March 17, 2005
MALIBU, Calif. - After cruising through games one and two Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse, the No. 1-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team dropped game three and had to rally in the fourth to get past USC, 3-1 (30-23, 30-22, 29-31, 30-28), in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action.
Trailing 28-27 in game four, Pepperdine's (15-1, 15-1 MPSF) John Parfitt and Andy Hein recorded back-to-back-to-back kills to secure the Waves' 13th consecutive victory of the season and sweep the season series against the Trojans (6-18, 2-14 MPSF).
All-American Sean Rooney set the tone with 22 kills on the night as he hit .432 with eight digs. Parfitt chipped in 21, while John Mayer and Hein added 13 and 11, respectively. Tom Hulse (.462), Rooney (.432), Mayer (.429) and Hein (.421) all hit over .400 for the match as the team checked in at a .388 clip.
Four Trojans tallied double-digit kill efforts on the night, led by Andrew Vernon's 13 on 20 swings (.600). Fernando Barron and Joao Grangeiro each finished the night with 12, while Chris McKniff recorded 10 in the losing effort.
A sluggish Pepperdine team found itself down by four early, 10-6, after a Grangeiro kill. A Jimmy Killian service error started what would be a 10-0 Pepperdine run that saw Parfitt pound out three kills and Jonathan Winder record a solo block and team with Hein on a stuff on consecutive points. Leading 16-10, the Waves never looked back as the team hit .429 with 18 kills and just three errors on 35 swings.
In game two, consecutive blocking errors by USC's Grangeiro started a 6-0 Wave run that would give Pepperdine an eight-point edge, 26-18, before a Rooney kill put the Trojans in a two-games-to-none hole. Again, Pepperdine used a pin-point attack recording 19 kills on 31 swings with just three errors (.516).
After trailing much of game three, USC began to rally and used a 5-2 run to knot the game at 16-16. The Waves would gain a two-point advantage on kills from Parfitt and Rooney only to see the Trojans even the game back up at 24-all. The first Trojan lead of the game came on the following point as Grangeiro recorded his fourth kill of the game, making the score 25-24. USC took a 28-26 lead moments later before consecutive Rooney kills tied the game up at 28. Following a tie at 29-29, Vernon made true on an attack and Mayer's attempt to answer sailed wide sending the match to a fourth game.
The Trojans raced out to a 5-1 lead in game five before a 4-0 run locked the game at 5-5. USC would hold leads of 13-11, 15-13 and 19-17 before Hein, Winder and Parfitt connected on consecutive swings to give Pepperdine its first lead of the game at 23-21. The Trojans would tie the game back up three more times in the game with the last coming at 28. With the score tied Evan Burden chose to play a Hulse serve which appeared to be headed long. The result would lead to Hein's final kill of the night as Parfitt ended the match on the next play.
The Waves will return to action Saturday night at home against #11 Pacific (12-11, 6-9 MPSF). The Tigers fought Pepperdine to five games in the season opener on Jan. 14 in Stockton, Calif. First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m. (PT) in Malibu.