Malibu, CA-The No. 7 Waves missed an opportunity to improve their post-season chances Friday with a 3-2 loss to No. 5 Stanford at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Cardinal (15-5) came into Malibu after a disappointing 3-1 loss to Hawaii and quickly took hold of the match with a 25-17 first set victory, due in large part to eight errors by the Pepperdine attack. The Waves (12-11), led by Junior Maurice Torres, scampered back to take two of the next three to force a fifth set.
The Cardinal took a quick 3-0 lead in the fifth before Pepperdine called a timeout, but would battle back to keep it close thanks to timely kills by middle blocker Matt Pollock and digs by Scott Rhein. In the end, the errors caught up to the Waves and Stanford took the set 15-12.
On Saturday the Waves (13-11) made amends to their loss from the previous night and would battle to a 3-2 victory over the next member-to-be of the WCC, the Pacific Tigers (7-16). Late arriving fans made their way to the Fieldhouse after the Gym Class Heros/Matt Kearny concert was cut short due to weather, and the Waves made the fans sit on the edge of their seat, dropping the fourth set 29-27, and going the distance in the fifth for an identical 15-12 win—the same score they ironically lost to Stanford the night before.
The Waves, who played without the services of Josh Taylor who left Friday’s match an injury, had four players in double figures in the kills department, and were led by Matt Tarantino’s eight blocks at the net.
Pepperdine will host UC-Irvine this Thursday at the Firestone Fieldhouse. UCI took a 3-1 decision at the Bren Center in January.