Pepperdine will do something in the upcoming season it has not done in more than a decade — travel to the Midwest for a non-conference match.
Lewis as part of recently unveiling its 2017 schedule announced it will play host to Pepperdine on Jan. 14 in a match-up between teams that ended last season in the national rankings.
This will be the first time the Waves have a road non-conference match versus the MIVA in 13 years when they swept the Flyers in the opening weeks of the 2004 season. In addition, it will be the third time during the rally scoring era that Pepperdine has traveled outside of the West Coast for a non-conference match.
Pepperdine had two late-season upsets against top-five nationally ranked teams to finish last season in sixth place in the MPSF and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals. The Waves return multiple starters, including outside attacker David Wieczorek who earned Second-Team All-MPSF and Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team honors.
Lewis one-year removed from reaching the NCAA Tournament finals ended last season in fourth place in the MIVA and advanced to the conference tournament finals. Highlighting the starters returning for the Flyers for the upcoming season is Freshman All-American opposite Mitch Perinar, the 2016 MIVA Freshman of the Year, and all-conference middle attacker Jacob Schmiegelt.
The all-time series between the Waves and Flyers is tied at 2-2 with both teams splitting a two-match series in 2012 during their most recent meetings.
This also will be the first time the two programs have played each other since Lewis narrowly edged out Pepperdine for the final NCAA Tournament at-large bid in 2014. That selection outraged the MPSF as the Waves were ranked higher than the Flyers in the national coaches poll, which is not part of the NCAA Tournament selection criteria.
Pepperdine has yet to release its complete schedule for the 2017 season.