Eagles Trip Up Banana Slugs in Four

Eagles Trip Up Banana Slugs in Four

IRVINE (3-22) – The #6 Banana Slugs played their first match in a two match swing through Southern California as they took on NCAA Division II member Concordia University of Irvine. All but one set went to extra serves but in the end it was the Eagles that came away with a 3-1 victory.

Both teams won their last match. The Banana Slugs won 3-0 over Ramapo College on March 13th in Santa Cruz while the Eagles won 3-0 over NAIA member Hope International University yesterday in Irvine.

In the first set, the Banana Slugs would take a 2-0 lead after an Eagles' attack error. The two point lead was the largest lead of the set. The Eagles would get back into the set and would take the lead for good at 5-4 on a Griffin Ender kill. The Banana Slugs would tie the set on three separate occasions; the third occasion was at 24-24 on a Lake Merchen kill. The Eagles, however, would score the last two points of the set to win the first set 26-24 and the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points through the first six serves. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead at two, at 5-3, on a Riley Rutan kill. The Eagles would gain their largest lead of the set at eight on three separate occasions; the third occasion was at 19-11 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 13-4 run, capped by an Eagles' attack error, to take the lead at 24-23. For the next thirteen serves, the two teams would trade points. The Banana Slugs would get the final two points of the set to win the second set 32-30 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Eagles would score the first four points of the set. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 5-1 spurt capped by a Raymond Cascio kill to tie the set at 5-5. The Eagles would take the lead at 6-5 on a Taylor Falduti kill. The Eagles would gain their largest lead of the set at eight on three separate occasions; the third occasion was at set point on a Banana Slugs' service error. The Eagles won the third 25-17 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs jumped out to a 4-1 lead after a Gino Gamboa kill. The Banana Slugs equaled the three-point lead, their largest of the set, on five separate occasions; the fifth occasion was at 23-20 on a Ryan McLaughlin kill. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 7-2 run, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error to win the set 27-25 and win the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Merchen had seventeen kills and for Concordia, Jonathan Predney had a match high nineteen kills. McLaughlin had a match high fifty-four assists for UC Santa Cruz and Cristian Rodriguez had twenty eight for Ramapo. Cameron Bardeau led the Banana Slugs with a match high thirteen digs and Ender had twelve digs for the Eagles.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .213 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .333 while Concordia had a .276 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .394. The Banana Slugs had four more ball handling errors (4-0) than did the Eagles.

The next match for the Banana Slugs is tomorrow as they take on NAIA member Hope International University in Fullerton. The first serve is set for 7 pm.