Photos courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics
The Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball team split their first two games at home with a 3-0 victory over Cal Lutheran and a tough 4-1 loss to No. 5 UC Irvine.
Senior outside hitter Colby Harriman is seeking to lead the Waves to the NCAA tournament and hopefully a National Championship. Harriman and the four other seniors have made it their mission this season to prove that Pepperdine Volleyball has what it takes to be the best.
“We want to show the country that Pepperdine is a powerhouse and we deserve to be in the tournament at the end of the year,” Harriman said.
With eight new additions to the roster and David Hunt in his first year as head coach, the Waves are a young, fresh-faced team for the 2018 season. Harriman expressed his excitement about the prospects of this new team.
“This year’s team is most certainly unique. It is a special team and we have the ability to go far,” Harriman said. “We are all very close, but it takes much more than just camaraderie to be a great team. We are all competitors that want to win in everything we do: in the classroom, in the practice gym, and in matches. The drive to be the best in everything is special and the whole team is on board with our goals and what we want to accomplish between now and April.”
When it comes to goals for the Men’s Volleyball team, Harriman emphasized that as a top-tier program, the Waves are always striving for championships.
“Pepperdine Volleyball is such a storied program and is in contention for a national championship every season,” Harriman said. “Right now, we are focused on executing our game plan for the next match and playing the best volleyball that will put us in the position to finish our season in the national tournament.”
The legacy of Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball was a major factor in Harriman’s decision to study and play in Malibu. The Rochester, N.Y. native started playing volleyball when his eighth grade English teacher — who was also the varsity high school coach — brought him to an open gym session.
Since he was already dedicating most of his time outside of school to tennis, Harriman was initially hesitant to try a new sport. But he soon learned volleyball was a perfect fit, as he was one of the tallest boys in the grade. After the fateful open gym, he fell in love with volleyball and has been playing ever since.
When it was time to choose a university to study and play volleyball at, Pepperdine was always at the top of his list.
“Pepperdine is the perfect blend of high-quality academics, a national championship-contending team, and a unique opportunity to play for the legendary Marv Dunphy,” Harriman said.
Harriman said he places great value in the time he has had at Pepperdine and the opportunities he has been given through the volleyball program.
“I’m enjoying the opportunity to compete at this high level and to be around the people that make Pepperdine great. Learning from those who have gone before me is such an honor and not one that I take for granted,” Harriman said.
Harriman’s leadership and presence on the team throughout his three years as a Wave have not gone unnoticed. Over the past three years, Harriman has played in 127 total sets putting down 269 kills and 150 errors on 632 swings as well as 68 blocks and 319 points.
“Colby has shown a ton of growth as a volleyball player but also as a person,” Head Coach David Hunt said. “He has made huge strides in his mental approach to the game. He is focused on the process of being the best version of himself daily. I am excited for the rest of the season with Colby and the Waves.”
Post-graduation, Harriman has several paths to choose from. He said he is thinking of pursuing the opportunity to play overseas or working for a couple of years before going to grad school. As an International Studies Major with an emphasis in Political Science, Harriman has applied to multiple government organizations as well as think tanks and lobbying firms with the intention of putting his Pepperdine education to work.
However, until graduation, it’s #HuntingSeason for Harriman and the Waves.
— Pepperdine M. Volley (@PeppVolleyball) January 8, 2018
“You should be expecting big things from this team,” Harriman said. “We have a special team full of guys that love playing volleyball and love being successful. We are all driven in everything we do and that drive will translate into great things for our team. The field is wide open this year with every team vying for the top spot in the rankings. I think our shot this year is as good as any and the guys recognize that. We are all fired up to get after it and show the country what we are capable of."
#TheHunt continues in Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 20 against UC Santa Barbara at 6 p.m.
Follow Sam on Twitter @sam_marlott