MALIBU - Though the Pepperdine men's volleyball program's 50th season was cut short, the Waves have continued their celebration that was planned with the recent release of the final All-Decade team and a list of former head coach Marv Dunphy's unsung heroes. Featured was former Irvine Valley College star libero Sean Grubbs, who played at Pepperdine from 2008-2010 and was a "flat-out" star and one of the hardest workers at Irvine Valley before that.
Utility: Sean Grubbs (2008-10) - Newport Beach, Calif. ... 2009 All-MPSF.
Marv says: "Like John Mayer, Rod Wilde and Peter Balding, Sean was a volleyball rat and a gamer. He was a very good athlete and he loved to compete. It still eats at him that he can't touch higher than his old coach! His best skill was passing tough spike serves. No server at any level could overpower Sean. One time, while watching Sean pass prior to a match, an opposing coach asked me, 'How do you teach that?' I said we didn't, he's a natural and he came that way."
Grubbs joined setter Matt West, opposite Maurice Torres, outside hitter David Wieczorek, outside hitter Josh Taylor, middle blocker Matt Trantino, middle blocker Parker Kalmbach and utility player J.D. Shcleppenbach on the 2010's squad for the Waves.
At Irvine Valley, Grubbs was part of Irvine Valley's special 2007 state championship team that beat LA Pierce in the semifinals in five sets and then upset favorite Long Beach City in five in the final.
The feature of the semifinal was a 38-36 win by the Lasers in the third set. Grubbs' ace gave IVC the third set win. Grubbs had 13 digs and three aces in the semifinal victory over Pierce and then followed up with 10 digs in the final triumph (15-13 in the fifth) over LBCC.
Dunphy has been associated with the program from almost the beginning. He transferred into Pepperdine in 1971-72 and played with the Waves for two seasons – the second and third teams in Pepperdine history. He then became an assistant coach before taking over as head coach ahead of the 1977 season. He was the head coach for a total of 34 seasons before stepping down after the 2017 campaign.
Congratulations Sean on the honor with the Waves!
(Courtesy Pepperdine Athletics)