Trojans take down the Waves at Galen Center
A well-rested Trojan menâs volleyball team took the court at the Galen Center Friday night, sweeping the Waves by a score of 25-23, 27-25, and 25-16.
Playing for the first time in almost a week, the Trojans held off furious Pepperdine comebacks in the first two sets, then cruised in the third and clinching set to improve their record for 6-4 overall, with a 5-4 record in conference.
An impressive aspect of the victory for the Trojans definitely came with the improvement of the Trojansâ defensive play after last weekâs loss to UCLA. The Trojans had 13 blocks to the Wavesâ 5.
With extra time off, the Trojans had more practices during the week, practicing four times rather than the usual one or two.
âWe really got the chance to work on our all-around gameâ said senior middle blocker and co-captain Steven Shandrick when asked about the victory. âWe worked on our serving and passing a lot, and it really showed in the game.â
Redshirt junior outside hitter Steven Mochalski led the team with 14 kills, and the Trojan offense hit at an impressive .333 clip, a drastic improvement after hitting a season-low .103 against UCLA last week.
Freshman setter Micah Christenson also had one of his most impressive performances of the season, having a .521 assisting percentage to go along with leading the Trojans with 7 digs.
Junior outside hitter Maddison McKibbin made his season debut after being sidelined in the preseason with an ankle sprain, and filled in with four blocks for sophomore opposite Tanner Jansen, who was out for the third set after spraining his ankle.
Getting back on the right track after a demoralizing loss at home was crucial for the Trojans, and Shandrick emphasized this after the game, stating âThe Pepperdine was a must-win game for us. We were all hungry to win, and we showed that if we put in the work in practice, then the results will show in the game.â
The teamâs next game comes on Thursday against the NAIA squad Hope International, which is sure to be a welcome break from conference play.