THOUSAND OAKS (9-9) - UC Santa Cruz played finished up their time in Southern California and at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational as they took on NCAA Division III #9 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the morning and Pomona-Pitzer in the afternoon. The Banana Slugs lost 3-0 to the Athenas and a 3-1 thriller to the Sagehens.
"There were some tough teams there this weekend, and we are still in the building stage of the program but we are looking to improve every day in the gym with both short term and long term goals in mind," said head coach Josh Davis. "Despite the record, spirits are high, and we are embracing the journey and experience."
Match #1 vs. #9 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
In the first set, the Athenas would start with a 7-3 spurt capped by an assisted block by Margaux Arntson and Sarah Bruml. The Banana Slugs would come as close as two on two occasions; the second occasion at 8-6 on an Athenas' service error. The Athenas would gain their largest lead of the set at ten, at 24-14, on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Athenas won the first set 25-16.
In the second set, the Athenas started with the first two points. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and tie at 6-6 on an Athenas' attack error. The Banana Slugs would gain the lead, at 10-9, on a service ace from Krysti Photias. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at four at 17-13 on an Athenas' attack error. The Stags would then go on a 9-0 run, capped by an Arntson kill, to give the Athenas the lead for good at 22-17 and won the second set 25-20.
In the third set, the Athenas started the set on an 8-0 run capped by a Crystal Anderson kill. The Athenas would gain a double digit lead, at 16-6, on an assisted block by Crystal Anderson and Bruml. The Athenas would gain their largest lead of the set at fifteen, at match point, on a service ace to win the third set 25-10.
For UC Santa Cruz, Tatum Novitzky had six kills and for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Arntson had a match high fifteen kills. Krysti Photias had nine assists for UC Santa Cruz and Phoebe Madsen had a match high sixteen for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Monica Lee led the Banana Slugs with seventeen digs and Mikena Werner had a match high eighteen digs for the Athenas.
Match #2 vs. Pomona Pitzer
In the first set, the teams would trade points for the first ten serves. The Sagehens would take the lead at 6-5 on a Julia Zwaal kill. The Sagehens would gain their largest lead of the set at six at 19-13 on a Jessica Finn kill. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 9-2 run, capped by a Poets' attack error, to take the lead at 22-21. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-22 on a block by Claire Okerlund and Jordan Kirschner.
In the second set, the Poets started the set on a 10-3 run capped by a Kayla Krilove kill. The Banana Slugs would then go on an 18-11 run, capped by a Claire Okerlund kill, to tie the set at 21-21. The Poets would end the set on a 4-1 spurt to win the second set 25-22 and tied the match at 1-1.
The third set started with the Banana Slugs going on a 10-2 run capped by a Sagehens' attack error. However the Sagehens would respond with a 12-3 run of their own, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error, to give the Sagehens the lead at 14-13. The Banana Slugs would get the lead back, at 16-15, on an Okerlund kill. With the set tied at 22 the Saghens scored the last three points and won the third set 25-22 to took a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, the Sagehens started the set on an 8-1 run capped by a service ace and never let the Banana Slugs come closer than five. The Sagehens won the fourth set 25-18 and won the match 3-1.
For UC Santa Cruz, Okerlund had a match high fourteen kills and for Pomona-Pitzer, Zwall also had a match high fourteen kills. Alana Susbilla had a match high twenty-four assists for UC Santa Cruz and Finn had twenty-three for Pomona-Pitzer. Lee led the Banana Slugs with a match high twenty-six digs and Zwaal had fifteen digs for the Sagehens.
One bright spot for the weekend was Novitzky tallying 28 kills to pass Ginger Berryman for 10th on the UCSC career kill list. Novitzky now has 469 kills in her third year with the program.
UC Santa Cruz hit a .130 hitting percentage in the match with the best coming in the second set at .220 . Pomona-Pitzer had a .156 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .314. The Sagehens had eighteen more combined blocks (21-3) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will continue their road trip on Thursday as they take on Mills College in Oakland. The first serve is set for 6 pm