THOUSAND OAKS (2-11) – The NCAA Division III #4 Banana Slugs played their ninth match of the season away from the friendly confines of West Field House as they took on California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. The Banana Slugs held the Kingsmen to below a .140 hitting percentage and won 3-0.
Both teams won their last match. The Banana Slugs won 3-0 over NCAA Division III #13 River University in Rochester last Saturday while the Kingsmen won 3-1 over El Camino College in Thousand Oaks yesterday.
In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first eight serves of the set. The Banana Slugs took the lead for good, at 5-4, on a Kingsmen service error. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at six, at set point, on a Kingsmen attack error. The Banana Slugs would win the first set 25-19 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the two teams would again trade points; this set the two teams traded points for the first twenty serves. The Kingsmen would gain their largest lead of the set at two, at 11-9, on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs take the lead for good at 14-13 on a Kingsmen service error. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead at six, at set point, on a Kingsmen attack error. The Banana Slugs won the second set 25-19 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, the Kingsmen would score the first two points of the set. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 5-4, on a Jake Howard kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at four, at 18-14, on an assisted block by Justin Fortner and Ryan McLaughlin. The Kingsmen would tie the set on five occasions; the fifth occasion at 20-20 on an assisted block by Michael Campbell and Patrick Rowe. The Banana Slugs would win the third set 25-22. The win for the Banana Slugs marked their fifth consecutive victory.
For UC Santa Cruz, Howard had a match high twelve kills and for California Lutheran, Kristian Gallardo had eleven kills. Ryan McLaughlin had a match high thirty-one assists for UC Santa Cruz and Nick Shoemate had twenty five for California Lutheran. Cameron Bardeau led the Banana Slugs with a match high nine digs and Jamal Balkhi had eight digs apiece for the Kingsmen.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .282 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .500 while California Lutheran had a .135 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .219. The Banana Slugs had two more service aces (3-1) than did the Kingsmen.
The Banana Slugs will now have thirteen days before their next match. The next match for the Banana Slugs will be February 24th as they take on NAIA member Hope International University in Fullerton at 7 pm.