No. 9 Pepperdine Men's Volleyball Outlasts USC In 5 Sets

    Matt Douglas
    Jan. 28, 2017

    Final Stats

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    Michael Wexler had 19 kills and David Wieczorek added 17 kills to help the No. 9-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team outlast unranked USC in 5 sets, 20-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16, 15-11 in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28) in Malibu.

    Pepperdine improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the MPSF. The Trojans lost their fifth consecutive match and now are 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the MPSF.

    Gianluca Grasso, in just his second match after transferring mid-season to USC, had 18 kills and 8 digs, while teammate Andy Benesh added 12 kills and hit .455, Woody Cook had 11 kills and 11 digs, Connor Inlow had 9 kills (hitting .467), Aaron Strange had 9 kills and 6 digs and Matt Douglas had 7 digs.

    For the second straight match, the Trojans were without their top player, Lucas Yoder, who was out with a sprained ankle suffered in practice this week.

    Wexler hit .444 for the Waves and also had 9 digs and 4 blocks, while Wieczorek hit .536 and added 4 aces. Mitchell Penning had 7 kills (hitting .357) and 5 blocks and Joshua Stewart had 8 digs.

    Pepperdine outhit (.301 to .254) and outblocked (10.5 to 4.5) USC, but Troy had more digs (43 to 33).

    USC went on a 5-0 run in the first set to go up 16-11 and was never threatened. The Trojans fought back from an early 4-point deficit in the second set to tie it at 10-10, but Pepperdine then went on a late 5-point run to build a comfortable 24-20 edge as the Waves hit .400. USC scored 3 consecutive points to build an 8-5 lead in the third set, then held off several runs by the Waves while hitting .395. Pepperdine scored 5 unanswered points to forge a 12-7 margin in the fourth set and steadily pulled away by hitting .733. The Waves scored 3 straight points to move out to an 8-5 lead in the final set and held off USC to capture the set while hitting .500.

    USC next concludes its 5-match road trip when it visits No. 7 UC Irvine on Friday (Feb. 3) at 7 p.m. in an MPSF match.