Pepperdine rides the Wieczorek wave to MPSF championship, NCAA Tournament berth

Photo by Jonathan Bates

Outside attacker David Wieczorek showed why he was the back-to-back MPSF Player of the Year.

Wieczorek finished with a match-high 18 kills on a .571 attack percentage as the No. 1 seed Pepperdine swept the No. 3 seed USC 25-23, 25-20, 27-25 in the MPSF Tournament finals on Saturday in Malibu, California.

With this victory, Pepperdine advances to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Waves also extended their winning streak to six matches, which includes four victories against top-10 nationally ranked teams.

Pepperdine on its home court out-hit USC .410 to .233 and throughout the match committed seven attack errors — 11 fewer errors than USC. The Waves in the opening game hit a match-best .538 and then had more than a .300 attack percentage in each of the final two games.

Along with Wieczorek, opposite Michael Wexter contributed 10 kills in the championship win. In addition, outside attacker Kaleb Denmark had eight kills while hitting .389.

Wexter also was one of three Waves to finish with a match-high four blocks.

All-conference outside attacker Jack Wyett in the loss led the Trojans with 13 kills.

The Trojans were attempting to become the first non-No. 1 seed to win the MPSF Tournament since 2012. USC won five of its final six regular season matches to earn the tournament’s No. 3 seed and then in the MPSF Tournament beat Grand Canyon and UCLA to reach the finals.

Despite the loss, USC remains in contention for one of the two at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. The at-large bids will be unveiled during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show at noon (CST) Sunday.

Pepperdine returns to the NCAA Tournament attempting to win its sixth national title in program history. The team has the second-most national championships in the history of NCAA men’s volleyball.