OAKLAND, CA -- The Banana Slugs played their first match in two weeks as they took on Holy Names University in Oakland. Just like the previous meeting between these two teams on January 16th in Santa Cruz, the Banana Slugs won the match 3-1 over the Hawks.
Both teams were coming off losses in their last match. The Banana Slugs were coming off a 3-0 loss to Concordia University of Irvine in Irvine on March 14th while the Hawks were coming off a 3-2 loss to North Greenville University on March 10th in Tigerville, South Carolina.
In the first set, the Hawks came out firing on all cylinders taking a 6-1 lead, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error. The closest that the Banana Slugs would get was three on three occasions; the third at 16-13 on a Brandon Torado kill. The Hawks would gain their largest lead of the set at seven on two occasions; the second occasion coming at set point on a service ace. The Hawks won the first set 25-18 and led the match 1-0.
The two teams would start the second set trading points for the first eight serves. The Hawks would take their largest lead of the set at two, at 6-4, on a Keenan Paulos kill. The Banana Slugs would take the lead in the set for good at 8-7 on a Jake Howard kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at eight on two occasions; the second occasion coming at 22-14 on a Lake Merchen kill. The Banana Slugs won the second set 25-19 and tied the match at 1-1.
In the third set, the two teams would again trade points to begin the set. In this set, the two teams traded points for the first twenty serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead, and not relinquish it, for good in the set at 11-10 on a Torado kill. The Hawks would tie the set at 13-13 on a bad set by the Banana Slugs. From there, the Banana Slugs went on a 12-5 set-ending run capped by a service ace. The Banana Slugs won the third set 25-18 and took the match lead at 2-1.
In the fourth set, the two teams would trade points for the first sixteen serves. After the Hawks tied the set at 8-8 on a Kyle Cezares kill, the Banana Slugs would go on a 7-1 run, capped by a Merchen kill to make the score 15-9, to take the lead for good. The closest that the Hawks would come was two on three occasions; the third occasion coming at 17-15 on a Blake Jansen kill. The largest lead of the set for the Banana Slugs was nine, at match point, on a Merchen kill. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-16 and won the match 3-1.
For UC Santa Cruz, Jake Howard had a match high thirteen kills and for Holy Names, Conan True had twelve kills. Blake Chadwick had a match high forty one assists for UC Santa Cruz and Nelson Fish also had a match high forty one for Holy Names. Jake Hurwitz led the Banana Slugs with a match high eleven digs and Bryson-Joey Morn had ten digs for the Hawks.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .342 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .545 while Holy Names had a .254 hitting percentage with the first set having the best percentage at .370. UC Santa Cruz had five more service aces (7-2) than did Holy Names.
The next match for the Banana Slugs will be on April 2nd as they return to New York for a five game road trip. The Banana Slugs will take on Medaille College in Buffalo at noon.