IRVINE, CA -- UC Santa Cruz played their second match of the day at the Asics/Wyndham Hotel Spring Classic as they took on NAIA opponent Clarke University. As with the morning match, the Banana Slugs played extra serves in two sets but the Crusaders won 3-2 over the Banana Slugs.
Both teams were coming off victories in their last match. The Banana Slugs defeated Warner University 3-2 earlier today in Irvine and the Crusaders defeated Morningside College 3-0 in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday.
In the first set, the two teams played back and forth for the first ten serves. The Crusaders would tie the set at 5-5 on a Bobby Gallagher kill and from that point, the Banana Slugs would go on a 5-0 run, capped by a Evan Kittle kill, to take a 10-5 lead. The five point lead for the Banana Slugs would captured two more times; the third occasion came at 17-12 on a Jake Landel kill. The Crusaders would go on a 7-1 run, capped by a Matt DePauw kill, to take the lead at 19-18. The Banana Slugs would take the lead and never relinquish it, at 21-20, on a Crusaders' attack error. The Crusaders would tie the match, at 25-25, on a Nick Tate kill. The Banana Slugs would score the last two points of the set on a Landel kill and a Crusaders' attack error. The Banana Slugs won the first 27-25 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the Banana Slugs would jump out to a 2-0 lead after a Jorge Reyes kill and a Crusaders' attack error. The Crusaders would claw their way back into the set and would take the lead for good, at 6-5, on a Jon Mueller kill. The largest lead of the set for the Crusaders was six on two different occasions; the second occasion was at 22-16 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Crusaders went on to win the second set 25-22 and they tied the match at 1-1.
In the third set, the two teams traded points for the first ten serves. The Banana Slugs would gain a two point lead, at 7-5, on a service ace. From there, the Crusaders would take the lead using a 5-0 run, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error, to make the score 10-7. The Crusaders would expand their lead to four, their largest of the set, at 15-11 on a Jon Mueller kill. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 6-1 run, capped by a Crusaders' service error, to take the lead at 17-16. The Crusaders would then score the next two points to take a lead that they would never relinquish. The Crusaders would take a four point at set point on a service ace. The Crusaders won the third set 25-21 and led the match 2-1.
In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs started the set on a 3-1 run and would not relinquish the lead during the majority of the set. The Banana Slugs got a 10-7 lead on a Crusaders' attack error. The Crusaders, however, would get themselves back into the match with a 6-2 run capped by a Bobby Gallagher kill to make the score 13-12. UC Santa Cruz would take the lead for good on a bad set by the Crusaders. The Banana Slugs would expand their lead to their largest lead of the set at four, at 20-16, on a Jake Howard kill. The Crusaders' would tie the match on three occasions; the third occasion coming at 26-26 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would score the last two points of set on kills by Reyes and Brandon Torado. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 28-26 and tied the match at 2-2.
In the fifth set, the Crusaders would jump out to a 4-0 lead on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The largest lead of the set for Crusaders was five, at 10-5, on a Tate kill. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and tie the set at 12-12 on a Riley Rutan kill. However, the Crusaders would score three of the next four points. The Crusaders won the fifth set 15-13 and won the match 3-2.
For UC Santa Cruz, Howard had a match high seventeen kills and for Clarke, Tate also had a match high seventeen kills. Evan Kittle had forty two assists for UC Santa Cruz and DePauw had a match high fifty for Clarke. Jake Hurwitz led the Banana Slugs with a match high twenty digs and Bobby Gallagher and Kevin Murphy had fourteen digs for the Crusaders.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .241 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .368 while Clarke had a .225 hitting percentage with the second set having the best percentage at .361. The Crusaders had eight more digs (69-61) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will have two matches tomorrow in Irvine as they take on UC Merced at noon and Concordia University of Irvine at 3 pm.