ELMIRA, NY – UC Santa Cruz played their first game of the Soaring Eagle Invitational as they took on #6 Nazareth College. The Banana Slugs and the Golden Flyers played earlier this season at the Golden Flyer Invitational as the Golden Flyers swept the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would return the favor as they defeated the Golden Flyers 3-1.
Both teams were coming off victories in their last match. The Banana Slugs were coming off a 3-0 win over Medaille College in Buffalo yesterday while the Golden Flyers were coming off a 3-2 win over Medaille on Tuesday also in Buffalo.
In the first set, the two teams played back and forth for the majority of the set. Although they committed three more errors than their opponent, the Banana Slugs won the first set 25-23 and took a 1-0 match lead. In the second set, the Banana Slugs would control the set using five more kills than the Golden Flyers. The Banana Slugs won the second set 25-16 and led the set 2-0. In the third set, the Golden Flyers would have six more kills in the set than the Banana Slugs and hit their best set percentage of the match. The Golden Flyers won the third set 25-23 and trimmed the Banana Slugs' match lead to 2-1. In the fourth set, the two teams would play back and forth for the entire set. The Banana Slugs would have one fewer kill but would force double the number of errors. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-20 and would win the match 3-1.
For UC Santa Cruz, Jake Landel had a match high sixteen kills and for Nazareth, Luke Lawatsch had thirteen kills. Jake Hurwitz and Landel led the Banana Slugs with a match high nine digs apiece and Cory Randolph and Tim Zyburt had eight digs apiece for the Golden Flyers.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .248 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .409 while Nazareth had a .302 hitting percentage with the third set having the best percentage at .419. The Banana Slugs had fourteen fewer service errors (23-9) than did the Golden Flyers.
The Banana Slugs will have four and a half hours to get ready for their next match as they will take on State University of New York Polytechnic Institute at 5 pm.