No. 4 Pepperdine claims victory against Stanford for first time in six meetings
MALIBU, Calif. -- Led by 20 kills out of Maurice Torres and a double-double from Josh Taylor, No. 4 Pepperdine topped No. 2 Stanford 3-1 on Sunday inside Firestone Fieldhouse. The victory put an end to the Cardinal’s six-match win streak against the Waves.
Pepperdine, now 3-1 this season, won by set scores of 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23.
Torres led all hitters with 20 kills. He almost picked up his first double-double of the season, but finished just one dig shy and ended the match with nine.
With 13 kills and a career-high 11 digs, Taylor recorded his first double-double of his career.
The Pepperdine offense also got a boost from Kyle Gerrans. He recorded 11 kills on 21 errorless swings for a .524 hitting percentage. Gerrans hasn’t committed a single attack error in the last three matches. Gerrans also paced Pepperdine with two aces.
At the net, the Waves were led by Nikola Antonijevic with six blocks, followed by Gerrans with three.
Although the Cardinal out-aced the Waves 8-3, Pepperdine was able to take advantage of Stanford’s 25 service errors while only committing 15. Brian Cook nailed four aces, while leading the Waves with 19 kills.
The Waves got off to a hot start and claimed a 7-2 advantage before Stanford went on a 5-0 run to even the playing field. Pepperdine didn't waver and eventually climbed ahead 16-12. The lead withstood a late Cardinal surge and the Waves won 25-22.
Taylor put down four kills in the frame, followed by Parker Kalmbach and Torres with three apiece.
Although Pepperdine controlled the tempo for the majority of the second set, and led as late as 19-17, Stanford went on a timely run to escape with a 25-23 triumph in set two.
The Waves quickly took back the momentum of the match in the third frame and jumped out to a 16-9 lead. With a .632 clip (14-2-19) in the set, Pepperdine put the set away 25-16 to go ahead 2-1. The well-balanced attack was led by Antonijevic, Gerrans and Taylor with three kills each, and four put aways courtesy of Torres.
The Stanford squad threatened to force a fifth set and held leads at 9-5 and 18-15, but a string of errors followed by a Gerrans ace put the home team on top 20-19. The Cardinal knotted the score up twice more, but kills by Gerrans, Taylor and Torres gave the Waves match point. Gerrans tagged the final ball to the ground to clinch the 25-23 victory.
Ryan Plueger finished the match with a season-high eight digs, while Kalmbach was credited with seven kills and a pair of blocks.