It's his first year running the men's volleyball program at Pepperdine, but Coach Jeff Stork knows what to expect tonight at UCLA.
In short, a long night.
As the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation season winds down, both teams need a victory.
The Waves are in the hunt for the top seeding in the eight-team MPSF tournament, while UCLA is hunting for continuity.
The Bruins, who earlier this season lost to Cal State Northridge for only the third time in 43 matches, suffered a surprising four-game loss to Loyola Marymount on Wednesday.
"I think a late night is something that should be planned on," said Stork, the interim coach while Marv Dunphy is assisting the U.S. national team. "If you look at when top-five teams play each other, it's a dogfight."
Pepperdine needed three hours to defeat UCLA in February, 17-16, 17-16, 13-15, 8-15, 15-10, before 2,075 at Pepperdine.
Ranked No. 1 in the coaches' poll, the Waves (18-3, 14-2 in MPSF play) have extra incentive against the No. 4-ranked Bruins (22-4, 12-4).
The Waves trail Long Beach State (22-3, 15-2) by one-half game for the top seeding and home matches throughout the MPSF tournament.
"It's obviously an advantage to play at home," Stork said. "You get to sleep in your own bed. You don't have to drive an hour or two anywhere. It's definitely an advantage. But it's way too early to think about what's going to happen."
The Waves have clinched a home match in the first round of the MPSF tournament, which begins April 21.