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Valley / Ventura County Sports

Pepperdine Has Easy Time With CSUN

Volleyball: In a match less intense than their previous meeting, the Waves defeat the Matadors in four games.

March 26, 2000|MIKE BRESNAHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MALIBU — It was the same two teams, minus the five-game intensity of their match two months ago.

In the end, the winner was the same.

Andre Breuer delivered 30 kills, Scott Wong had 29 and the Waves defeated Cal State Northridge for the ninth consecutive time, 15-11, 14-16, 15-6, 15-10, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match Saturday night at Pepperdine.

The match was interesting at times, but not the nail-biting quality of the Waves' victory over Northridge in February, which concluded with a 16-14 Pepperdine victory in the fifth game.

Still, the Waves (16-3, 12-2 in MPSF play) will take a victory, heart-racing or not.

After a mini-slump that included consecutive losses to Hawaii and top-ranked Long Beach State, No. 2-ranked Pepperdine has rebounded, sweeping No. 5-ranked Ohio State and handling the Matadors.

Northridge (8-12, 4-10) played well in spurts, winning the second game and taking a 7-3 lead in the fourth game.

"We're moving in the right direction," said Coach Jeff Campbell of Northridge. "We're close."

The Waves are already there.

Donny Killian, who had five aces against Ohio State, added three against the Matadors, including two in succession in the fourth game that gave Pepperdine a 10-7 lead.

"Donny was huge again," said interim Coach Jeff Stork, who is guiding the Waves while Marv Dunphy is an assistant with the U.S. national team for a year.

"You need a momentum changer and that split the game open."

The Waves had 12 aces to Northridge's three. The Waves also out-blocked Northridge, 16-11.

"If my hunch is correct, that's the first time we've out-blocked a team this year," Stork said.

Actually, Pepperdine has out-blocked seven teams this season, but it has been a while--UC San Diego on March 4--since the Waves had more blocks than their opponent.

Brad Kennan, a 6-foot-8 freshman middle blocker, had nine total blocks for Pepperdine.

Breuer and Killian each had six blocks for the Waves.

Eckhard Walter had 26 kills and Junior Mosones added 20 for the Matadors, whose playoff chances have basically slipped away.

The Matadors must win their five remaining MPSF matches, including one at home against UCLA on Friday, to have an outside shot at the playoffs.

UCLA also figures into Pepperdine's immediate future. The Waves have an important match at UCLA on April 8.

The Waves beat the Bruins in five games in February, with the rematch having direct implications on seedings for the MPSF tournament.

The Waves hold a one-game edge over No. 4-ranked UCLA (21-3, 11-3) in the Mountain Division of the MPSF.

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