Banana Slugs Ground Golden Flyers

Banana Slugs Ground Golden Flyers

SANTA CRUZ (3-11) The #6 Banana Slugs played the first match of the 2016 Slug Slam as they took on #7 Nazareth College at West Field House. The Banana Slugs cruised past the Golden Flyers 3-1.

In their last match, the Banana Slugs lost 3-2 to NCAA Division III #4 Stevens Institute of Technology on Sunday in Hoboken while the Golden Flyers won 3-2 over California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday.

In the first set, the Banana Slugs jumped out of the gate on a 5-0 spurt capped by a Riley Rutan kill. The Golden Flyers would come as close as four on five different occasions; the fifth occasion was at 9-5 on a Zachary Gillard kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at nine on four different occasions; the fourth occasion would be at 23-14 on a Lake Merchen kill. The Banana Slugs would go on to win the first set 25-21 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points through the first eight serves. The Golden Flyers would take the lead at 5-4 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Golden Flyers would gain their largest lead of the set at four on two different occasions; the second occasion was at 10-6 on a Grant Levermore kill. The Banana Slugs would work their way back into the set and would take the lead for good at 20-19 on a Jake Howard kill. The Banana Slugs would go on to win the second set 25-20 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Golden Flyers would start the set on a 5-1 spurt capped by a Gillard kill. The Golden Flyers would take their largest lead of the set at seven, at 12-5, on a Tim Zybert kill. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and would tie the set on three different occasions; the third occasion was at 22-22 on a Rutan kill. The Golden Flyers would take the lead for good at 23-22 on a Kane Wittorff kill. The Golden Eagles won the third set 25-23 and cut the Banana Slugs' lead in the match to 2-1.

In the fourth set, the two teams would trade points through the first sixteen serves. The Golden Flyers would gain their largest lead of the set at three, at 11-8, on a Levermore kill. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and would take the lead for good at 17-16 on an assisted block by Raymond Cascio and Howard. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at three on three different occasions; the third occasion was at match point on a Merchen kill. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-22 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Howard and Merchen both had a match high sixteen kills and for Nazareth, Tim Zyburt also had sixteen kills. Ryan McLaughlin had a match high thirty nine assists for UC Santa Cruz and Jake Kemp had a match high thirty two for Nazareth. Cameron Bardeau and Rutan led the Banana Slugs with eight digs apiece and Tom Keisling had a match high nine digs for the Golden Flyers.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .351 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .542 while Nazareth had a .382 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .435. The two teams had a combined 37 assisted blocks.

The next match for the Banana Slugs is tomorrow as they take on California Lutheran University.  The first serve is set for 7 pm.