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Waves Clinch MPSF Conference Title

April 15, 2005

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Pepperdine capped off a 20-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) season Friday night with a 3-1 (30-26, 25-30, 30-26, 30-22) victory over No. 8-ranked Cal State Northridge on Wells Fargo Court in the Matadome. With the victory, the Waves capture their third MPSF title in the last four seasons.

Pepperdine (21-2) turned in a dominating night at the net, led by Andy Hein's career-high 14 blocks as the team ended the match with a commanding 23.5-7.0 advantage. Freshman Jonathan Winder reached a career-high with 10 total blocks, while Sean Rooney and John Parfitt logged seven each and Tom Hulse recorded three.

Offensively, Rooney's 21 kills led all players, while Parfitt and Mayer finished the night with 12 each and Hein had nine.

Northridge was paced by Nils Nielsen's 16 kills, while Brian Waite and James Lischer tacked on 14 and 12, respectively. The team hit just .123 for the match.

"We have been good over time and that is something I respect with this group of guys," noted head coach Marv Dunphy. "I don't want to under mind the conference, but nobody is counting conference championships, we want to be good at the end and there are some things we definitely need to work on before our next match."

With Northridge (17-13, 10-12 MPSF) trailing 2-1 in the match, Pepperdine slammed the door shut on any comeback attempts in game four. The Waves attack was swift and precise in game four as the Waves connected on 31 percent of their swings compared to just three for CSUN. With six errorless kills and a pair of blocks, Pepperdine built up a 10-5 lead. The lead would continue to grow from there as the Waves continued to score points in bunches until a Matt Bellante service sailed long bringing the match to a close.

Northridge got off to a fast start in the first frame, jumping out on the Waves 5-1 after kills from Hanson and Lischer. A kill by Rooney would cut the lead to two at 6-4. The lead would stay at two until a Rooney service error and Parfitt attack sailed long aided a 6-2 CSUN run, forcing Marv Dunphy to call for a timeout. Out of the stoppage, Mayer recorded his third kill of the game which was followed by the first Pepperdine block of the night, recorded by Hein, Winder and Parfitt. The two points would be the start of a 9-4 Wave spurt that cut the Matador lead back down to two, 17-15. After a Parfitt kill made the score 21-19, CSUN, Tanner Sutherland entered the game to serve for Hulse. Sutherland promptly logged back-to-back aces forcing the Matadors into their final timeout. Pepperdine would take its first lead of the game at 24-23 off a Rooney kill, which was part of an 8-3 Wave run to close out the game.

Hanson served five consecutive points as part of an 8-2 Northridge run to open the second game. The CSUN lead would reach 10 at 17-7 as Brian Waite served a 5-0 run that included three aces off the tape. The run looked like it would continue as Waite connected for what appeared to be his fourth ace, but was called for a foot fault. Kills by Hein and Rooney would trim the deficit to six at 25-19 when Northridge called for a timeout. The lead would shrink to four at 26-22 but the Wave charge was too little, too late as the match was evened up at 1-1.

A 9-all deadlock in game four was broken by the Waves when Hein and Winder recorded consecutive stuffs as part of a 4-0 Pepperdine spurt preceding a CSUN timeout. The run would reach 9-2 as the lead would extend to 17-11. A 4-1 Northridge run trimmed the lead to three at 19-16 but the Matadors never threatened to gain a lead in the game as Pepperdine took a 2-1 lead in the match.

"Every time we have hosted since I got here we have gone to the final four so it is what we do next that really matters," noted Rooney. "We are in the position we wanted to be in at the start of the season so we will have to see what happens next."

In earning the top seed at the conference tournament, Pepperdine will host the MPSF semi-final and final rounds on April 28 and 30. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for students and can be purchased Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. by calling, 1-866-WAVE TIX.