Banana Slugs split last day of Leopard Invitational

Banana Slugs split last day of Leopard Invitational

LA VERNE, CA - UC Santa Cruz finished its weekend in southern California breaking their three-game losing streak. After falling in four to Lynchburg College, the Slugs dug out from a two-game deficit to win 3-2 against Muhlenberg.

UCSC goes to 7-12 on the year.

In the first match, UCSC kept it close early in set one. Then Lynchburg went on a 5-0 run after it was tied at 12, forcing a UCSC timeout. UCSC then won the next two points to get it within 17-14. However LC close the set with a 8-1 run, including 5 kills.

The second set began with UCSC opening a 9-3 lead, including an ace each from Rachel Sveiven and Monica Lee. Lynchburg however went on a 10-2 run to take a 13-11 lead. UCSC fought back to tie it at 15 and 17 all but Lynchburg ended things with a 8-2 run to go up two sets to none.

The third set everything came together for UCSC. They hit .219 and scored the last five points to win the set. In set four however, the Slugs hit just .027 and allowed three aces as Lynchburg took the match.

In the nightcap, UCSC spotted Muhlenberg the first two sets before rallying to win the match.The Slugs hit .106 the first two sets but hit .302 the rest of the match.

In the third set, they were down 23-22 before consecutive kills by Alexandria Everett and a block from Erica Allen and Sierra Yuen gave them the set. In the fourth set, they opened up a 16-4 lead to establish control and tie the match.

The decisive fifth set opened with Muhlenberg scored the first two points before UCSC settled down. the Slugs had a 10-6 lead before the Mules came back to lead 12-11. The Slugs shut them down and scored the last four points to pull off the thrilling win.

It was UCSC's first five-set victory this year after three losing attempts and after they went without any five-set matches in 2015. It was the first win for UCSC after trailing 2-0 since Sept. 9 2011 against Claremont.

Gabi Charbenau led the Slugs with 16 kills in the victory. Everett, who went to high school ten miles away from the La Verne campus, added 14 kills hit .286 and made the All-tournament team. Allen, Lee and Sveiven each had three of UCSC's twelve service aces.

The Slugs next have their final two road games, starting Wednesday at WIlliam Jessup.