HOBOKEN, NJ -- For the third time this season, the Banana Slugs took on Nazareth College. This matchup, however, had the stakes raised by exponential bounds as the winner would advance to the next round of the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship. The Golden Flyers would come back from a set down to defeat the Banana Slugs 3-2.
In their last match, the Banana Slugs won 3-0 over D'Youville College in Elmira on April 4th while the Golden Flyers lost 3-2 to SUNY New Paltz in Hoboken on April 11th.
In the first set, the two teams would trade points back and forth for the first fourteen serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 8-7, in the set on a Golden Flyers' service error. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set, at six, at 18-12 on a Lake Merchen kill. The closest that the Golden Flyers would come is two on three occasions; the third occasion coming at 23-21 on a Tim Zyburt kill. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-21 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the Golden Flyers would lead wire-to-wire. The closest that the Banana Slugs would get was one, at 2-1, on a Golden Flyers' service error. The Golden Flyers' largest lead of the set was nine on three occasions; the third occasion coming at set point on a Banana Slugs' service error. The Golden Flyers won the second set 25-16 and tied the match at 1-1.
The fourth set was incredibly tight. Both teams traded points, and the lead, back and forth during the duration of the set. Neither team garnered a lead larger than two during the whole set. After a kill by Brandon Torado that tied the set at 24-24, the Golden Flyers scored the final two points of the set for the fourth set win. The Golden Flyers won the fourth set 26-24 and sent the match into the decisive fifth set tied at 2-2.
For UC Santa Cruz, Jake Landel had fifteen kills and for Nazareth, Zyburt had a match high twenty two kills. Blake Chadwick had a match high fifty five assists for UC Santa Cruz and Jake Kemp had forty three for Nazareth. Jake Hurwitz led the Banana Slugs with nine digs and Jake Kemp had a match high thirteen digs for the Golden Flyers.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .255 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fifth set at .533 while Nazareth had a .317 hitting percentage with the best percentage also coming in the fifth set at .625. The Banana Slugs had five more errors (23-18) than did the Golden Flyers.