SPRINGFIELD, OHIO - UC Santa Cruz won one and lost one as they opened play at the Jim Coleman Invitational hosted by Wittenberg.
The Banana Slugs lost a wild 3-2 match against Milwaukee School of Engineering before regrouping and defeating Marymount 3-1.
The day ended with senior middle Raymond Cascio becoming UCSC's all-time career leader in blocks. Cascio had six block assists in the nightcap against Marymount to go to 262 total, surpassing Austin Einhorn who had 260 in his four years.
In the first match, UCSC went up two sets to nothing against MSOE, but hit just .151 in sets three and four compared to MSOE's .351, allowing the Raiders to tie the match and force a set five.
The decisive set had ten ties before MSOE won the last three points to put UCSC away.
Against Marymount, UCSC lost the first set 25-22, but opened set two with a 13-4 run and cruised to a 25-15 win. Finding their confidence, the Banana Slugs took set three 25-17 after hitting .368 to outlast the Saints who hit .323. The Banana Slugs saved their best for set four, holding Marymount to .000 and having three of their eight total blocks in the set , finishing the match with an ace from Justin Fortner.
Cascio had six kills and six digs plus a pair of aces. UCSC hit .258 with 38 kills total in the match.
UCSC is now 2-5 and resumes play Sunday morning against Mount St. Joseph before finishing the trip against the host Wittenberg Tigers.