A Tough Weekend For Slug Volleyball
It was a tough week for the UCSC Women's Volleyball team against some tough competition. First the Slugs had to battle against NCAA Division II CSU Monterey Bay on Wednesday night. After a close first game, the Slugs couldn't pull off a win and lost in 3 straight (27-30, 24-30, 20-30). A valiant effort by Senior Outside Hitter Nicole Payne who had 9 kills and 12 digs for the match. Daniella Reagan and Ariel Ajagu each added 8 kills and 1 block and Junior Libero Melinda Tom tallied 19 digs.
The team then traveled down south once again to compete in the Cal Lutheran/Redlands Tournament. First up was NAIA The Master's College. Although the Slugs were down a starter, Gillian McGraw, who was out for the week with an injury, they came out on top against The Master's in 4 games (24-30, 31-29, 30-26, 30-17). Solid performances from Freshman Middle Blocker Ariel Ajagu who led with 14 kills, Sophomore Middle Blocker Jen Meyers who had 13 kills and hit .522 for the match, Junior Middle Blocker Daniella Reagan who had 12 kills and Senior Outside Hitter Nicole Payne who had 12 kills, 4 aces, and 12 digs. Sophomore Setter Amy Knight also racked up 57 assists for the match.
Up next was host school Cal Lutheran who was previously ranked #21 in NCAA Division III. The Slugs lost in 3 straight (17-30, 23-30, 14-30).
On Saturday, September 15th, UC Santa Cruz faced rival DIII Independent powerhouse Cal State East Bay, currently ranked #13 in the NCAA. Although the Slugs played tough the entire match almost pulling out a win in game 2, they lost in 3 straight (26-30, 31-33, 22-30). Senior Outside Hitter Nicole Payne had an epic match leading with 10 kills and 19 digs. Sophomore Opposite Jackie McCrory also had a good performance contributing 6 kills on the match.
The last match of the tournament was against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. After winning the first two games of the match handily, CMS rallied back to defeat the Slugs in 5 games (30-25, 30-15, 28-30, 23-30, 4-15). Freshman Middle Blocker Ariel Ajagu had a great match leading the team with 15 kills and 3 blocks. Senior Outside Hitter Nicole Payne also had a good showing with 14 kills 7 digs, 3 blocks and 1 ace for the match.
The Slugs go into the next week with a record of 6-7 for the season. They will have to face Cal State East Bay once again on Tuesday, September 18th and head down south for the third straight weekend in a row to compete in the La Verne Tournament.