The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team will continue Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action this Wednesday and Saturday, as the Waves host California Baptist and USC in Firestone Fieldhouse.
MATCH 5 – Wednesday (January 25) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine (2-2, 0-1 MPSF) vs. Cal Baptist (2-5, 1-3 MPSF), at 7 p.m. (PT).
MATCH 6 – Saturday (January 28) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.: No. 9 Pepperdine (2-2, 0-1 MPSF) vs. USC (2-5, 1-3 MPSF), at 2 p.m. (PT).
COVERAGE – Can’t make it out to the match? No problem! PepperdineWaves.com offers a wide variety of FREE options to follow along with all your favorite teams. WaveCasts broadcasts all home matches for free on your computer or mobile device. Veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein will once again serve as the voice of Pepperdine volleyball in 2017. Links to any available live stats, video and audio can always be found by clicking on a particular event on the men’s volleyball schedule page at PepperdineWaves.com.
TICKETS – Admission to home matches is $8 for adults and $5 for alumni, children, seniors and students. Admission to regular-season home events is free for Pepperdine students, faculty and staff with a valid Pepperdine ID. Call the Ticket Office at (866) WAVE-TIX for more information.
SOCIAL MEDIA – 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.
THE NO. 9 WAVES – The Waves currently have a 2-2 record with a 0-1 record against MPSF opponents. The Waves average 13.56 kills/set on a .293 hitting percentage, while adding 12.67 assists/set, 1.33 aces/set, 9.17 digs/set and 1.67 blocks/set. The team ranks 2nd nationally with 30.11 attacks/set and 13.56 kills/set, 3rd in assists/set and 6th in digs/set at this point in the season.
Michael Wexter leads the team with 63 total kills, averaging 3.50 kills/set on a .278 hitting percentage. He has also produced six aces and adds 0.67 blocks/set. David Wieczorek leads the squad with 3.87 kills/set on a .398 success rate and Alex Harthaller also picks up 2.38 kills/set. Joshua Stewart and Soren Dion-Kindem split the playmaking duties with 10.25 and 10.75 assists/set respectively. Wexter leads the team alongside Mitchell Penning with 12 total blocks to average 0.67 blocks/set.
WAVES OPEN MPSF – Last week, Pepperdine opened Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action at home with a match against Stanford. The Cardinal bested the Waves in the four-set match after close 29-27, 25-16, 13-25 and 26-24 final set scores. The Waves produced a .207 hitting percentage on 48 kills after 121 swings, while adding eight aces, 30 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The Lancers were good for a .252 success rate with 59 kills on 123 swings, while adding three aces, 46 digs and 8.0 blocks.
Michael Wexter led the team with 13 kills and five blocks, while adding two aces and five digs. Clay Carr also picked up five blocks along with six kills on a .500 output. Alex Harthaller led the squad with three aces and David Wieczorek and Owen Yoshimoto tallied six digs. Wieczorek also amassed 12 kills and an ace. Joshua Stewart and Soren Dion-Kindem led the team with 22 and 20 assists respectively.
OPPONENT NOTES: CAL BAPTIST LANCERS – The Lancers have a 2-5 overall record and have gone 1-3 against conference opponents so far this season. The Waves hold a 14-2 overall record against the Lancers, including a perfect 10-0 record when playing in Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine is currently on a six-match winning streak against Cal Baptist, including two wins in the 2016 season, first a straight-set win on the road and then a four-setter at home. The Lancers amass a .226 hitting percentage with 9.39 kills/set, 8.61 assists/set, 1.04 aces/set, 5.50 digs/set and 1.88 blocks/set. The team allows opponents a .333 hitting percentage.
OPPONENT NOTES: USC TROJANS – The Trojans have gone 2-5 overall and 1-3 against MPSF opponents so far this season. All-time, the Waves hold a 61-37 overall record against USC, including a 29-13 record in Firestone. Last season, the two teams split with USC taking the first win in Los Angeles in five sets and the Waves sweeping the Trojans in Firestone in the second match-up of the season. This season, USC has amassed a .273 success rate after averaging 11.69 kills/set. The Trojans also post 11.21 assists/set, 0.93 aces/set, 7.28 digs/set and 2.05 blocks/set, while allowing opponents a .312 attack output.
LAST SEASON HIGHLIGHTS – In the 2016 season, the Waves went 13-11 overall and 12-10 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, tabbing a 7-5 record at home and an even 6-6 output in away venues. The squad went 8-10 against nationally ranked opponents, highlighting the season with road wins over top-ranked BYU in four sets and 3rd-ranked Stanford in a reverse sweep towards the end of the season. The Waves were road warriors during the year, defeating No. 3 Stanford in reverse-sweep fashion on the road in one week before downing top-ranked BYU in four sets in the following week.
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.