May 3, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Pepperdine Waves only suffered one loss during the 2007 regular season but dropped two-of-three in the postseason, including Thursday's 3-1 (27-30, 30-27, 30-27, 30-25) decision to Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne in the NCAA Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship semifinal at St. John Arena.
Pepperdine (26-3) took a 1-0 lead in the match, thanks in large part to IPFW (28-7) committing seven service errors in the opening frame without benefit of an ace. But the Mastodons would cure their service woes after game one.
IPFW was only credited with seven aces on the final stat sheet but the Mastodons consistently kept Pepperdine out of system by keeping the ball in play.
The Waves seemed poised to extend their season by two more days when John Parfitt extended the Pepperdine lead to 26-21 on an overpass in game one. IPFW burned its final timeout of the set after the kill and mounted a 5-1 run to pull within one at 27-26. Back-to-back service errors preceded a kill from Jon Grobe and Paul Carroll to give the Waves the frame.
Pepperdine started game two with five kills on five swings forcing the Mastodons to burn both its timeouts. Out of the second stoppage, IPFW scored six unanswered points and following consecutive C.J. Macias aces led 14-11. The Waves fought back to tie the score at 15-, 16- and 17-all only to fall behind 24-18 after a 7-1 run.
J.D. Schleppenbach started the Waves on a 4-1 run that closed the gap to one 28-27 but Brock Ullrich ended the run with one of his career-high 20 kills and Greg Gaudino's answer went wide to give IPFW the game.
Pepperdine answered a 6-3 IPFW start to game three with a 7-1 run to take a 10-7 lead. Schleppenbach recorded consecutive kills and Tom Hulse followed with an ace as the Waves went ahead 18-14. The Mastodons did not let the game get out of hand and after back-to-back Pepperdine miscues IPFW led 27-26. Macias added to the lead with back-to-back kills to send the Mastodons to a 2-1 lead in the match.
Game four saw the Waves fall behind early. Pepperdine continued to fight for its post-season life and appeared to pull within one as Jonathan Winder redirected a would-be overpass for an apparent kill but up official Joel Reinford ruled the National Player of the Year had thrown the ball and awarded the point to IPFW and Pepperdine never recovered.
Carroll led the Waves with 26 kills and seven blocks. Gaudino added 11 kills and four blocks, while Schleppenbach had 10 kills on .400 hitting.
Macias' 24 kills paced the Mastodons and Jason Yhost added 18.