April 8, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men's volleyball team improved to 9-2 at home this season as it swept UC Santa Barbara (30-28, 30-22, 30-24) Saturday night at Firestone Fieldhouse in a late-season Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match.
Pepperdine (15-7, 14-7 MPSF) hit at a season-best clip of .560 for the three games with junior John Parfitt (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) setting the pace with 20 kills on 27 swings and two errors to hit .667. Freshman Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia) turned in a 13 kill effort on .550 hitting, while senior Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) logged 11 kills on 15 attempts with just one error to equal Parfitt's .667 effort.
UCSB (13-13, 9-11 MPSF) was without Evan Patak, their offensive leader, for the second consecutive match but still managed to turn in a .301 night hitting led by Aaron Richman's 14 kill performance. Theo Brunner was the only other Gaucho to reach double digits in kills with 12 in the loss.
Both teams took turns leading early in game three as there were 14 ties and three lead changes with the last stalemate coming at 24-24. Parfitt and Tom Hulse teamed up to block a Richman attempt which gave the Waves their final lead change of the night, 22-21. UCSB would manage to even the score once more in the frame, before a Hein kill started the home team on a 6-0 run to complete the sweep. The final point of the night came in the form of Carroll's match-best third ace of the night.
Pepperdine's block paved the way for a quick start in game two as four of the Wave's first five points in the stanza came via the block. Hein was in on all for of the stuffs en route to a seven block night. Pepperdine would finish the contest with 11 to UCSB's two. The Gauchos were never able to overcome the slow start and Parfitt and Carroll each recorded five kills in the game to give the home team a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Waves snapped a nine-game losing skid by taking a 1-0 lead in the match when Hein recorded back-to-back kills and teamed up with setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) on a block as part of a 3-0 run to erase a 28-27 deficit for the victory. Both Hein and Parfitt logged five kills in the frame as the team hit .531.
The MPSF playoff picture is still too close to call with the No. 3-6 seeds all within two games of each other heading into the final week of play. Pepperdine will try to secure a first-round playoff match at home on Sat., April 15, when it hosts USC in the 2006 season finale. First serve on senior night is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT) in Malibu.