A top national high school recruit will be Pepperdine’s starting setter as a true freshman for the upcoming season.
Pepperdine Hall of Fame coach Marv Dunphy said Tuesday that Matt West will be the Waves’ starting setter for the team’s season-opener in January.
West, a 6-foot-5 setter from Seattle, played two years for the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team and helped lead the United States to an 11th-place finish at the Youth World Championships in August. He also was named a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 top recruit after being a three-time MVP for his club team.
“He’s a good volleyball player,” Dunphy said. “He’s a good server and a good hitter and a good setter. He kind of has that balance. … He’s really well rounded and a good volleyball player and has a lot of potential.”
Dunphy also said with West being so young he expects the setter will improve throughout his college career as he continues to physically develop and get stronger.
Pepperdine ended last season in ninth place in the MPSF and missed the conference tournament for the first time in its program history. The Waves were projected to finish the conference regular season in eighth place in the MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll that was released last week.
The Waves have four returning starters, including outside attacker Maurice Torres who ended 2011 in the nation’s top 10 for kills per game average.
Among the players who graduated for Pepperdine after last season included starting setter Kasey Crider. Crider was a two-time All-American and ended his college career second with the most career assists in school history.
Pepperdine will open its season at home with a non-conference two-match series against Lewis on Jan. 7-8.