Feb. 11, 2005
MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine's Sean Rooney tallied 17 kills Friday night at Firestone Fieldhouse and in doing so helped lift the Waves to a convincing 3-1 (30-27, 30-25, 23-30, 30-17) victory over the No. 6-ranked BYU Cougars in the first of a two-match series scheduled to conclude tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. (PT) in Malibu.
The night closed with a bang for the Waves (8-1, 8-1 MPSF) who could do no wrong in game four. With the score 7-6 in Pepperdine's favor, an Andy Hein kill sent the Waves on a 6-0 run. BYU's (7-5, 2-3 MPSF) Victor Bautista stopped the bleeding, but only momentarily. Another one of Hein's 10 kills on the night would send Pepperdine on another run, this time a 4-0 spurt which pushed the lead to 10, 17-7. Then with Hein at the service line the Waves would extend their lead to 14, 23-9, and never looked back.
Pepperdine dominated the point of attack leading to an 11.5-7.0 advantage in blocks. Hein registered six total blocks, two solo, while John Mayer chipped in four assists and Tom Hulse and Jonathan Winder each had three. Mayer added 14 kills for the Waves, while John Parfitt was solid recording 13 kills and an ace on a team-leading 23 service attempts.
BYU got 11 kills each from its two stars Michael Burke and Bautist. Burke would hit .611 for the match, while the team was limited to just .219 including a minus .097 in game four.
Trailing two games to none, BYU came out with a sense of urgency and got out to a 4-1 lead. Pepperdine would chip into the Cougar advantage by two, closing the gap to 8-6. But BYU would answer with a 5-2 run. The lead would reach seven as a Taylor Evans attack found the floor giving the `Cougs a seven-point edge, 20-13. The Waves began to make a run and pulled to within four at 23-19 but the lead was too much to overcome as BYU claimed its only game of the night.
Friday night's match seemed destined to go the distance as significant leads were hard to come by in games one and two. A sideout battle saw the score knotted at 18-18 in the opening frame. Moments later Pepperdine would gain the edge it needed on one of BYU's 19 service errors on the night. Leading 23-21, the Waves would push the lead to three on back-to-back kills from Hein and Rooney. Rooney's fourth kill of the game would set up game point and a Cougar service error would seal the victory.
Pepperdine was forced to burn a quick timeout in game two after spotting the Cougars a 3-0 lead. The two teams traded sideouts until a Hein solo block capped a 3-0 Pepperdine run to even the game at 10-all. A Winder ace would give the Waves a two-point advantage at 14-12. Still leading by two, Pepperdine would use the momentum gained from winning a long rally to push the lead to four at 24-20. The lead would reach seven at 28-21 before Pepperdine sealed the deal.
These same two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon is what should be an emotion filled gym as Pepperdine will honor the 1985 NCAA National Championship team prior to the match.