MPSF Volleyball Results, Feb. 23

Alex Harthaller, Pepperdine (Photo by Ashley Harris)
Alex Harthaller, Pepperdine (Photo by Ashley Harris)
Feb. 23, 2018

No. 10 Pepperdine 3, No. 2 UCLA 0

Recap by Pepperdine

MALIBU, Calif. -- A big offensive attack front led by Alex Harthaller and David Wieczorek propelled the No. 10 Pepperdine men's volleyball team to a stunning 3-0 upset over No. 2 UCLA in Firestone Fieldhouse on Friday night, marking 25-21, 25-23 and 25-20 set scores to complete the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation win.

Harthaller's 17 kills on a career-high .708 success rate, along with Wieczorek's 13 kills and four aces, helped advance Pepperdine to a 9-3 overall record and 3-1 conference output. UCLA drops to 14-4 overall and this is the first MPSF loss for the Bruins this season.

BIG WAVES

• Alex Harthaller (Innsbruck, Austria/Akademischeg Gymnasium/IPFW): 17 kills, .708 hitting %, 6 digs, 4 blocks (1 solo)

• David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy): 13 kills, .440 hitting %, 4 aces, 5 blocks (1 solo), 3 digs

• Max Chamberlain (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs HS): 7 blocks, 4 kills, .500 hitting%, 1 ace

• Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS): 6 kills, .625 hitting %, 1 block

• Robert Mullahey (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa HS): 36 assists, 5 digs

• Noah Dyer (San Clemente, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian HS): 6 digs, 4 assists

• Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit HS): 3 kills, 3 digs, 1 block

WAVES VS. BRUINS

Pepperdine outperformed UCLA in nearly all categories, leading on the attack front with 43 smashes on a .455 success rate, compared to 31 kills on a .203 clip from the opposition. The Waves posted 42-29 and 25-22 assist and dig ratios respectively, while the Bruins marked a 6-5 ace differential. The `Malibu Roofing Company' was out in full force tonight, as the Waves out-blocked the Bruins 10.0-3.0 on the night. Pepperdine hit for staggering .684 and .556 hitting percentages in the second and third sets.

Concordia 3, USC 1

Recap by CUI

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the first time in program history, the Concordia men's volleyball team earned a win against USC by a score of 26-24, 14-25, 26-24, 25-15. Not only that, but the Eagles earned their first-ever MPSF road win.

Chandler Gibb played an important role in the Eagles victory, setting up the offense with 49 assists. Gibb's distribution led to six Concordia players collecting eight or more kills and he was the reason for the team's .312 hitting efficiency. Jonathan Predney had a team-high 11 kills while Taylor Falduti hit .727 and guided the Eagles defense with a match-high six blocks. Jacob Weiser anchored the back-row with 17 digs that ties for a conference-high this season.

The match started off with a kill from Darcy Taig to get the Eagles on the board first. Each team traded point for point until the Trojans gained a three-point lead to put USC ahead 12-9. Kills from Taig and Raymond Barsemian brought Concordia within one at 18-17. Using a 6-2 run, CUI was able to tie the set up at 22-22. With the set then tied at 23-23, USC's Ryan Moss put away the ball to gain a set point for the Trojans. Concordia came from behind to not only fight off a set point, but take the last three points behind back-to-back Taig kills and a Barsemian and Falduti block.

With USC down 0-1, the Trojans stepped on the gas early, bursting out to a 5-2 lead. Behind a 10-3 Trojans run, USC was able to go ahead 12-5 before Taig collected a kill to try to stop the bleeding. Consistent play from the Trojans put them up by as many as 12 points at 24-12, before a USC service error and a Concordia triple block gave the Eagles momentum. However, it was a service error that ended the set and tied the match.

Josiah Bergt came up big with a kill to make it 9-8 Concordia in the third set. The Eagles then followed that with a 3-0 run to cause a USC timeout. Concordia went up by as many as three, but maintained a lead for most of the set. A kill from Falduti made it 20-18 while Isaiah Kaaa served an ace to widen the Eagles lead. Barsemian scored to give Concordia set point 24-22, but the Trojans used two kills from Gianluca Grasso to even the set. Another put away from Barsemian made it 25-24 and Bergt ended a long rally with a tip to give Concordia the 2-1 advantage.

The wheels continued to turn for Concordia as five Eagles contributed to their first six points to go ahead 6-1. A kill from Hunter Howell made it 11-4 and forced a USC timeout. Three straight points from Falduti extended the lead to 15-7 with the Trojans not being able to come with six for the rest of the match. Predney collected a kill, followed by a USC hitting error and a service ace to make it 22-12. A Falduti swing set up match point and Barsemian ended the match and sealed the Eagles second victory of the week.

Concordia remains in fourth place with a 3-3 record while improving to 7-6 on the season. The Eagles head back to CU Arena on Saturday night where they will host CSUN at 7 PM. Earlier in the season, Concordia knocked off then No. 7 Matadors in the Matadome and will look to remain undefeated against CSUN.