1.72 kills/set on a .425 success rate. Joshua Stewart is the primary playmaker for the Waves with 9.65 assists/set and 521 total assists. He also picks up 187 digs/set and 0.67 blocks/set for his team. Weston Barnes has been big at the libero position, posting 2.21 digs/set after amassing 93 total digs in 42 sets played. Michael Wexter also tallies 2.71 kills/set on a .257 hitting output and leads the team with 18 aces to average 0.31 aces/set, while Clay Carr has averages 0.83 blocks/set.
LAST MATCHES – The Waves fell twice at home to 3rd-ranked BYU on back-to-back nights. The Cougars picked up a 25-23, 25-23, 25-17 win in the first match-up, after hitting for a .359 and tabbing seven aces and 9.5 team blocks. In that match, the Waves picked up 35 kills on a .228 success rate and added five aces and 6.5 team blocks. Noah Dyer led the team with 11 kills and added seven digs and three blocks. David Wieczorek had a team-high .353 attack output with eight kills and Mitchell Penning led the defense with three blocks and a season-high three aces. Joshua Stewart picked up 21 assists and led the squad with nine digs.
In the second match, the Cougars posted 25-22, 25-22 and 26-24 set wins with a .320 hitting percentage, five aces and 9.0 team blocks – compared to Pepperdine’s 43 kills on a .302 output with three aces and 5.5 team blocks. Michael Wexter led the team with a career-best .560 hitting percentage after tabbing 15 kills with only one error on 25 swings. He also led the team with eight digs and two aces. Penning produced five blocks, including one solo, while amassing seven kills on a .385 success rate. Wieczorek also hit for double-figures with 11 kills and Stewart led the team with 36 assists.
OPPONENT NOTES: NO. 14 CSUN MATADORS – Pepperdine has a 60-21 overall record against CSUN, dating back to 1978 when the teams first met and the Waves picked up a 3-0 win. From 1978-88, the Waves went on a 14-match winning streak, including 10 straight-set victories. From 1996-2003, Pepperdine picked up another winning streak at the 16-match mark. In recent years, the Waves have won seven-straight matches since 2013-present. CSUN ranks No. 14 in the AVCA coaches poll this week with a 12-10 overall record and a 5-8 record in the MPSF.
OPPONENT NOTES: NO. 8 STANFORD CARDINAL – The Waves have gone 52-27 overall against the Cardinal, dating back to 1974 when the teams first faced off with a 3-2 Pepperdine win as the outcome. The Waves continued to win 12-straight matches through the 1988 campaign before Stanford picked up the program’s first win over Pepperdine. The Waves have posted two six-match winning streaks from 2002-03 and 2008-09 throughout the years. In 2016, the teams faced twice with the Cardinal winning the first 3-0 before the Waves reverse-swept the team 3-2 in the second outing when Stanford was ranked No. 3 in the nation. Earlier this season, the Cardinal won a 3-1 match-up in Malibu. This season, Stanford ranks No. 8 in the AVCA coaches poll with an 11-9 overall record and a 6-7 record in MPSF action.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY – Pepperdine has won five NCAA men’s volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament three times and have won or shared 10 regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title (or both) in six of the last 15 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in 16 of the last 19 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors nine times and All-American accolades 82 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).
MARV DUNPHY – Now in his 34th season as head coach of the Waves, Marv Dunphy has time and again proven himself to be one of the top teachers in the sport. He has directed Pepperdine to four NCAA championships, each in a different decade (1978, 1985, 1992, 2005). He was the 2005 National Coach of the Year and is a three-time MPSF Coach of the Year. He entered the 2017 season with a career record of 602-265 (.694). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at seven Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. Dunphy, along with David Hunt and Joe Trinsey, were on staff when the U.S. Women’s National Team won their first-ever gold medal at a major event (including the Olympics), after winning the 2014 FIVB World Championships. He and Hunt were also a part of the coaching staff with the most recent 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the pair helped lead the team to a Bronze medal. He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), AVCA Hall of Fame (2009) and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame (2010).
ABOUT PEPPERDINE – Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I Championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 17 schools to have accomplished this feat — and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment, is the only school without football and is the only university that has not been affiliated with a “major” conference. The Waves have won a total of 25 team or individual national championships in their history. Pepperdine has also earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks No. 50 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.
News courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics.