IRVINE, CA -- UC Santa Cruz started their second day at the Asics/Wyndham Hotel Spring Classic as they took on UC Merced for the third time this season. As with the two previous matches with the Golden Bobcats this season, the Banana Slugs swept the Golden Bobcats 3-0.
The Banana Slugs were coming off a 3-2 loss yesterday to Clarke University in Irvine while the Golden Bobcats were coming off a 3-0 loss to Warner University earlier today in Irvine.
In the first set, the Golden Bobcats would take their largest lead of the set at two, at 2-0, on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would tie the set at 4-4 on Jorge Reyes kill and then would go on a 7-1 run capped by an Evan Kittle kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at nine, at 20-11, on a Lake Merchen kill. The Banana Slugs would win the first set 25-19 and led the match 1-0.
The second set started just like the first with the Golden Bobcats taking a 2-0 lead. The Banana Slugs would get back into the match and take the lead, at 5-4, on a Brian Campbell kill. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead to three, at 10-7 on a Merchen kill. The Golden Bobcats would claw their way back into the match and take the lead, at 16-15, on a Banana Slugs attack error. The Golden Bobcats would expand their lead to two, at 17-15, on a Samuel Hala'ufia kill. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and would take the lead, at 20-19, on a Golden Bobcats' attack error. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at four at set point. The Banana Slugs won the second set 25-21 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.
During the first half of the first set, the Golden Bobcats held the Banana Slugs at arms' length with their largest lead being two on five different occasions. The fifth occasion came at 14-12 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 16-15, on a Golden Bobcats' attack error. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at four, at 24-20, on a Ryan Manley kill. The Banana Slugs would win the third set 25-22 and would win the match 3-0.
For UC Santa Cruz, Ryan Manley and Lake Merchen both had a match high eleven kills and for UC Merced, Cole Smith had nine kills. Evan Kittle had a match high thirty five assists for UC Santa Cruz and Scott Livesay had sixteen for UC Merced. Cameron Bardeau led the Banana Slugs with seven digs and Smith had a match high eight digs for the Golden Bobcats.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .297 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .308 while UC Merced had a .217 hitting percentage with the second set having the best percentage at .208. UC Santa Cruz had six more serve aces (8-2) than did UC Merced.
The Banana Slugs' next game will be later today as they take on tournament host Concordia University of Irvine. The first serve is set for 7 pm.