THE FACTS - The #5-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team will try to recapture the magic of 2008, when despite being the #5 seed, the Waves won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament crown without playing a home match. The fifth-seeded Waves begin the 2010 tournament on Saturday after a long trip to fourth-seeded Hawaii.
MATCH #26 - Saturday (April 24) at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii: #5-seeded Pepperdine (16-9, 14-8, tied for fourth place, ranked #5) at #4-seeded Hawaii (18-9, 14-8, tied for fourth place, ranked #4) at 7 p.m. HT/10 p.m. PT.
ON THE WEB - Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can listen to Pepperdine alum Tiff Wells' internet radio broadcast of Saturday's match at Hawaii. A link to Hawaii's live stats page will also be available on www.pepperdinesports.com. Go to the "Wave Casts" link toward the top of the home page to find more information.
RANKINGS - The Waves began the season at #4 in the AVCA preseason poll, fell as low as #11, then quickly rose up and held the #1 ranking for two weeks. The Waves slipped back to #5 this week, their lowest since early February. Only once previously has a team ever been ranked #1 after being outside the top 10 (Lewis, 2003).
HAWAII - Pepperdine is 37-23 all-time against Hawaii after the two schools split the regular-season series. The Waves have won six straight matches in Honolulu, sweeping series in 2009, 2007 and 2005. In the MPSF Tournament, the Waves have won two of three previous meetings. The Warriors won in the 1996 first round in Honolulu. The Waves won in the 1998 semifinals at UCLA and in the 2002 final in Malibu.
FIRST MATCH VS. HAWAII - Back on March 26 at Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Waves claimed a harder-than-it-looked three-game sweep of the Warriors, 30-26, 34-32, 30-26. Each game was close until the end, when the Waves were able to pull away. In the second game, Pepperdine rallied from a 28-24 deficit. Cory Riecks had 17 kills, Maurice Torres had 14 and J.D. Schleppenbach had 13. The Waves had advantages of .333-.200 in hitting and 13.5-7.5 in blocks.
SECOND MATCH VS. HAWAII - Back on March 27 at Firestone Fieldhouse ... The Warriors turned the tables on the Waves one night later with a 30-21, 34-32, 30-24 victory, which knocked Pepperdine out of a first-place tie in the MPSF. The Warriors had a .367-.195 hitting edge. Cory Riecks had 14 kills and J.D. Schleppenbach added 13.
MPSF TOURNAMENT HISTORY - Pepperdine is looking for its first MPSF title since 2008 and fifth overall. The #5 seed has worked out well the last two years, as the Waves won the tournament from that spot in 2008, as did USC in 2009 (beating Pepperdine in the final). Overall, the Waves have a 22-12 record in 16 previous tournaments.
2010 TOURNAMENT - The MPSF Tournament semifinals and final are April 29 and May 1 at the highest-remaining seed following Saturday's first-round matches. The other three contests are #8-seed UC Irvine at #1-seed Stanford, #7-seed UCLA at #2-seed BYU and #6-seed USC at #3-seed Cal State Northridge.
LAST WEEK - Pepperdine's streak of five-set matches extended to five of the last six as road contests at #10 Long Beach State and #14 UC San Diego both went the distance. The Waves came from two games down and fought off three match points to beat the 49ers (29-31, 28-30, 31-29, 31-29, 15-13), but couldn't finish off the Tritons in a loss (28-30, 30-27, 19-30, 30-27, 15-12). It was a costly defeat, as it knocked the Waves from the #2 seed in the MPSF Tournament down to #5. Cory Riecks had a career-high 25 kills in both matches. The Waves hit better than .400 in both matches (.407 at LBSU, .404 at UCSD).
NCAA STATS - In this week's national statistics provided by the NCAA, Pepperdine is third in hitting percentage (.337), fifth in kills (15.86) and sixth in blocks (3.11) ... Kasey Crider is first in the nation in assists (14.16) ... Tyler Jaynes is fourth in blocks (1.56) ... Cory Riecks is 15th in hitting percentage (.393).
MPSF STATS - In the conference, Pepperdine is second in hitting percentage (.337), second in blocks (3.11), fourth in kills (15.86), 10th in opponent hitting percentage (.294), 10th in digs (9.02) and 12th in service aces (0.82) ... Kasey Crider is first in assists (14.16) ... Tyler Jaynes is second in blocks (1.56) and seventh in hitting percentage (.437) ... Rodnei Santos is eighth in blocks (1.13).
NUMBER 500 - Hall of Famer Marv Dunphy reached another major milestone with his 500th career victory in the four-game win vs. Cal State Northridge on Feb. 26. It appears Dunphy is only the fifth men's volleyball coach to reach the 500-win plateau (the NCAA does not keep official records). He began the 2010 season, his 27th at Pepperdine, with 491 wins and four NCAA championships.
CAREER RECORDS WATCH - Sean Grubbs is #3 all-time at Pepperdine in digs per game (2.08) and #6 in total digs (644) ... J.D. Schleppenbach is #4 in total digs (682) and #4 in games played (402) ... Kasey Crider is #4 in assists per game (12.71) and #6 in total assists (2,848) ... Tyler Jaynes is #5 in blocks per game (1.40).
SEASON RECORDS WATCH - In the rally-scoring era ... Kasey Crider is on pace to set the school record for assists per game (14.16) and is #4 in total assists (1,402) ... Tyler Jaynes needs 10 kills to qualify for hitting percentage, where he would rank sixth (.437), and he's also tied for fifth in blocks (154) ... Rodnei Santos is currently #9 in hitting percentage (.413) ... Sean Grubbs is currently #5 in digs per game (2.15) and #8 in total digs (213)
2010 HIGHLIGHTS - Pepperdine has beaten #1-ranked teams twice and #2-ranked teams twice ... The Waves won the preseason McDonald's International Tournament in Kamloops, B.C., beating three Canadian teams in exhibition play ... Pepperdine won at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion for the sixth time in the last seven visits ... Maurice Torres had 28 kills in Pepperdine's five game-win vs. then-#1 USC on Jan. 29, and the 28 kills tied a freshman record at Pepperdine in the rally-scoring era (Sean Rooney also had 28 in 2002) ... Pepperdine came back from a 2-0 deficit to win at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 3 ... Tyler Jaynes had 11 block assists to help the Waves' to their second win over a #1 team, on Feb. 5 in four games at Cal State Northridge ... Pepperdine swept the season series with USC after sweeping the then-#2 Trojans at the Galen Center on Feb. 12 ... Cory Riecks hit .800 (17-1-20) in a win vs. then-#2 Stanford on Feb. 19, which tied the fifth-best hitting percentage by a Pepperdine individual in the rally-scoring era ... Pepperdine's team hitting percentage of .544 vs. Stanford was the third-best in the rally-scoring era ... J.D. Schleppenbach had a career-high 24 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs (tying the fourth-highest individual total by a Pepperdine player in the rally-scoring era) in the victory vs. then-#5 Cal State Northridge on Feb. 26 ... Pepperdine earned a rare win in Provo, winning at then-#4 BYU for only the second time in the last nine matches there ... The Waves recorded their second five-game comeback win over UCSB at home on March 13, and Maurice Torres recorded a triple-double with 16 kills, 10 digs and 10 blocks. It was only the second triple-double by a Pepperdine player in the last 10 years (Jonathan Winder, 2007).
2010 HONORS - At the McDonald's International Tournament, Kasey Crider was named MVP, Rodnei Santos made the all-tournament team and Sean Grubbs was selected as the top libero ... Maurice Torres was named MPSF co-Player of the Week on Feb. 1 ... Tyler Jaynes was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Feb. 8 as well as MPSF co-Player of the Week ... Cory Riecks was named Sports/Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Feb. 22 as well as MPSF co-Player of the Week ... J.D. Schleppenbach was named MPSF co-Player of the Week on March 1 ... Maurice Torres was named MPSF co-Player of the Week for the second time this season on March 15.
DUNPHY - Marv Dunphy, now in his 27th season as head coach of the Waves, 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 2010 season with a career record of 491-189 (.722). Dunphy has long been involved with USA Volleyball, having been part of the coaching staff at five Olympics, including head coach of the 1988 team and consultant coach for the 2008 squad, both of which won gold. He has been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994) and AVCA Hall of Fame (2009).
ASSISTANTS - Former Pepperdine All-American J.J. Riley is in his second stint with the Waves. He was a student athlete from 1995-99 and was an assistant coach in the 2000 season ... After two seasons as a video coordinator and volunteer assistant, David Hunt was elevated to full-time assistant coach this season. He was honored in early February as part of the AVCA's Thirty Under 30, which recognizes up-and-coming coaches under the age of 30.
ROSTER - The Waves return 11 of 14 letterwinners and four starters plus the libero from the 2009 squad (plus a starter from the 2008 squad that was injured last season). Pepperdine returns two other players from last year's team, plus adds a transfer, two true freshmen and two new walk-ons to the roster for a total of 19 players. There are seven seniors, five juniors, four sophomores, one redshirt freshman and two true freshmen.
MPSF POLL - In a preseason vote of the MPSF coaches, Pepperdine was chosen to finish fifth in 2010. The teams were ranked as follows: USC, UC Irvine, Stanford, BYU, Pepperdine, UCLA, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and Pacific.
LAST YEAR - Pepperdine had another typically outstanding season, but fell just a point short of making the NCAA Championships. The Waves went 22-5 overall and placed second in the MPSF regular season with an 18-4 record. They also finished second in the MPSF Tournament, falling to USC in the final in five games (the fifth set was decided by a score of 21-19). Unfortunately, top-ranked UC Irvine was selected for the lone at-large bid to the NCAAs. The Waves were #3 in the final AVCA poll. Paul Carroll ended his tremendous career by being named the National Player of the Year. He led the nation in kills for the second straight season and was named an All-American first teamer for the third time. Kasey Crider was named an All-American second teamer by Volleyball Magazine. Crider and Sean Grubbs were All-MPSF honorable mention.
VOLLEYBALL HISTORY - Pepperdine has won five NCAA men's volleyball championships, second only to UCLA. The Waves have won the MPSF Tournament four times and have won or shared nine regular-season conference titles. Pepperdine has won either an MPSF regular-season or tournament title in seven of the last 12 seasons. The Waves have finished in the top six in the final AVCA poll in each of the last 13 seasons. Pepperdine student-athletes have won national player of the year honors eight times and All-American accolades 73 times. A Pepperdine alum has competed for the U.S. at the Olympics every time since 1984 (Sean Rooney won gold in 2008).
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men's sports - one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine's teams are ranked nationally year after year and several compete for conference and national titles.