Banana Slugs Start Three-Match Saturday with Victory

Banana Slugs Start Three-Match Saturday with Victory

THOUSAND OAKS (2-3) UC Santa Cruz played their first match of the day as they took on North Central College in Thousand Oaks as a part of the CLU Invitational. The Banana Slugs won 3-1 over the Cardinals

This match is a rematch of a match that was played last Sunday in River Forest, Illinois which saw the Banana Slugs sweep the Cardinals 3-0. In their last match, the Banana Slugs won 3-0 over Brooklyn College in Thousand Oaks yesterday while the Cardinals won 3-2 over California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks yesterday.

In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first six serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 4-3, on a service error by the Cardinals. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at five on three separate occasions; the third occasion at 12-7 on a service error by the Cardinals. The Cardinals would tie the set on four separate occasions; the fourth occasion at 16-16 on an attack error by the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-22 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Banana Slugs would score the first three points of the set. The Cardinals would work their way back into set and would tie the set at 4-4 on a bad set by the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would go on a 11-7 spurt, capped by an attack error by the Cardinals, to take their largest lead of the set at four at 15-11. The Cardinals would score the next four points in the set to take the lead at 16-15 on a Nick Lilley kill. The Cardinals would gain their largest lead of the set at two, at 24-22, on a Lilley kill. The Banana Slugs would score the next four points to win the set 26-24 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Cardinals would start the set on a 9-2 run capped by a service ace by the Cardinals. The seven point lead was the largest of the set for the Cardinals. The Banana Slugs would come as close as three on six occasions; the sixth occasion at 18-15 on a Lake Merchen kill. The Cardinals won the third set 25-19 and trimmed the Banana Slugs lead in the match to 2-1.

In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs would start the set with the first three points of the set. The Cardinals would come as close as one on three separate occasions; the third occasion at 6-5 on a Brandon Crawford kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at nine on five separate occasions; the fifth occasion at match point on an assisted block by Justin Fortner and Ryan Manley. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-16 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Lake Merchen had twelve kills and for North Central, Lilley had a match high thirteen kills. Evan Kittle had a match high forty one assists for UC Santa Cruz and Michael Trunzo had thirty four for North Central. Merchen led the Banana Slugs with a match high sixteen digs and Samuel Kharasch also had a match high sixteen digs for the Cardinals.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .136 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .273 while North Central had a .101 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .500. The Banana Slugs had three more service aces (7-4) than did the Cardinals.

The Banana Slugs finish up their trip to Southern California with an exhibition match against Orange Coast College in Thousand Oaks and a match against CSU Northridge tonight at 7:15 pm in Northridge.