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Pepperdine Rallies to Claim NCAA Men's Volleyball Title

May 7, 2005

LOS ANGELES - Pepperdine (25-2) defeated UCLA (26-6) 30-23, 23-30, 24-30, 30-25, 15-10 before a crowd of 6,853 fans in the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship match on May 7 at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

Pepperdine entered the four-team tournament as the top seed and defeated fourth-seed Ohio State in three games in the semifinal round on May 5. UCLA, the tournament's third seed, defeated second-seed Penn State in the other semifinal match to advance to the title match.

The Waves won their fifth national title in 10 championship match appearances, while UCLA was attempting to claim its 19th national championship in 25 chances in the title game. The Waves claimed the national title in 1977, 1985, 1986 and 1992. Pepperdine last reached the NCAA Tournament in 2003.

UCLA had never lost an NCAA Tournament match on its home floor until losing to Pepperdine. The Bruins are now 25-1 in the title match.

Pepperdine gained the early upper in game one with a 3-0 run to go up 8-4, then never allowed the Bruins closer than three points the rest of the opener as the Waves won 30-23. Pepperdine hit .531 in the first game on 32 swings. UCLA evened the match at one game each, winning game two 30-23 on the strength of a 7-2 run after holding a slim 16-15 lead. The Waves committed 15 errors during the second game on attacks, serves and ball-handling errors. UCLA broke an 18-18 tie with a 5-1 run in the third game en route to winning 30-24. The Bruins' Jonathan Acosta tallied 10 kills in the third game. The Waves forced a fifth game by capturing game four 30-25. Pepperdine's Sean Rooney tallied six keys in the pivotal game to keep the Waves going. Pepperdine used the momentum from game four and securing a decisive 8-1 lead to game five in winning 15-10. The Waves' block played a key role in the fifth game with five team blocks, while Rooney tallied three kills.

Rooney, the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Year, led Pepperdine with 29 points on 26 kills, six block assists and eight digs. He was selected the tournament's most outstanding player. Jon Parfitt added 18 kills, seven digs and three blocks as part of a 19.5-point night for the Waves. John Mayer was credited with eight kills and four blocks for the Waves, while Andy Hein tacked on seven kills and seven blocks. Tom Hulse provided 12 block assists for Pepperdine. Jonathan Winder set the Waves to a .315 attack percentage with 52 assists, seven digs and six blocks. Libero James Ka charted 12 digs and the kills on game point in the fourth.

UCLA was led by Acosta's 29 kills on a .523 attack percentage. He added four blocks and eight digs. Kris Kraushaas totaled 16 kills and 13 digs for the Bruins in the loss, while Paul Johnson added 11 kills, six blocks, four aces and five digs. Steven Klosterman tallied seven kills for UCLA, while Allan Vince chipped in six kills and three digs. Gaby Acevedo paced the Waves to a .259 attack percentage with 60 assists.

Pepperdine held a 19-8 block advantage, while the Bruins had a 55-46 dig advantage. UCLA won the service battle with six aces to the Waves three, but the Bruins committed 19 service errors to Pepperdine's 13.

Pepperdine, 2-4 against UCLA in the NCAA title match, has won all seven of its five-game matches this season. The Waves also defeated UCLA in five games on March 12. Pepperdine is 25-0 when winning game one this season.

NCAA All-Tournament TeamSean Rooney (Pepperdine) - Most Outstanding PlayerJon Parfitt (Pepperdine)Jonathan Winder (Pepperdine)Paul Johnson (UCLA)Jonathan Acosta (UCLA)Alex Gutor (Penn State)Mark Greaves (Ohio State)

Match Details

Pepperdine eased out to an 8-4 advantage in game one as the Bruins committed five errors on either attacks or service, including two into the Waves blocks with Hulse contributing in both cases. The teams traded the next 12 points on serve until Pepperdine tallied back-to-back points on a Mayer kill and Prahler attack error at 15-10. UCLA came out of the media timeout scoring its first consecutive points with an Acosta kill and block assists from Johnson and Acosta to cut into the margin at 15-12. Pepperdine built its advantage to six points at 21-15 on a 3-0 run with kills from Mayer and Rooney after a Bruin attack error. The Bruins cut into the deficit, 22-19, on a 4-1 run that included a kill and ace from Klosterman and individual kills from Vince and Kraushaar. Parfitt broke the run with a kill, and Hein followed with a kill giving the Waves a 24-19 advantage. The Waves extended the lead to six points, 26-20, as Mayer connected for a kill leading to the Bruins second timeout of game one. UCLA stayed close with consecutive kills from Acosta narrowing the deficit to 26-22. Rooney tacked on a kill and combined with Hulse for a block to provide the Waves their first game point at 29-23. Rooney nailed an overpass for a kill on Pepperdine's first game-point opportunity to end game one 30-23. Rooney finished game one with six kills as Winder led the Waves to a .531 team attack percentage. Parfitt added five kills for Pepperdine on seven errorless swings. Acosta paced the Bruins with six kills on eight swings, while Johnson charted four kills.

UCLA gained its first lead of the match at 2-1 in the second game as the Bruins benefited from a Waves service error and a ball-handling error. Pepperdine quickly tied the game back up at 4-all as UCLA was forced into a bad set followed by a Rooney kill. UCLA picked up the two-point advantage again at 6-4 as Kraushaar slammed a kill followed by a Waves attack error. The Bruins added to the lead with back-to-back kills from Acosta and Kraushaar for an 8-5 score. Pepperdine whittled the lead to one at 12-11 as it benefited from a service error and a Mayer kill. UCLA skipped the lead back to three, 14-11, as Johnson provided a block followed by a ball-handling error by Pepperdine. After a Waves timeout, Johnson served an ace deep center to increase the margin to four at 15-11. The Waves rallied back on a 3-0 run that included a kill, block assist and set assist from Parfitt narrowing the lead to 15-14. UCLA fired back as the Waves committed three errors around an Acosta kill upping the Bruins advantage to 20-15 causing the second Pepperdine timeout to be called. The Bruin lead was extended to six at 23-17 capping a 7-2 UCLA run. The Waves crept back into the second game with three straight points on UCLA mistakes to close to within 23-20. Rooney continued the run out of a UCLA timeout with a kill leading to a 23-21 score. The Bruins gained the serve back on a Waves ball-handling error, then followed with a Klosterman kill for a 25-21 lead. UCLA placed a 4-0 run on the scoreboard with two aces from Johnson to give the Bruins game point at 29-22. The Bruins ended game two at 30-23 as the Waves served into the net. Acosta accounted for four kills for the Bruins in game two, while Kraushaar added three kills and five digs. Johnson was credited with three aces, two kills and two blocks. Rooney led the Waves with five kills.

UCLA took a 5-3 lead early in game three as Kraushaar accounted for two kills. Pepperdine the game at 5-all as Rooney slammed a kill followed by a combined block from Hulse and Winder. After trading six straight points, Pepperdine gained a 9-8 advantage on a block from Hein and Parfitt. The lead change started a stretch of four straight sessions of trading consecutive points until Johnson and Acosta combined for a block to lift the Bruins into a 13-11 lead. UCLA came out of the media timeout with an ace from Acosta putting the Bruins up 16-13. Pepperdine surfed back to a tie at 18-all as the Waves picked up two points on Bruin errors, followed by a Parfitt kill. UCLA came out of its timeout with two quick points on a quick from Acosta and a block combination from Acevedo and Vince to put the Bruins ahead 20-18. UCLA jumped out with another point following a Waves timeout on an Acosta kill at 21-18. The Bruins built their margin to four points at 23-19 as the Waves committed successive errors. UCLA carried out a 3-0 run on two Waves attack errors around an Acosta kill to put the Bruins up 27-22. UCLA closed out the third game 30-24 with a Kraushaar kill and Klosterman ace. Acosta reached double-digit kills in the game with 10, while Kraushaar added six kills in the third game. Parfitt place six kills on the Waves ledger, while Rooney totaled five kills.

Pepperdine stole an early 8-5 lead in game four after running off three straight points that included a Mayer ace and block assists from Hein and Winder on a Bruin hitting error. The Waves jumped the lead to 14-10 as Rooney collected a kill followed by a block from Mayer and Hulse. UCLA scored two consecutive long rallies capped by kills from Johnson and Acosta to whittle the margin back down to two, 14-12. Pepperdine, after a timeout, tallied a kill from Hulse and a UCLA hitting error to go up 16-12. The Waves increased their lead to five, 20-15, after a kill from Rooney and an ace from Hein. The Bruins chipped away at the five-point lead as Acosta pounded down consecutive kills to bring the score to 21-18. UCLA closed to the gap to two points, 23-21, after a Waves attack error and Johnson ace. Pepperdine extended the lead back to four points as Johnson served the ball into the net followed by a Hein kill into the left corner for a 25-21 score. The Waves gained two more points following the Bruins timeout as UCLA committed a ball-handling followed by a block by Hein and Winder for a 27-21 advantage. Despite a 3-1 run by the Bruins, Pepperdine closed out the game 30-25. Rooney placed seven kills on the stat sheet in game four, while Parfitt added three kills for the Waves. Hein and Hulse, the Pepperdine middle blockers, each were in on three blocks each. Acosta totaled six kills for the Bruins in game four.

Pepperdine picked up early momentum in the deciding game without taking an offensive point. The Bruins committed three attack errors coming out of the game prompting UCLA to call a timeout down 3-0 in the final game of the 2005 season. Hein and Rooney picked up a block at 4-0 before Kraushaar got UCLA on the board with a kill. Rooney added a kill, followed by a Hulse block solo and combination block from Hulse and Winder to give the Waves a commanding 7-1 advantage. Rooney and Hulse combined for yet another block to go up 8-1 as the teams traded sides of the court. UCLA picked up consecutive points on kills from Acosta and Gray Garrett to slice the gap to 8-3. The two teams traded service errors to place the score at 9-4. The Bruins cut into the lead at 9-5 as the Waves committed an attack error. Rooney stopped the momentary bleeding with a tip shot over the UCLA block to give the Waves a 10-5 advantage. Mayer and Hulse combined for a block after a long rally to put the Waves up 11-5. The teams traded points until the Bruins scored consecutive points on blocks, involving four different players, placing the score at 13-8. After a service error from Johnson, UCLA put the score at 13-9 on an Acosta kill. Pepperdine gained its first match-point with a kill from Parfitt. After Vince saved the Bruins first match point, Rooney ended the match with a kill cross court with a 15-10 score.


Pepperdine and UCLA, the top two teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation final regular season standings, split a pair of regular season matches. UCLA won the first meeting 30-18, 3021, 30-27 on Jan. 19 at Pauley Pavilion on the Bruin campus. Pepperdine claimed the second meeting with a 28-30, 36-34, 30-26, 27-30, 15-13 victory on March 12 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.

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.

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.

Pepperdine had lost 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.

UCLA competed for its 19th overall title and has not been part of the four-team NCAA tournament since 2000. The Bruins remains with 50 victories in the NCAA Tournament matches.

UCLA reached its 24th NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship. The Bruins have won 18 national titles, all under current head coach Al Scates. UCLA last won the NCAA title in 2000 by defeating Ohio State in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Bruins also defeated Pepperdine, the number-one seed in this year's tournament, in 1998 for its second-to-last national title. UCLA is 50-7 overall in the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA has hosted the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship 13 times, but it is the first time since winning the national title in 1996 that the Bruins have participated on its home floor for the national title. UCLA is 25-1 at Pauley Pavilion, site of this year's national championship, in the current four-team national championship format. The Bruins have won nine of their 18 national titles at home.