RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- No. 7 California Baptist University paid No. 5 Pepperdine back for an earlier season four set loss, beating the Waves 3-1 (27-29, 25-23, 25-19, 25-21) at home.
Pepperdine took the opening game, but couldn’t find another win as the Lancers stormed back to win the final three sets.
“We played well and took care of our game tonight,” said CBU Head Coach Wes Schneider. “It got a little scary at the end. We lost some focus and they came back, but we were able to recover well against a very good team.”
After losing a tight opening set in extra points, CBU came back and hit .409 on 13 kills to even the match at 1-1.
Pepperdine tried to rally from a late 23-20 deficit, pulling to within one on a Maurice Torres ace. Torres would fire the next ball into the net, however, giving the Lancers the win.
CBU made quicker work of the fourth, using a 4-0 run midway through the game to go up 17-12 and hang on for the six-point win. The Lancers hit .476 in the game, committing just two attack errors on 21 attempts.
It was even earlier in the fourth when the Lancers started to pull away, taking a 13-7 lead, forcing a Pepperdine timeout.
CBU had to use a timeout several points later as Leonardo Granato ripped home an over ball to pull the Waves to within three at 19-16. Pepperdine would continue its push, pulling to within one, 21-20, but Aaron McCalmont terminated a long rally with a kill from the right side to stem the run.
Two straight Pepperdine errors would give the Lancers match point. A third on the serve finished it, giving CBU a 25-21 win.
The Lancers posted a .369 hitting percentage and had 13.5 blocks in the match, their fourth and third best totals this season respectively.
The Waves hit .183 and were led by Torres with 15 kills. Torres also served three aces and Pepperdine ripped six aces overall.
“We got some great performances out of the guys. They stuck to the game plan and did a good job executing it,” said Schneider. “I thought Rocky DeLyon did an especially great job even after tweaking his ankle early in the match. He was huge at the net.”
DeLyon posted a match-high seven blocks Saturday night.
The win moves CBU to 14-12 overall, 10-10 in the MPSF and drops the Waves to 12-9, 11-9.
It was the Lancers' ninth win over a Top 10 team this season and second against a Top 5 team.