May 5, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Pepperdine (24-2) defeated Ohio State (24-8) 30-16, 31-29, 30-26 Thursday evening in the second semifinal of the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA. The semifinal round, which included host UCLA defeating Penn State, was played in front of a crowd of 5,125 fans.
Pepperdine will face UCLA (26-5) on May 7 for the national championship. The match will start at 8 p.m. PT and be broadcast live on ESPN2. The Waves will be playing for their fifth national title, while UCLA will be attempting to claim its 19th national championship.
Sean Rooney paced Pepperdine with 19 kills, four aces, five block assists as part of 25.5-point night. Rooney hit .357 for the match. John Parfitt chipped in 11 kills for the Waves, while Andy Hein and John Mayer each contributed six kills. Jonathan Winder tallied 40 assists with four blocks as the Waves hit .376 as a team. Tom Hulse added six blocks with three kills.
Mark Greaves turned in 14 kills and two aces in the losing effort. Andy Cole charted 12 kills and seven digs, while Scott Spurlock tacked on seven kills. Mike Wauligman contributed eight kills and nine digs for the Buckeyes, while Layne Dreven was credited with six kills. OSU setter Daniel Mathews produced 43 assists and five digs.
Pepperdine bolted to an 11-2 lead in game one and never looked back in winning 30-16. The Buckeyes held a 13-11 advantage in kills in game one, but committed 12 attack errors and six service errors. Neither team held more than a two-point lead in game two as the Waves won on their second game point opportunity at 31-29. Rooney nailed seven kills in the second game to pace Pepperdine. The Waves won game three 30-26 with a late charge.
The Waves held a 10.5-3.0 block advantage. Despite losing, OSU held a 49-46 advantage in kills and a 40-34 lead in digs.
Parfitt scored the first point of the match and it led to a Waves 5-0 lead early in game one as the Buckeyes committed two attack errors. Rooney connected for a kill and combined with Hein for a block and an 8-1 advantage. The Waves increased the margin to 11-2 as Rooney tallied another kill and combined with Hulse for a block. After Ohio State scored its first back-to-back points of the match to cut the deficit to 11-4, Pepperdine secured a 13-point advantage at 21-8 that included three team blocks. The Waves took a 27-12 advantage, then weathered an Ohio State three-point run that included a kill and block assist from Andy Cole. Pepperdine ended the game at 30-16. The Waves hit .409 in the game with just two attack errors. Rooney slammed four kills and added four block assists. Parfitt pounded out three kills in the first game, while Mayer was three-for-five on attacks. Greaves paced the Buckeyes in game one with five kills. The Waves held OSU to a .028 team hitting percentage.
Ohio State earned an early game two lead at 7-6 on back-to-back Waves errors. Pepperdine regained the lead at 10-9 on consecutive kills by Parfitt and Rooney. The Waves increased its lead to two points, 12-10, as Rooney hammered consecutive kills. Greaves scored back-to-back kills tying the second game at 16-all, which was followed by a Wauligman kill forcing a Waves timeout down 17-16. Ohio State increased its lead to 18-16 coming out of a Pepperdine timeout on a Cole ace. The Waves tied the game at 19 and went up 21-20 on a Winder kill and Buckeye attack error. Pepperdine stuck back-to-back points on the scoreboard with kills from Hulse and Rooney for a 23-21 advantage. Ohio State tied the game at 25-all on a Greaves kill after a Pepperdine service error. The Waves gained game point 29-28 on a Rooney kill, only to have Dreven tie the game with a deep kill. Mayer, Rooney and Winder combined for a block to give the Waves their second game point, and Rooney ended it with a service ace at 31-29. Rooney notched seven kills in the second game, while Parfitt added four kills. The Waves hit .310 in the second game, while the Buckeyes attacked at a .302 clip. Greaves was credited with seven kills to pace Ohio State in the frame.
Pepperdine stirred up three points to start game three, only to see Ohio State chip away at the lead. The Buckeyes tied the game at 7-all as Cole tallied a kill followed by a kill and ace by Greaves. Pepperdine regained a two-point lead at 9-7 on three straight points. Ohio State once again whittled the deficit away and turned it into a 14-12 two-point advantage on a 7-3 run. Pepperdine reversed the lead to 15-14 on a 3-0 run highlighted by a block from Hulse and Winder. The Waves continued the momentum on a 4-1 spurt including a kill and ace from Rooney giving Pepperdine a 20-17 lead. Wauligman provided two quick Buckeye kills to close the gap to 20-19. Parfitt gave the Waves a 22-20 lead, and the Waves up the advantage to 23-20 on a Buckeye attack error. Ohio State closed to within one at 24-23 as Cole pounded out a kill. Pepperdine scored four of the next six points with three kills from Rooney lifting the Waves to a 28-25 lead. Pepperdine finished off the match 30-26 with a Rooney kill on the Waves first match-point opportunity. Pepperdine hit .432 in the third game while holding OSU to a .286 team attack percentage.
Pepperdine earned the top seed in this year's NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship after claiming the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation league tournament. Ohio State advanced to the NCAA Championship after winning the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament and the league's automatic berth.
Pepperdine swept the individual postseason superlatives as released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on May 4. Senior outside hitter Sean Rooney was named to AVCA Division I-II Men's National Player of the Year, while freshman setter Jonathan Winder was named the AVCA Division I-II Men's Newcomer of the Year. Rooney and junior middle blocker Andy Hein were named to the AVCA Division I-II Men's All-America First-Team, while Winder was named to the second team.
Pepperdine has reached the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship for the 13th time, and has won the national title four times. The Waves claimed the national title in 1977, 1985, 1986 and 1992. Pepperdine last reached the NCAA Tournament in 2003.
Pepperdine has lost in its last two national championship appearances (2002 and 2003) to teams that have gone on to win the national title only to have the championship vacated. The Waves lost to University of Hawai'i in the 2002 championship match at Penn State, but Hawai'i had the championship stripped by the NCAA. Similarly, Pepperdine lost to Lewis in the 2003 semifinal round at Long Beach State. Lewis went on to defeat Brigham Young in the championship match, but the title earned on the court by NCAA Division II schools was later taken away by the NCAA. In both cases involving Hawai'i and Lewis, the use of ineligible players was cited as a cause for the removal of the national title.
Ohio State junior outside hitter Mark Greaves was named to the AVCA Division I-II Men's All-America Second-Team as announced by the coaches association on May 4.
Ohio State earned its 14th trip to the NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes are 2-11 in the semifinal round and 7-18 overall. Both of Ohio State's semifinal round victories have been against Pepperdine. The Buckeyes advanced to the championship match in 2000 by defeating Pepperdine in the semifinal, only to lose to UCLA in the title match. Ohio State also defeated Pepperdine in 1977 at UCLA in the semifinal round, but lost to Southern California in the championship match. The Buckeyes lost to Pepperdine in the semifinals in 1976 and 1978.
Pepperdine is ranked first in the latest release of the USA Today/CSTV Top 15 Division I-II Men's Coaches Poll distributed by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Ohio State is ranked ninth in the same poll.