Waves Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Teams Open Seasons With Victories

Junior libero Madison Shields playing against San Francisco.

The Pepperdine Waves indoor volleyball teams started their seasons off by each grabbing a pair of wins last week. 

The Waves men’s volleyball squad defeated Concordia on Jan. 25 at home, then again two days later in Concordia’s Irvine-based gym. The Pepperdine women’s volleyball team downed San Francisco on Jan. 26 and again the next day. Both victories were in Malibu. 

The men’s squad’s season-opening win was by a score of 3-2. Concordia won the first match, 25-23, and the third match, 25-18, but Pepperdine won the other three matches, 25-20, 25-17 and 15-5. Senior Spencer Wickens led the Waves. Starting for the first time at outside hitter, Wickens tallied 23 kills, 2 aces and 1 block. Akin Akinwumi, a redshirt freshman opposite, added 15 kills, 11 digs and 4 aces, while senior outside hitter Noah Dyer had 10 kills and 14 digs. Freshman setter Bryce Dvorak had 39 assists, 4 digs, 3 kills and 2 aces. Freshman libero Trey Cole had a match-high 18 digs. 

The Waves’ next victory was a sweep. Pepperdine won the first match, 25-22, then grabbed victories of 25-21 and 25-19. Wickens led the group with 10 kills and 8 digs with a .421 hitting percentage. Dyer had 8 kills and sophomore opposite Jacob Steele tallied 7 kills. Two freshmen also had big performances. Anderson Fuller, a middle blocker, registered six kills while hitting .600 and had a team-high 5 blocks. Dvorak tallied 31 assists, 5 digs and 4 service aces. 

Pepperdine women’s team opened the season with a sweep over San Francisco. The squad won by scores of 25-12, 25-21, and 25-20. Junior outside hitter Rachel Ahrens led the group with a career-high 6 blocks, a team-high 10 kills, 7 digs and 1 block. Senior outside hitter Shannon Scully had 8 kills, 12 digs and 4 blocks, and sophomore setter Isabel Zelaya tallied 33 assists and 15 digs. Senior middle blocker Alli O’Harra had 8 blocks and 4 kills while hitting .375 and junior libero Madison Shields had 18 digs and 2 assists. Freshman middle blocker Meg Brown had 8 kills and 4 blocks and sophomore outside hitter Kayleigh Hames registered 5 kills, 3 digs, 1 block and 1 ace.

The Waves defeated San Francisco in four sets—23-25, 31-29, 25-17, 25-22—for their second victory. Ahrens led Pepperdine with 18 kills with a .306 hitting percentage and 16 digs. Zelaya rang up 46 assists, 12 digs, 6 blocks and 2 kills, and Shields had 18 digs, 5 assists and 1 ace. Scully had 9 kills, 10 digs and 2 aces. Brown registered 12 kills with a .588 hitting percentage and 5 blocks. Freshman outside hitter and opposite Emma Ammerman had 15 kills with a .387 hitting percentage. O’Harra had 3 blocks and 3 kills and Hames finished with 9 digs. 

The men’s volleyball team will play at BYU on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. The women’s team played at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team will then play at Santa Clara on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10.