Feb. 23, 2007
MALIBU, Calif. - Tom Hulse recorded nine total blocks - two solo - in game three to help propel the top-ranked Pepperdine Waves to a 3-1 (24-30, 32-30, 30-22, 30-21) victory over the No. 9-ranked Pacific Tigers Friday night at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.
The win was the 10th straight for Pepperdine which improves to 13-1 on the season and 11-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MSPF) play.
Pacific falls to 8-8, 6-6 in league play.
Feeding off the emotion of tying the match at 1-1, Pepperdine opened game three with a 9-4 run that was capped by the first of five Hulse-Jonathan Winder blocks in the frame. Pacific answered back and following Dan Hammer's solo block the set was knotted at 10-all. Hammer, Pekka Seppanen and Matt Cornell teamed up for a block that gave the Tigers their second lead in the game 12-11. Pacific maintained its advantage until a J.D. Schleppenbach kill started a 4-0 run that included two more blocks from Pepperdine's formidable front line.
With Pepperdine leading 22-19, Hulse picked up his first solo block of the night and teamed up with Schleppenbach on the ensuing point extending the lead to 24-19. Hulse was a part of the final four plays of the momentum-changing frame, recording a kill, teaming with Winder on a block of Andreas Baboulidis, solo blocking Simon Chen-Byerley and teaming with Winder to block Baboulidis on game point.
Pacific played tenacious defense to start the match limiting Pepperdine to just 13 kills on 39 swings with six blocks. The Tigers added 15 digs and were led by Garrett Morales' five. Pacific broke an 8-8 tie with a 3-0 run in which Cornell recorded two kills and was in on a triple block. The Tigers extended their lead to as many as six 23-17 following an ace by Hammer. Pepperdine cut the lead down to three with a 3-0 run but never get any closer.
Pepperdine started game two with an 8-2 run but undaunted, Pacific answered with a 7-1 run to lock the score at 9-all. Two Tiger miscues ended the run and kept the lead in the home team's favor, 11-9. Paul Carroll recorded three of his match-leading 26 kills to help push the Waves' lead to five at 18-13. Again, Pacific fought back to within one, 21-20, off a Baboulidis kill at which point the game became a sideout battle. On Pepperdine's first match-point try Cornell came through with a kill that was followed by a Chen-Byerley kill that locked the game at 29-all. Cornell was errant on the next play but a kill from Seppanen created a 30-30 stalemate. Carroll gave the Waves their third try to even the match at 1-1 which happened on a disputed hitting error by Seppanan.
Trailing 6-5 early in game four, Pepperdine scored five unanswered points to seize control of the game and the match. The Waves, who trailed Pacific in team blocks much of the night, recorded five in the decisive set which fittingly ended when Jon Grobe and Greg Gaudino rejected a Cornell attempt on match-point.
Carroll recorded the second double-double of his career adding a team-best 12 digs to his team-high kill total. Grobe chipped in with 15 kills and Schleppenbach had 11. Hulse led all players with 13 total blocks, while Gaudino and Winder finished the night with seven and six, respectively. As a team, Pepperdine turned in 20.0 blocks to Pacific's 13.5.
Cornell's 20 kills led Pacific. Baboulidis finished the night with 11 and Seppenan had 10. Baboulidis added 10 digs, while Morales had a team-high 11. The Tigers who hit .424 in game one, finished the match at .168.Pepperdine will return to action Wednesday night when it takes a break from league play to face Johnson Wales at 7 p.m. PT in Malibu.
NOTES: Pepperdine's 10-match win streak is the longest in the MPSF this season ... it is the longest win streak for the Waves since the end of the 2005-start of the 2006 season when the team won 13 straight ... it is the longest single-season win streak since the 2005 team won 15 straight ... Tom Hulse's 13 total blocks is tied for the fifth-best performance of the rally-scoring era in school history ... it is also the second-best mark for blocks in a four-game match ... Paul Carroll's 26 kills is one shy of the school mark for kills in four-game match during the rally-scoring era ... his 29.5 points is tied for the sixth-best total of the rally-scoring era ... the 20.0 team blocks is tied for the third-best mark for a four-game match in the rally-scoring era.