LA VERNE, CA - Behind a .294 hitting percenage, host La Verne swept UC Santa Cruz 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18) to close the first day of the Leopard Invitational.
UCSC went to 6-11. La Verne improved to 13-4 with their fifth-straight win.
"College volleyball is so tough to win, and there are no points you can allow yourself to 'take off'," said head coach Josh Davis. "That is something we will continue to work on in our quest to become one of the country's greatest."
The first set was close throughout with four ties early. The Leopards slowly edged ahead, but consecutive kills by Kate Lyon and Kallan Bedard cut it to a 1-point game at 16-15. The Leopards however closed out the set with a 9-2 run to go up 1-0.
The second set was close for the most part but the hosts hit .406 in the frame to hold off the Slugs.
La Verne then won the next five points to tie. The set stayed close until a 5-1 La Verne run made it 20-15. The teams traded the next six points but the Leopards won the last two points to seal the match.
It was the first time all season that UCSC didn't have a service ace. La Verne served seven aces, and the Leopards' .297 was the most by a UCSC opponent since the Leopards hit .292 in the Cal Lutheran Invitational.
Lyon and Bedard led the Slugs with eight kills each, with Bedard hitting .294. Monica Lee had a team-high 12 digs.
The Slugs play two more games in La Verne on Saturday, beginning with Lynchburg at 1:00 PM.