Fourth-ranked Pepperdine takes down No. 13 UC San Diego in season opener
SAN DIEGO -- No. 4 Pepperdine earned its first win of the season with a 3-0 triumph against No. 13 UC San Diego. Josh Taylor and Maurice Torres led the Waves with 10 kills apiece, while Parker Kalmbach was credited with 10 blocks in the shutout.
The Waves (1-1, 1-1 MPSF) posted a blistering .492 (35 kills-5 errors-61 attempts) hitting percentage, while the Tritons (2-3 1-1 MPSF) only managed to break even (.000, 27-27-79) on the attack.
Pepperdine, the 25-13, 25-13, 25-15 winner, kept the errors to a minimum the entire match and only committed 13 total (5 attack errors, 8 service errors).
Torres earned his 10 kills on a .500 (10-2-16) clip, followed closely by Taylor’s .471 (10-2-17) success rate. Torres’ dominant afternoon also included six digs, two aces and six blocks for 16.5 total points.
Middle blocker Kalmbach was impenetrable at the net, and posted a match-high 10 blocks. The junior also added seven kills.
Overall, Pepperdine out-blocked UCSD 15.0-2.0 and out-aced its opponent 5-0.
Matt West handed out 27 assists in the match. West also paced the Waves with three aces.
Although UC San Diego claimed an early 3-1 lead in the opening set, it didn’t take long for Pepperdine to overtake the advantage. A 4-1 run put the Waves on top and they rolled on to win 25-13. Kalmbach issued four kills on four swings, while Kyle Gerrans tacked down four kills as well.
Pepperdine didn’t skip a step in set two, and quickly got out to a 9-3 lead. The Waves hit .588 (11-1-17) in the frame and the Tritons were unable to overcome Pepperdine’s offensive power. With a kill courtesy of Nikola Antonijevic, the Waves secured the set 25-13. Taylor pounded home five kills in the game.
The Waves’ momentum carried over in the third set as they decisively won 25-15. This time around it was Torres who led the offense with five kills.
Gerrans finished the match with five kills on 14 errorless attempts, in addition to four digs and three blocks.