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Pepperdine Victorious in Home Finale, 3-2

April 8, 2005

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men's volleyball team finished the 2005 regular season with a perfect 12-0 home record after defeating Cal Baptist, 3-2 (27-30, 30-26, 27-30, 30-22, 15-8), Friday night at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif. The unblemished home season is just the second in the school's history as the 1976 team ended the year 6-0 in home matches. The Waves have won 10 or more home matches in eight of the last nine seasons and for the fourth year in a row.

With the match tied at one game apiece, Pepperdine (19-2) found itself down by eight, 12-4, in game three. But without the aide of a timeout, the Waves found away to battle back into the game and the match.

"I think it was really just a matter of us playing well," commented Head Coach Marv Dunphy on his team's run in the third game. "We have been off for a week and really it seems a lot longer than that. I felt like we had a good week of training but it had just been awhile since we played in a match. We really started to get better as the match wore on."

The Pepperdine run was not a fast and furious one rather the team managed to gain an extra point on its serve. Still trailing by six at 20-14, Sean Rooney connected on one of his team-leading 19 kills which was followed by a John Mayer kill and a Tom Hulse and Mayer block. Cal Baptist (21-7) would see its lead diminish to just one as Andy Hein and Jonathan Winder combined on a block capping what was a 7-2 Pepperdine run. Although the Waves would never gain the lead in the game, they used the momentum from the game to improve to 6-0 in five-game matches this season.

Rooney was joined by Mayer (11) and Hein (10) as all three finished the night with double-digit kill totals as the team turned in 57 kills and finished the night with a .304 attack percentage.

"[Cal Baptist] really has some fire power on its team," said Dunphy. "They are a very well coached team and have beaten some really good teams in our league, so tonight's win was a good one."

Seidu Ajanako and Shamsu Awudu showcased some of the Lancers' firepower each turning in 19 kills, while Shaun Dyk added 13. But CBU was ineffective down the stretch as the Waves posted 11.5 blocks in games four and five and held the Lancers to .032 and -.231 hitting, respectively.

Game one saw Pepperdine hold only a brief lead at 11-9 before a 5-0 Cal Baptist run put the Lancers ahead, 19-14. The Waves answered with a 4-0 out of a timeout and would tie the game at 25-25 before going down 1-0 in the match.

In game two it was Pepperdine with the hot hand as the Waves steamrolled their way to a commanding 18-10 lead. CBU cut the lead to three at 27-24, but it would not be enough as Pepperdine evened the match at 1-1.

Game four was nip-and-tuck with CBU leading 17-16 before Hein served the Waves to a 7-0 run. The offensive spurt was part of a 14-5 run which forced the fifth and final game.

Rooney opened the final stanza recording three kills, while Hulse combined with Winder and John Parfitt on a pair of blocks pushing the Waves out to a 6-2 lead. For Perfitt, the block set a new career-high with seven in the match. In dramatic fashion, Rooney dealt an ace on match point securing the victory.

The 2005 regular season will come to a close next week as the Waves shoot for their third Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) title in four years. Pepperdine holds a 1.5-match lead over UCLA as the Bruins have three matches left on their slate. Wednesday, April 13, Pepperdine will travel to UC Santa Barbara for a 7:00 p.m. (PT) tilt in the Thunderdome and will wrap up the season on Friday night (April 15) at Cal State Northridge. Two victories or a win combined with an UCLA loss will secure the top seed in the conference tournament for the Waves.