Jasper powers Pepperdine past Lincoln Memorial to open 2023 season

Photo courtesy of Pepperdine athletics

There was simply no slowing down outside attacker Jaylen Jasper.

Jasper finished with a match-high 21 kills on a .486 attack percentage as No. 5 Pepperdine swept Lincoln Memorial 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 in the 2023 NCAA men’s volleyball season opener on Thursday in Malibu, California.

The graduate student led the Waves with seven kills in each of the three games. Jasper also did not commit more than one attack error in any of the games against the Railsplitters.

Along with the offensive performance, Jasper had a career-high six aces to help secure the sweep in the debut match of Waves head coach Jonathan Winder.


Jasper was one of two Pepperdine players to have more than five kills in the non-conference win. Outside attacker Joe Deluzio, who was inserted into the starting lineup after having limited playing time last season, added six kills.

All-American setter Bryce Dvorak had 35 assists and guided the offense to out-hit Lincoln Memorial .247 to .195, including Pepperdine having a match-best .333 attack percentage in the opening game.

Freshman outside attacker Shay Spadaro had 10 kills on a .368 attack percentage and was the only Railsplitter with double-digit kills.

Despite the loss, Lincoln Memorial out-blocked Pepperdine to 10 to 7. Middle attacker Will Eiken led all players with seven blocks, while three other starters each contributed three blocks.

Middle attacker Akin Akinwumi led Pepperdine with five blocks.

This was the first all-time meeting between the Waves and Railsplitters and a match-up between two teams that won postseason tournaments in 2022 was t

Lincoln Memorial ended last season winning its fourth consecutive IVA championship, while Pepperdine won the MPSF Tournament and qualified for its third consecutive NCAA Tournament.