MERCED (9-19) – Playing their second match in as many nights, the Banana Slugs hit nearly .250 as they swept NAIA opponent UC Merced in Merced 3-0.
In their last match, the Banana Slugs lost 3-1 to Pacific Union College yesterday in Angwin while the Golden Bobcats won 3-0 over Mills College yesterday in Merced.
In the first set, the Golden Bobcats would gain their largest lead of the set at one, at 1-0, on a Rachael Schaefer kill. The Banana Slugs would gain the lead for good, at 2-1, on a Golden Bobcats' attack error. The Banana Slugs would continue to widen their lead and would gain their largest lead of the set at eleven on three different occasions; the third occasion coming at set point, at 25-14, on a Maya Lloyd kill. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-14 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the Banana Slugs would take the lead at 3-2 on a Lloyd kill. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead to three, at 5-2, on a Golden Bobcats' attack error. The Golden Bobcats would crawl back into the match and took the lead with an 8-1 run, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error, to make the score 10-6. The Golden Bobcats would expand their lead to six, their largest of the set, on two occasions; the second occasion at 16-10 on a Schaefer kill. From that point, the Banana Slugs would take over the set. They used a 15-2 set-ending run, capped by a Kellie Graves kill, to win the second set 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead in the set.
In the third set, the Golden Bobcats would score the first two points of the set on a Genesis Hester kill and a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and take the lead on a Golden Bobcats' attack error to make the score 3-2. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead to four, at 10-6, on a Lloyd kill. The Golden Bobcats would tie the set twice; the second occasion coming at 11-11 on a Shari Pandy kill. The Golden Bobcats would take the lead, at 12-11, on the next serve on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Golden Bobcats would expand their lead to six, their largest of the set, at 21-15 on a Banana Slugs attack error. The Banana Slugs would once again go on a set ending run. In this set, the run was an 11-3 run capped by a Tatum Novitzky kill to win the third set 26-24 and win the match 3-0.
For UC Santa Cruz, Novitzky had a match high sixteen kills and for UC Merced, Schaefer had fifteen kills. Sophie Seiberth had a match high thirty four assists for UC Santa Cruz and Brooke Wheeler had twenty two for UC Merced. Alison Ota led the Banana Slugs with a match high twenty one digs and three players (Hannah Castillo, Salamasina Satele and Wheeler) had eleven digs for the Golden Bobcats.
The Banana Slugs will take on UC Merced again in their next match. The next match will take place at the friendly confines of West Field House. The first serve is set for 6:30 pm.