The best collegiate volleyball player in America is an Australian. Paul Carroll of Pepperdine, a 6-foot-8 senior who sent out e-mails and DVDs four years ago looking for a college after being a teenage standout in Australia, had 33 kills in helping the Waves defeat Cal State Northridge, 27-30, 40-38, 30-26, 30-23, Thursday night in a semifinal match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament at UC Irvine's Bren Center.
No. 2-seeded Pepperdine (22-4) advances to Saturday's 7 p.m. final against No. 5 USC, which upset top-seeded Irvine, 30-25, 30-25, 30-27. The winner of the match between will earn an automatic berth to next week's NCAA Final Four at Brigham Young.
Carroll was selected the MPSF player of the year this season, and he was at his best in the decisive second game, contributing 15 kills.
"He was definitely the difference," Northridge Coach Jeff Campbell said. "He's a great volleyball player. He's played against the best in the world."
-- Eric Sondheimer
Photo: Pepperdine's Paul Carroll winding up for a kill against Stanford in January. Credit: Chris Michaels via Flickr.