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No. 5 Pepperdine Stuns Top-Ranked UC Irvine

Jan. 27, 2007

MALIBU, Calif. - It took just 85 minutes for fifth-ranked Pepperdine to hand top-ranked and previously unbeaten UC Irvine its first loss of the season 3-0 (30-26, 30-27, 30-23) before 1,439 Saturday night at the Bren Center in Irvine, Calif.

Pepperdine (5-1, 4-1 MPSF) was led by Paul Carroll's 16.5 points on 15 kills, Tom Hulse had 15.0 points with eight kills and a career-high 14 blocks. John Parfitt added nine kills in the sweep. Two-time All-American Jonathan Winder made his 2007 debut and dished out 40 assists with seven blocks in setting the Waves to a .412 hitting percentage.

Irvine (9-1, 4-1 MPSF) received 19.0 points on 16 kills from Matt Webber and 11.5 points on 10 kills from David Smith. As a team, the Anteaters were limited to just .231 hitting in the match and outblocked by a 16.0-6.0 margin.

After battling to an 11-11 tie in game one, Jayson Jablonsky was rejected at the net by Winder and Hulse to start Pepperdine on a 3-0 run. Hulse would add a kill and team up with Jon Grobe to cap the run. Irvine managed to tie the game at 18- and 19-all when Winder and Hulse stuffed Jablonsky. Jablonsky was errant on his next attempt as well, forcing the Anteaters in to a timeout trailing 21-19. Irvine scored consecutive points out of the stoppage but back-to-back kills by Grobe stopped the run and put Pepperdine in front for good 23-21.

Game two was a tug-of-war throughout. Both teams traded blows to the tune of 17 ties. Irvine played catch-up most of the way before finally taking its first lead at 19-18 off a Smith kill. Webber's service on the ensuing play was errant as the teams went back into a sideout battle. The score was locked at 20-, 21-, 23-, 24-, 25- and 26-all before consecutive kills by Hulse and Grobe provided the Waves with the edge they needed. Following a Webber kill, J.D. Schleppenbach buried one of his three kills on the night setting up game-point which came in the form of another Webber error.

A 5-0 run early in game three set the tone for Pepperdine which took an 8-4 lead and never looked back. Irvine was able to keep the set close, pulling within one on several occasions. Leading 15-14, the Waves' block completely shut down the Irvine attack as the Anteaters were rejected four times during a 6-0 Pepperdine run. Two of the Waves' final three points would also come via blocks.

Pepperdine will close out its current four-match conference road swing next week when it travels to Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. PT first serves.