The 8th-ranked and 6th-seeded Pepperdine men’s volleyball team enters the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament on Saturday with a quarterfinal match-up against 4th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Hawai’i. The match at the Stan Sheriff Center will begin at 10 p.m. (PT) and air on OC Sports.
MATCH 22 – MPSF QUARTERFINAL – Saturday (April 15) at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i.: No. 8 Pepperdine (10-11, 8-10 MPSF) at No. 4 Hawai’i (24-4, 14-4 MPSF), at 10p.m. (PT). Watch on OCSports
COVERAGE/SOCIAL MEDIA – The matches will have live stream available with links to be found of PepperdineWaves.com. Follow @PeppVolleyball on Twitter for immediate updates throughout the match. Check onwww.PepperdineWaves.com for updates, results and more.
UP NEXT – Pending a win, the Waves will play next in the MPSF semifinal onApril 20.
MPSF TOURNAMENT – The Waves enter the tournament as the No. 6 seed and face 4th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Hawai’i in Honolulu on April 15. No. 1 Long Beach State tabbed the top-seed and will face 10th-ranked and 8th-seeded USC. No. 2 BYU picked up the 2nd-seed and will host 9th-ranked and 7th-seeded Stanford. No. 5 UC Irvine is the fourth-seed and will host 6th-ranked and 5th-seeded UCLA. The semifinal round will be at host sites on April 20.
MPSF TOURNAMENT: A WAVES HISTORY – This season marks the 23rd that Pepperdine has earned a berth in the MPSF tournament, with four MPSF championship titles and a 25-18 all-time tournament record for a .581 success rate. Pepperdine first won the tournament in 1998 when the Waves defeated top-ranked and top-seeded UCLA with a four-set match as the third-seed. As the top-seed in 2002, the team defeated 2nd-seeded Hawai’i in four sets in Malibu and in the NCAA Championship run in 2005, Pepperdine downed 2nd-seeded Long Beach State in a three-set bout.
The last time the Waves won the MPSF tournament was in 2008 when the team entered as the No. 5 seed and bested 4th-seeded UCLA, top-seeded Long Beach State and 2nd-seeded BYU to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. The last time the Waves reached the finals was in 2015, when Pepperdine fell in four sets to top-seeded UC Irvine. Last season, the Waves were downed in the quarterfinal match-up at 3rd-seeded Long Beach State in three sets.
THE NO. 8 WAVES – The Waves earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament for the second consecutive year after going 10-11 overall and 8-10 in the MPSF throughout the regular season. Pepperdine currently ranks 8th in the nation after averaging 12.22 kills/set, 11.45 assists/set, 1.05 aces/set, 9.02 digs/set and 2.37 blocks/set this season. On 2,296 total attacked, the team has amassed 1,039 kills and only 355 errors for a .285 hitting percentage.
David Wieczorek leads the team with 3.89 kill/set on a .361 success rate this season. He has also amassed 0.21 aces/set, 1.02 digs/set and 0.61 blocks/set for the Waves. Michael Wexter is next on the attack front with 2.59 kills/set on a .239 output, along with leading the team with 0.26 aces/set and adding 1.66 digs/set and 0.59 blocks/set. Mitchell Penning has a team-best 1.11 blocks/set this season on 91 total blocks including six solo rejections. He adds 1.57 kills/set, 0.17 aces/set and 0.44 digs/set to the Waves’ effort as well. Weston Barnes led the team in the back row with 2.01 digs/set on 135 total digs. He has only posted 22 receiving errors all season, while amassing 461 total reception attempts for a .952 success rate. Soren Dion-Kindem is leading in the playmaking duties recently, posting 10.15 assists/set and adding 2.12 digs/set for Pepperdine.
LAST MATCH-UPS VS. TRITONS & ANTEATERS – Last weekend, the Waves closed out regular season action with match-ups against UC San Diego and 5th-ranked UC Irvine, going 1-1 with a four-set win over the Tritons and a tough five-set loss to the Anteaters. First against UCSD, the Waves amassed a .394 hitting percentage with 57 kills on 109 swings, also posting two aces, 34 digs and 6.0 team blocks. The opposition was good for a .312 success rate with 51 kills on 109 attempts, while adding three aces, 28 digs and 5.5 blocks. David Wieczorek led the squad with a career-best 28-kills on a career-high .591 attack output, while also leading the team with two aces. Mitchell Penning posted a team-high four blocks, including one solo rejection and Soren Dion-Kindem tabbed a team-best 44-assists.
Pepperdine then closed out the regular season with a five-set match-up against UCI. The Waves tallied a .256 success rate with 53 kills on 121 attempts, while adding three aces, 35 digs and 12.0 team blocks. The Anteaters excelled on the attack with 74 kills on a .354 output, and added seven aces, 41 digs and 9.0 team blocks for the win. Wieczorek led the team again with 19 kills, while possessing eight digs and three blocks. Clay Carr led the squad with five blocks, while Penning also amassed four blocks and eight kills on a .636 attack output. Dion-Kindem was solid with his fifth-career double-double after putting up 46 assists, 10 digs and four blocks. Noah Dyer posted 10 kills on a career-best .360 hitting percentage and Michael Wexter added eight kills as well.
OPPONENT NOTES: NO. 4 HAWAI’I – Pepperdine holds a 43-33 overall record against Hawai’i, dating back to the 1981 campaign when the two teams first met and the Waves won in straight sets. The longest Waves’ winning streak was six-consecutive matches, which occurred three times: 1983-85, 1990-95 and 1997-2000. The last time Pepperdine posted wins in Honolulu were in 2009 when the team won back-to-back four-set matches. Last season, the Waves and Rainbow Warriors split the two matches in Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine took the first night in straight sets, but UH picked up the second match in four. This season, UH has a 24-4 regular season record and finishes 14-4 in the MPSF, earning the third-seed in the tournament. The team is currently on a four-match winning streak with two most recent series wins against 15th-ranked CSUN in three sets and four sets, and two wins against 6th-ranked UCLA in four sets each. The Rainbow Warriors have gone 17-0 when playing at home this season.
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 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.