REDLANDS- The Banana Slugs began their two-for-two weekend in southern Cal with Tatum Novitzky setting the school hitting percentage record during a 3-0 sweep of Cal Tech (25-15,25-12,25-9)
In the nightcap, the Slugs dropped a 3-2 (25-16,23-25,21-25,25-23,12-15) thriller to host Redlands.
In the first set against the Beavers, the teams went back and forth before the Slugs used a 9-2 run to pull ahead 20-11. The Slugs finished the first set hitting .300.
The second set started with UCSC racing to a 4-0 lead before the Beavers rallied and made it 8-7. It stayed close until UCSC rattled six straight points when it was 14-10 to get to twenty, which included three consecutive aces by Lauren Cruz.
Cruz was key to the third set as well. She added two more aces during the 9-0 run that made the score 18-5 before the Slugs eventually put the game away. The third set was the best for the Slugs as they hit .314 in the third and held Cal Tech to -.065.
Novitzky had 20 kills on 24 attempts with no errors, hitting a school-record .833 for more than 15 attempts. As a team UCSC hit .294.
Against Redlands, the Slugs opened set 1 hitting .361 before the hosts found their groove. In the 2nd there were nine ties before the hosts pulled away and held off a late comeback. The third set had UCSC commit 12 attack errors to finish .000 to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage. The Slugs regained composure in the fourth set, hitting .176 and holding off the hosts to get to the decisive fifth set.
The fifth set however belonged to the hosts, who hit .333 and scored the last three points of the game.
Novitzky again led the Slugs against Redlands, hitting .315 with 21 kills with a pair of aces. She, Gabi Charbenau and Rachel Svevien each tallied 18 digs on defense. Faylenn McDonough had 46 assists.
UCSC (5-8) finishes their weekend in the Inland Empire with early games Sunday at La Sierra and Chapman.