Royals Sweep Banana Slugs

Royals Sweep Banana Slugs

FULLERTON (3-23) – The #6 Banana Slugs played their final regular season road match as they took on NAIA member Hope International University in Fullerton. The Royals swept the Banana Slugs 3-0.

Both teams lost their last match. The Banana Slugs lost 3-1 to Concordia University of Irvine yesterday in Irvine while the Royals also lost to Concordia University of Irvine 3-0 on Monday in Irvine.

In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first four serves. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at one on two separate occasions; the second occasion was at 7-6 on an Evan Kittle kill. The Royals would take the lead for good, at 9-8, on a Banana Slugs' service error. The Royals took their largest lead of the set at five on three separate occasions; the third occasion coming at 24-19 on a Max Osmundson kill. The Royals won the first set 25-21 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Royals would start the set on a 4-1 spurt capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Banana Slugs would get back into the set and would take their largest lead of the set at one on two separate occasions; the second occasion was at 8-7 on a Riley Rutan kill. The Royals would take the lead for good, at 9-8, on a Beau-General Osborne kill. The Royals would gain their largest lead of the set at six, at 22-16, on a Kevin Baran-Maguire kill. The Banana Slugs would get as close as three on three separate occasions; the third occasion coming at 24-21 on a Jake Howard kill. The Royals would win the second set 25-21 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the two teams would trade points through the first ten serves. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of set at two, at 8-6, on a Lake Merchen kill. The Royals would get back into the set and would take the lead at 11-10 on a Banana Slugs' service error. The Royals would hold the Banana Slugs at arms' length for the majority of the set. After the Royals took a 24-22 lead on an Osborne kill, the Banana Slugs would score the next two points on kills by Lake Merchen and Riley Rutan to tie the set at 24-24. The two teams would trade points for the next ten serves as the set went into extra serves. After a Royals' service error tied the set at 29-29, the Royals would score the next two points to win the third set 31-29 and the Royals won the match 3-0.

For UC Santa Cruz, Merchen had a match high fourteen kills and for Hope International, Osborne also had a match high fourteen kills. Kittle and Ryan McLaughlin both had a match high twenty-two assists for UC Santa Cruz and Jared Shirai also had a match high twenty two for Hope International. Merchen led the Banana Slugs with a match high twelve digs and Brian Rivera had eight digs for the Royals.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .315 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .349 while Hope International had a .330 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .389. The Banana Slugs had seven more service errors (13-6) than did the Royals.

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