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Epic Battle Turns to Rout as Pepperdine Sweeps Santa Barbara

Feb. 3, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An overflow crowd of 1,068 rowdy fans forced the Santa Barbara event staff to open the upper reserve stands for the first time in over six years and they were treated to a thriller during the first two games of the night. But in the end No. 4 Pepperdine proved too much for the No. 3-ranked Gauchos as the Waves improved to 7-1 on the season and 6-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play with a 3-0 (33-31, 33-31, 30-18) victory Saturday night in Santa Barbara.

Paul Carroll was stellar in a match-up of the nation's top two rightside hitters turning in 19 kills on .531 hitting. He added three aces for a team-high 22.0 points. Jonathan Winder dished out 43 assists to go along with three aces and four blocks and set the Waves to a .455 hitting clip, including .516 in game two.

John Parfitt and Greg Gaudino added eight kills apiece for Pepperdine, while Tom Hulse, who continues to be a force at the net, turned in a team-high eight blocks.

The highly touted Evan Patak led all players to 24 kills but hit just .265 and had two aces. David Kennedy had 12 kills and Theo Brunner added 11 for Santa Barbara (8-3, 6-2 MPSF).

Santa Barbara picked up the first break of game one when Patak toed the service line for the second time of the game. During the first of two 4-0 runs, Patak recorded an ace and two kills to give the home team a 10-8 lead. The second Gaucho run extended a 20-18 lead to 24-18. That is when Pepperdine began to make its push. A Santa Barbara service error was followed by an ace from Winder and a Patak attack error that sent the Gauchos retreating into a timeout.

Winder resumed play with a second ace and Grobe stopped Aaron Richman one-on-one to complete the 5-0 run. The plays later a Carroll kill tied the score at 25-25. Santa Barbara responded with a 4-1 that included a pair of blocks by Bruner and Bryan Berman. A Parfitt kill staved off the first game-point try by Santa Barbara and Carroll dealt an ace on the following point to pull Pepperdine within one 29-28.

Looking to secure the game, Santa Barbara went to Patak whose attempt was errant forcing the Gauchos into their final timeout. Bruner's sixth kill of the game gave UCSB its third game-point try of the set only to see Carroll give the Waves life. Patak's ensuing attempt hit the net and caromed out and Patak's 19th swing of the game was turned away by Hulse and Jon Grobe.

Game two was almost a carbon copy of game one as Santa Barbara got out to an early lead and Pepperdine was forced to play from behind for the better portion of the set. Trailing 18-15, Pepperdine pulled to within one after a Gaudino kill and a Winder ace. The teams traded the next few points until Patak delivered on his second ace of the night to put the home team back up by three, 23-20. The Waves answered with a 3-0 run to tie the game only to see Santa Barbara answer with a 3-0 run of its own.

Trailing 27-24, Gaudino started a 3-0 run that included consecutive hitting errors by Patak and Richman. Out of its final timeout, Santa Barbara reclaimed the lead on a Kennedy kill and would serve for the game after a Carroll attempt sailed long. Grobe fought off the first game-point try and Parfitt followed suit with his second kill of the game tying the set at 29-all. Patak put the Gauchos back on top only to see Gaudino and Parfitt give the visitors their first attempt at taking a 2-0 lead. Patak struck with his 19th kill of the night to lock the score at 31-31 only to see Carroll seal the deal with back-to-back kills.

Pepperdine jumped on Santa Barbara in game three and never let up after five blocks and a pair of Carroll aces put the Waves in command 12-4. After building a double-digit lead the excitement of the crowd faded and Pepperdine finished the contest on a Winder dump.

Pepperdine will wrap up its five-match road swing Friday night at the Galen Center in Los Angeles as it takes on USC. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.