Feb. 12, 2005
MALIBU, Calif. - Prior to Saturday's volleyball match against No. 6-ranked BYU, Pepperdine honored its 1985 NCAA National Championship team but even the 25-2 '85 team would have had its hands full at Firestone Fieldhouse as the No. 2-ranked Waves had their way with the Cougars, posting a 3-0 (30-20, 30-28, 30-14) victory in Malibu.
In the winning effort, Pepperdine (9-1, 9-1 MPSF) hit .500 as a team committing just five attack errors, while turning in 13.5 total blocks.
The Waves picked up right where they had left off Friday's match, jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the opening frame which forced the Cougars (7-6, 2-4 MPSF) to burn an eraly timeout. The lead would be extended to eight at 13-5 after a Tom Hulse kill was followed by a Hulse service ace. Things would get no better for BYU as they struggled at the service line, the point of attack and on defense. BYU committed three service errors without benefit on an ace and was blocked five times as the Waves hit .520 (15-2-25) for the game.
Sean Rooney's 13 kills on 30 swings with one error paved the way for the Pepperdine offense, while opposite hitter John Mayer concluded his stellar week of play with an 11-kill, five-dig, two-ace performance and hit a match-best .667.
"I have to give a lot of credit to our setter Jonathan Winder," commented Mayer. "We passed the ball really well this weekend and he made some great sets which makes it easier on the attackers. I feel like I am starting the see the block a lot better than I was earlier in the year and every week I am gaining more experience to being outside as opposed to setting."
Michael Burke had another strong outing banging home nine kills on 14 swings (.571), while Ivan Perez led the Cougars with 12 kills.
Things started to heat up between the two teams early in game three. After a Rooney attack hit BYU's Taylor Evans in the back row, a Perez kill made the game 4-3 in Pepperdine's favor. Perez uttered something in the direction of Rooney before down official Marvin Hall stopped play and gave the teams a warning. After a BYU block and an Evans kill knotted the game at 4-4, the Waves kicked into gear. A pair of Rooney kills was followed by one of Andy Hein's three aces and a block from Hulse and Rooney. The 4-0 spurt opened the flood gates as Pepperdine would build up a 24-12 advantage, including an 8-0 run with John Parfitt at the service line. Fittingly, it was a solo block from Jon Grobe which sealed the Cougars fate.
Game two of the day was the most competitive on the afternoon as the two teams battled to a 16-16 tie. Back-to-back Rooney blasts gave the Waves a two-point lead before a Burke kill closed the gap to 19-18. But a kill from Mayer and a block assists from Mayer and Hulse gave Pepperdine the 21-18 lead and the momentum it would need to take the two games to none lead.
With seven consecutive victories the Waves are off to their best start since the 2003 campaign when the team opened the season 14-1. Pepperdine will have a few days off before returning to the court on Wednesday, Feb. 23, when it hosts CS Northridge.