Banana Slugs Fall to Whittier in First Match of Leopard Invitational

LA VERNE (10-9) – UC Santa Cruz played in their first match of the Leopard Invitational in La Verne as they took on Whittier College. The match was a rematch of a match played on September 12th in Thousand Oaks. Unfortunately for the Banana Slugs, the match in La Verne would play out exactly as the one played in Thousand Oaks as the Poets swept the Banana Slugs 3-0.

In their last match, the Banana Slugs lost to Occidental College last Saturday in Los Angeles while Whittier swept Pomona-Pitzer 3-0 in Pomona yesterday.

In the first set, the Poets would jump out to a 6-1 lead, capped by a service ace. The closest that the Banana Slugs would come would be four on two occasions; the second occasion, at 8-4, on a Poets' attack error. The Poets would expand their lead to double digits, at 18-8, on a Rebecca Slattery kill. The largest lead of the set for the Poets would be thirteen on two occasions; the second occasion at 22-9 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Poets went on to win the set 25-16 and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points back and forth for the first ten serves. The Poets would gain the lead for good using a 4-0 spurt, capped by a Casie Lowden kill, to make the score 9-5. The Poets would extend their lead to double digits, at 19-9, on an Olive Anagu kill. The Poets' largest lead of the set was fourteen, at 24-10, on an Anagu kill. The Banana Slugs would go on a 6-0 run, capped by a Poets' service ace, to cut the Poets' lead to 24-16. The Poets, however, would win the set 25-16 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Banana Slugs would start out on fire taking a 4-0 lead. The Poets would claw to within two on five occasions; the fifth occasion coming at 10-8 on a Lowden kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at seven at 15-8 on a Poets' attack error. The Poets would then respond with an 11-2 run, capped by a Slattery kill, to give the Poets a 19-17 lead. The Banana Slugs would take the lead back, at 20-19, on a Poets' attack error. The two teams would trade points, and the lead, for the next fifteen serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead at 28-27 but the Poets would respond with three consecutive kills by Slattery to win the set 30-28 and win the match 3-0.

For UC Santa Cruz, Tatum Novitzky had thirteen kills and for Whittier, Slattery had a match high fourteen kills. Sophie Seiberth had a match high twenty eight assists for UC Santa Cruz and Torrey Mitsunaga had nineteen for Whittier. Maya Lloyd led the Banana Slugs with twelve digs and Lowden had a match high eighteen digs for the Poets.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .120 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .220 while Whittier had a .282 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .333. The Poets had eleven fewer errors (22-11) than did the Banana Slugs.

The Banana Slugs will two matches tomorrow. They will take on University of La Verne at 11 am and Juniata College at 3 pm.