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Old Rivals Meet in MPSF Semifinal Match

April 25, 2006

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Rivals Battle for Championship BerthIn a rematch of the 2005 national title match, Pepperdine will face UCLA Thursday night in the first of two MPSF tournament semi-final matches. The advancing team will face either UC Irvine or Long Beach State for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships next week. The Waves have won the last four meetings against the Bruins, including both this season.

About the WavesPepperdine is under the direction of Marv Dunphy who is in his 23rd season as head coach of the Waves. Pepperdine sits at 17-7 on the season. Senior middle blocker Andy Hein leads the team in hitting at a .510 clip, while John Parfitt leads a balanced Wave attack at 4.06 kills per game. Jonathan Winder averages 13.29 assists per game as the team is hitting .320 on the year. As a team the Waves are blocking 3.64 per game led by Hein's 1.60 and Tom Hulse's 1.53.

Pepperdine head coach Marv Dunphy Marv Dunphy is in his 23rd season as the head coach of the Pepperdine Waves. Under Dunphy, Pepperdine is 426-169 with four national titles. Dunphy had a four-year stint with the US national team where he compiled a 196-31 record and an Olympic Gold Medal. He was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1994.

About the Pepperdine ProgramIn its 36th installment, the Pepperdine men's volleyball team has posted an overall record of 561-257, including a 390-189 MPSF record. The Waves have made 13 NCAA Championship appearances including four since 2000 and have won five national titles (2005, 1992, 1986, 1985, 1978). Pepperdine has a total of eight MPSF conference titles (including shared titles), including three in the last four seasons.

About the BruinsUCLA is streaking into the semi-finals, winners of their last 10 matches dating back to a 3-1 loss at Pepperdine on Mar. 16 in Malibu. The Bruins are led by Steve Klosterman's 4.12 kills per game this season and Nick Scheftic's .415 hitting. UCLA got to the semi-final match as the No. 7 seed after downing UCSB in the play-in match and upsetting No. 2 seed Hawaii, 3-1, in the first round.

Pepperdine in the PollsThe Waves moved up one spot in this week's CSTV/AVCA poll to No. 3. Pepperdine opened the year at the third spot before climbing to No. 1, which it held for two weeks. Then the Waves started on a downward trend to as low as No. 6 before moving back up the last two weeks. This is Pepperdine's seventh week at the No. 3 spot.

Last Time OutThe Waves improved to 11-2 at home this season after sweeping CS Northridge in the first round of the MPSF tournament. The victory was the third consecutive sweep for Pepperdine who closed out the home schedule with 12 straight game won at Firestone Fieldhouse. Freshman Paul Carroll led the team in kills with 17, while recording a career-high nine block assists.

Waves Against the Mountain Pacific Sports FederationPepperdine has posted a 88-21 conference record since the MPSF went to a round-robin format in 2002 -- the top mark during its time period. All time, the Waves are 390-189 in conference play.

Season-Opening Streak Washed AwayComing into the season, Pepperdine held the nation's longest win streak of eight matches dating back to the 2005 season. That streak would reach 13 before coming to an end after falling to BYU, 3-1, on Feb. 3. The following week the Waves dropped a 3-0 decision to Hawaii in Malibu, ending the team's 18-match home win streak and in falling 3-2 to UCSB on Feb. 15, Pepperdine had its seven-match win streak in game fives come to an end.

Waves in the MPSF TournamentPepperdine is 17-9 all time in the MPSF tournament after downing CSUN last weekend and posting a 2-0 record last season. Only four times in 13 appearances have the Waves failed to win their first match of the conference tournament (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001). This season marks the 11th-consecutive year Pepperdine has advanced to the MPSF championships. Since 2000 the Waves are 11-4 and have advanced to the conference title match five times.

Pepperdine and No. 1 vs. No. 2Since the 2000 season No. 1 and No. 2 have face each other 23 times, with the second-ranked team holding a slim 12-11 advantage. Pepperdine has been a part of 11 No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-ups all-time and as the top team, the Waves are 3-3 after splitting with No. 2 BYU. As the No. 2 seed they are 2-3 all-time.

Pepperdine Breaks Home-Win Streak MarkThe Waves had won the 18 consecutive home contests dating back to the home finale of the 2004 season before being swept by Hawaii in the second of a two-match series. The most recent run of success topped the 16 consecutive victories at Firestone Fieldhouse set during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. The most recent streak included a 14-0 home record last season and four wins to open 2006. The Waves have won their last five home matches dating back to March 9.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oy, OY, OY!Pepperdine freshman Paul Carroll came to Malibu via Australia. After fellow Aussie Joseph Hachem claimed the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event, the chant, "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oy, Oy, Oy!" became worldly famous as a chant among natives from down under and is a fan-favorite when the Forster native gets ready to serve.

30 Ain't EnoughAlthough volleyball is played as "the first two 30," it is the clause of "must win by two" which has caused Pepperdine some troubles this season. Game three of the season opener against Stanford gave a bit of foreshadowing as the Waves lost the game, 31-29. The following night against Pacific, Pepperdine won game four 32-30. This season, the Waves have had a game go past the minimum 30 points nine times with a season-high of 37 (both losses). The last time Pepperdine went beyond 30 came on March 18 at UC Irvine when it fell 34-32 in game two.

Wave's Success Starts with the ServeTo find Pepperdine's keys to success, one needs to look no further than the way a point starts. In the Wave's 17 victories this season they have recorded 81 aces and only been aced 58 times. In Pepperdine's seven losses it has only logged 18 aces and been aced 35 times.

Opponents Stay Steady, Waves Up and DownPepperdine is 11-2 at home and just 6-5 away from Malibu. But it is more Pepperdine's undoing on the road that has cost them. The Wave's opponents are hitting .249 at Firestone Fieldhouse and .247 in their home venues. In contrast, Pepperdine is hitting .343 in home matches but just .293 on the road.

Pepperdine Tops BYU by Slimmest of MarginsPepperdine swept BYU on Feb. 4, winning by the minimum two points in all three games (30-28, 30-28, 32-30). But as unlikely a situation as it was, the match was the third time (rally-scoring era) the Waves have won a match by six points and all three have been Pepperdine sweeps. The last time it occurred was in 2003 when Pepperdine and Stanford locked horns in Palo Alto, Calif. The Waves left the gym with a 37-35, 41-39, 30-28 victory over the Cardinal that night. The first time it happened was in Provo when Pepperdine defeated BYU by scores of 31-29, 35-33, 32-30.

The Legacy of No. 12Freshman Paul Carroll has some big shoes to fill this season. The 6-7 Carroll will wear jersey No. 12 this season, taking over for the AVCA National Player of the Year Sean Rooney. But Rooney was just another in the long lineage of Pepperdine greats to sport the number 12. Current Wave assistant Scott Wong wore 12 and was a two-time AVCA All-American before Rooney.

Hein, Winder Tabbed All-Mpsf for Second Consecutive YearSenior Andy Hein was voted to the All-MPSF first team for the first time in his career earlier this week. The 6-10 Hein earned his first all-conference honor as a junior when he was named to the second team. Sophomore setter Jonathan Winder was named to the All-MPSF third team for the second in his career this season. John Parfitt and Paul Carroll were each voted honorable mention for the first time in their careers.

Dunphy Tabbed One of 20 Most Influential Names in VolleyballThe January 2006 issue of Volleyball Magazine lists the 20 most influential names in the sport of volleyball. Pepperdine head coach Marv Dunphy ranked No. 13 on the list as one of just two college men's coaches to be listed.

Waves at home in FirestoneBuilt in 1973, Firestone Fieldhouse has been home to the Pepperdine men's volleyball program since the 1974 season. During that time, the Waves have posted an overall record of 302-86. Pepperdine has posted two undefeated home records going 14-0 in 2005 in 1976 the Waves went 6-0. Eight times Pepperdine has had seven one-loss home records, most recently in 2002 the same season it posted a school-record 17 wins.

Pepperdine Repeats as Brian Mallard ChampionsFor the second consecutive season, the Pepperdine Waves headed north of the border for a final tune-up before opening MPSF play. Just like in 2005, Pepperdine walked away with the championship trophy. Jonathan Winder was tabbed tournament MVP, while Jon Grobe was named to the all-tournament team. While in Saskatoon, Canada, the Waves went 2-2.

Pepperdine Best D1-AAA SchoolThe Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association presented Pepperdine the 2004-05 All-Sports Trophy as the top-rated NCAA Division I institution not competing in football. Part of the prestigious Sports Academy Directors' Cup program for all NCAA Division I schools, Pepperdine competed in 14 sports. In addition to a National Championship in men's volleyball, the Waves women's golf team finished 4th in the nation, men's tennis ended the year ranked 5th nationally, Waves baseball finished 17th in the national polls, women's soccer was rated 33rd in Division I and men's golf concluding the year 31st in the NCAA as golfer Michael Putnam won the Byron Nelson Award taking home the silver trophy at the NCAA Championships (July 7).