No. 5 USC Men's Volleyball Falls In 4 Sets To No. 3 Pepperdine

    Henry Cassiday

    Jan. 16, 2014

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    Josh Taylor had 17 kills and 12 digs and Kyle Gerrans added 16 kills and 13 digs to help the No. 3-ranked Pepperdine men's volleyball team stay undefeated by posting a tight 26-28, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 victory over No. 5 USC in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Thursday (Jan. 16) at USC's Galen Center.

    The Waves are 3-0 overall and in the MPSF, while the Trojans fell to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF.

    Henry Cassiday had a career-best 21 digs, a USC rally scoring era match record. Lucas Yoder led the Trojans with 16 kills, while Robert Feathers got his first start of the season and posted 10 kills. Andy Benesh added 9 kills while hitting .444.

    Gerrans hit .452 for Pepperdine. Teammate Parker Kalmbach had 11 kills, 10 blocks and 13 digs, while J.J. Mosoff came off the bench to get 10 kills while hitting .769. Matt West had 11 digs and Brennan Anderson added 10 digs.

    The Waves hit .302 and had 18.5 blocks and 61 digs. USC hit just .200 with 9.0 blocks and 54 digs. Troy had 5 aces.

    USC trailed 7-2 in the opening set, but crawled back to go up 22-21 with a 3-0 run and then a combination block by Feathers and Micah Christenson followed by a Christenson ace down the line ended it. In the second set, USC fell behind early again, trailing 8-3 only to tie it at 15-15 before the Waves regained the lead late in the set while hitting .343 and getting 4.5 blocks. The third set began like the first two, with Pepperdine forging an 8-4 lead, then USC tied it at 10-10 only to have the Waves go up 15-11 after a 4-0 spurt and hold off Troy (Pepperdine had 7.5 blocks and hit .346 in the set). USC fought back from a 6-3 deficit in the fourth set to build a 14-12 lead, but Pepperdine recovered to go ahead 21-18 and held on to close out the match.

    USC now goes on the road for its first MPSF away contests when it plays at No. 4 Long Beach State on Jan. 22 and Cal State Northridge on Jan. 24. Both matches start at 7 p.m.