No. 1 Pepperdine's Dunphy Wins No. 500 As Waves Crash Over No. 5 Northridge
MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine Coach Marv Dunphy won his 500th career match and the #1 Pepperdine men's volleyball team knocked off #5 Cal State Northridge in four games (39-37, 30-27, 26-30, 30-28) in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action on Friday night.
Dunphy appears to be only the fifth men's volleyball coach to have reached the 500-win plateau (the NCAA does not keep official records). This is his 27th season and the Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee now has a career record of 500-193 with four NCAA championships.
The Waves, who won their eighth straight match, got a big performance from senior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach (Ventura, Calif./Ventura HS). He had a career-high 24 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs while hitting .444 (24-8-36).
Pepperdine improved to 9-4 overall and 8-3 in the MPSF and swept the season series from CSUN (12-5, 9-5).
Freshman opposite Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) had 20 kills, junior outside hitter Cory Riecks (Auburn, Calif./Placer HS) had 17 kills and senior middle blocker Rodnei Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil/BYU) had 10 kills.
Junior setter Kasey Crider (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) had 74 assists and helped Pepperdine to a .372 team hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) added eight kills and a team-high eight blocks. Senior libero Sean Grubbs (Newport Beach, Calif./Irvine Valley CC) had 11 digs.
CSUN, which hit .345, got 19 kills from John Baker, 17 kills and 10 blocks from Jacek Ratajczak and 18 kills from Kevin McKniff.
The Waves had a big comeback in the first game and later overcame five game points. CSUN broke out to a 5-1 lead and led by as many as six points, last at 23-17. But Pepperdine eventually tied it at 26-26 after a triple block by Schleppenbach, Jaynes and Crider. The Waves would go ahead and serve for the game twice, but CSUN eventually reclaimed the advantage and had five game points. A block by Riecks and Jaynes gave Pepperdine the edge once again. Later, tied 37-37, a CSUN service error was followed by a kill by Riecks to end the marathon first game.
Schleppenbach and Torres had seven kills apiece as the Waves took the second game to go ahead 2-0. Tied 5-5, a kill by Schleppenbach and a service ace by Crider put Pepperdine ahead to stay. During a 4-0 run that pushed Pepperdine's lead to 13-8, Riecks had two kills and Torres had a kill and an ace. The Matadors got no closer than two points the rest of the way.
CSUN scored four of the first five points of the third game and never trailed. The Matadors had six blocks and forced the Waves into 11 attack errors. Their lead grew to as many as eight points at 25-17, although a 7-1 Pepperdine run cut the lead to two at 26-24 to make things interesting before CSUN recovered and finished things off.
The fourth game had 14 ties and two lead changes. The last tie was at 27-27, and a kill by Santos was followed by a CSUN attack error, giving Pepperdine its first match point. After a Pepperdine service error, the Waves wrapped up the match on a kill by Riecks.
The Waves are in the midst of playing 10 of 12 matches at home. But next weekend they leave Firestone Fieldhouse and visit #4 BYU for two matches on Friday and Saturday (March 5-6).