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No. 4 Pepperdine Rallies for 3-2 Road Victory, Again

Jan. 31, 2007

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The No. 4-ranked Pepperdine Waves needed all 24 of its blocks Wednesday night to rally from down 2-1 to defeat No. 6 Cal State Northridge 3-2 (43-45, 30-23, 23-30, 30-25, 15-9) in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action before 944 at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif.

For the second time this season, Pepperdine (6-1, 5-1 MPSF) sophomore Paul Carroll topped the 30-kill mark with 31 to go along with three aces, seven digs and three blocks. Setter Jonathan Winder recorded the first triple-double of his career with a 63-assist, 14-dig, 13-block performance and Tom Hulse tied his career-high of 14 blocks which he set four day ago against then-No. 1 UC Irvine. Hulse added 11 kills.

Jon Grobe contributed 12 kills to go along with 14 digs, while John Parfitt added 10 kills in the victory.

Eric Vance's 24 kills led Northridge (4-6, 3-4 MPSF), Isaac Kneubuhl added 22 and Ryan Adams ended the night with 16.

The first play of game five set the tone for game as Carroll and Greg Gaudino teamed up to stuff Vance. In building a 10-3 lead, Pepperdine recorded three more blocks, including consecutive blocks by Hulse first with Parfitt, then with Winder. Northridge managed to pull within four at 13-9 but following a Sean Pedersen serving error the match came to a fitting end as Hulse and Schleppenbach blocked Vance.

Pepperdine quickly jumped out to a three-point 6-3 lead in game one, an advantage it would maintain as Parfitt drove home a Northridge overpass making the score 12-9. Adams cut the Waves' lead down to one on consecutive kills and Kevin McKniff won a joust at the net to complete the Matador's comeback. Following a Northridge service error, the Matadors took their first lead of the night 14-13 on back-to-back kills. After a Carroll service ace tied the game at 19-all, Northridge went on a 4-0 run to take its largest lead of the set 23-19. Vance served into the net to stop the run and Grobe's fourth kill of the game pulled Pepperdine within two as the teams went into a sideout battle. Trailing 28-25, Schleppenbach and Hulse teamed up to stuff Adams and two Carroll kills later the Waves were serving for the game 29-28. Vance would tie the game at 29-29 on the ensuing play.

Pepperdine would serve for the game seven straight times and appeared to have won the game 36-34 after playing a ball out of one of the gym's basketball supports. On the play, Schleppenbach's attack was ruled in by the line judge but Marvin Hall, serving as the up-official, overruled the original call and play continued tied at 35-35.

A few plays later, a McKniff serve hit the tape and trickled over the net to give Northridge its first serve at the match leading 37-36. The Matadors would get two more cracks at the game until Vance was rejected at the net by Grobe and Gaudino and setter Travis Bluemling was cited for a double contact as Pepperdine regained the lead 40-39.

The teams traded points until the Pepperdine led 43-42. Kneubuhl then converted on three straight kills to end the longest game in Waves' history, topping the previous mark of 41-39 against Stanford in 2003.

In the game, Pepperdine hit .439 and was led by Carroll's 13 kills on .591 hitting. Northridge hit .409 and was paced by Vance's 11 kills on .450 hitting.

Game two started off as a close battle with six ties and two lead changes to a 9-9 stalemate. From there it was all Pepperdine and a 3-0 run gave the Waves a 12-9 lead. Pepperdine would extend its lead to five at 17-12. The lead would grow even larger following a 4-0 run before the Waves would lead by as many as 10, 29-19, en route to tying the match at 1-1.

Northridge took control of game three after a Kneubuhl kill broke a 9-9 tie. The Matador run would reach 4-0 after consecutive Pepperdine miscues. Northridge extended its lead to as many as 10, 26-16, before a late surge by the Waves closed the gap to six. It would not be enough in the end as the home team took a 2-1 lead in the match.

Pepperdine would send the match the distance by taking game four after racing out to an early 9-3 lead. Northridge managed to close the gap to one at 11-10 and then again at 16-15. A Vance hitting error was followed by an ace from Carroll giving Pepperdine an 18-15 lead. The Waves extended their lead to five after Winder and Gaudino teamed up to block Kneubuhl and Grobe secured his second double-double of the season with his 10th kill of the night. From there the Pepperdine lead was never threatened.

The Waves return to action Saturday night when they travel to No. 3 UC Santa Barbara at Rob Gym. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. PT first serve.