Pep Ties UCLA For Second as Both Visit First-Place BYU

David Wieczorek, Pepperdine (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
David Wieczorek, Pepperdine (Photo by Martin A. Folb)
Feb. 26, 2018

MPSF Volleyball Release 8


Pepperdine redshirt junior outside hitter David Wieczorek (Chicago, IL/Loyola Academy) accumulated a .367 hitting percentage over eight sets with 27 kills (3.38 K/S) in wins at No. 13 UCSB (Feb. 21) and at home over No. 2 UCLA (Feb. 23). He also served seven aces (0.88 A/S), and picked up 10 digs (1.25 D/S) and 11 blocks (1.38 B/S) to amass 40 total points (5.00 P/S). He was also good for 55 total service receptions with only one receiving error for a .982 success rate on the back line. This is the fourth career MPSF weekly award for Wieczorek, including a repeat from last week and three this year. Others Nominated: Jon Predney (CUI); Ashton King (GCU); Jaylen Jasper (STAN); Brenden Sander (BYU)


Concordia senior middle blocker Taylor Falduti (San Diego, CA/Foothills Christian HS) posted 15 blocks (1.25 B/S) to help the Eagles to three-straight wins last week. He posted six blocks against USC, seven against No. 11 CSUN, and two vs. No. 12 Grand Canyon. Falduti also hit .727 vs. USC (9-1-11) and .524 vs. CSUN (12-1-21). He added seven digs and served five aces (three vs. CSUN) through the week. This is the first career MPSF honor for Falduti. Others Nominated: Price Jarman (BYU); Sky Engelman (GCU); David Wieczorek (PEP); Evan Enriques (STAN)…

No. 8 PEPPERDINE (3-1 MPSF/9-3 Overall) extended its win streak to five with a 3-2 road win at No. 13 UCSB (Feb. 21), followed by an incredibly impressive home sweep over No. 2 UCLA (Feb. 23). The Waves held advantages of .455-.203 hitting and 10-3 on blocking in the MPSF upset. Alex Harthaller delivered a career-night, attacking with an errorless .706 clip on 17 for 24 swinging. David Wieczorek hit .440 (13-2-25) with four aces and five blocks against the Bruins. He finished the week with 27 kills at .367 with seven aces and 11 blocks. Entering the week in a second-place tie with UCLA, Pepperdine is on the road for three-straight in the conference, starting with fifth-ranked and first-place BYU and Stanford this week (Mar. 1-3).

No. 13 CONCORDIA (3-3 MPSF/8-6 Overall) won all three matches last week, 3-0 over No.12 Grand Canyon Thursday (Feb. 22) and 3-1 at USC Friday (Feb. 23) in MPSF play, followed by a 3-2 home thriller over No. 11 CSUN Saturday (Feb. 24). The win over the Trojans was the first all-time for the Eagles in six meetings, while also picking up their first-ever MPSF road win. Jon Predney had a team-high 11 kills while Taylor Falduti hit .727 with a match-high six blocks. Jacob Weiser had 17 digs which tied the conference season-high. CUI recorded a 2018 MPSF-High 21 blocks in completing a series sweep over CSUN, 10 by Hunter Howell, and enters the week as the nation’s top blocking team (2.87 B/S). Predney put away MPSF season-highs of 26 kills with an efficient .400 attack, along with 31 points vs. CSUN. The Eagles bumped up to fourth-place and visit second-ranked Hawaii for two this week (Mar. 2-4).

No. 5 BYU (5-0 MPSF/12-4 Overall) extended its win streak to seven matches by winning a two-match series over Stanford, 3-1 on the road and a comeback 3-2 outcome at home (Feb. 21-24). The Cougars were down two sets in Saturday’s home match. Brenden Sander accumulated a .328 series hitting clip (30-8-67). Price Jarman was 10 for an errorless 24 swinging (.417) with 14 blocks (1.56 B/S) in the series. Ahead of each team by 1.5 matches atop the standings, BYU hosts No. 8 Pepperdine (Mar. 1) and No. 3 UCLA (Mar. 3) this week.

No. 13 GRAND CANYON (2-4 MPSF/12-6 Overall) won for the first time in an MPSF road match, 3-2 at USC (Feb. 24). The Antelopes tallied 20.5 blocks in beating USC for the first time in three series meetings. Ashton King totaled 17 kills with a .583 clip, nine blocks, and six digs. He also hit .545 (13-1-22) in the loss at Concordia, and totaled 12 blocks for the week. Shalev Saada came off the bench at USC to get 13 kills, while Caleb Blazer had eight blocks. Sky Engleman dug 24 balls last week (3.00 D/S). Grand Canyon is off until it hosts Menlo on March 8.

No. 3 UCLA (3-1 MPSF/14-4 Overall) had its toughest week of the season in a 3-1 loss at home to No. 1 Long Beach State and 3-0 MPSF setback at No. 10 Pepperdine. JT Hatch had a double-double against the 49ers on 13 kills and 10 digs and was then eight for an errorless 16 (.500) vs. the Waves. The Bruins stay on a conference road swing this week at Stanford Thursday (Mar. 1) and No. 5 BYU Saturday (Mar. 3). Daenan Gyimah continues to lead the nation with a .500 hitting clip.

STANFORD (1-4 MPSF/3-13 Overall) Russell Dervay had his first career double-double in the second match of the BYU series in Provo, dishing 44 assists and picking up 10 digs. Jaylen Jasper recorded his second career double-double that night with 18 kills and 12 digs. He had a career-high and team season-high 22 kills in the first match against BYU at home. Stanford hosts No. 3 UCLA Thursday (Mar. 1) and No. 8 Pepperdine Saturday (Mar. 3).

USC (1-5 MPSF/4-12 Overall) dropped home matches to Concordia (3-1) and Grand Canyon (3-2). Ryan Moss and Gianluca Grasso each had 16 kills vs. GCU, with Moss adding 14 digs for the double-double and Grasso serving five aces. Kyle Gear had 10 blocks. Jack Wyett had 22 kills at .452 vs. Concordia, and Moss had his first double-double for the week on 12 kills and 10 digs. USC hosts No. 15 UCSB Thursday (Mar. 1) in a rescheduled match from earlier this year.