News and Events
Men's Volleyball Advances to NCAA Championship Match
The Pepperdine men's volleyball team will try for its sixth NCAA title Saturday, May 3, as the second-seeded Waves (17-10) take on top-seeded Penn State (29-1) in the national championship match. The game begins at 4 p.m. at the Bren Events Center in Irvine and will be televised on ESPN2.The Waves defeated Long Beach State (LBSU) in three games (30-26, 30-21, 30-26) in the semifinals on Thursday, May 1. Junior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach hit a career-best .778 to help take the Waves one step closer to a national championship.
After scoring the first two points of game one, the Waves never trailed in the semifinals, though it was always close. They defeated the 49ers (23-7) for the third time in four matches this season. This was Pepperdine's third straight three-game sweep. The last meeting was in the MPSF Tournament semifinals in Long Beach.
"I thought we hit the court pretty well," Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy said. "That is always a good sign. I don't know how many hitting errors they made, but we did a pretty good job of hitting the court. All year long Long Beach State has put out some great numbers. We just got hot at their place and then just hit the court well tonight."
The Waves are 16-3 all-time against Penn State and have won all three previous meetings in the NCAA Championships (all three were in the semifinals). Penn State is going for its second NCAA men's volleyball championship.
"It doesn't matter how you get here, competing in the NCAAs is special," Dunphy commented. "My guess is at one time this year we were just above .500 and then we got better. The team has improved quite a bit. We will have to be good on Saturday night because Penn State looks pretty good. They are by far the best team from the East or Midwest that I have seen."
Tickets for the championship match are $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Call the Bren Events Center Ticket Office (949) 824-5000 to purchase tickets.
For more information on the Pepperdine men's volleyball team, please visit the Pepperdine Athletics Web site.