Eagles Top Banana Slugs in Regular Season Finale

Eagles Top Banana Slugs in Regular Season Finale

IRVINE (4-6) UC Santa Cruz played their final match of the 2018 regular season as they took on NCAA Division II member Concordia University of Irvine in Irvine. The Eagles swept the Banana Slugs 3-0.

In their last match, the Banana Slugs won 3-0 over NAIA member Menlo College in Santa Cruz on Tuesday while the Eagles lost 3-1 to NCAA Division I member Stanford University in Palo Alto on Saturday.

In the first set, the Banana Slugs would start the set scoring the first three points of the set. The three point lead was matched five other times in the set; the fifth time at 8-5 on a Lake Merchen kill. From that point, the Eagles went on a 7-2 spurt, capped by a service ace by Taylor Falduti, to give the Eagles the lead for good at 12-10. The Eagles would gain their largest lead of the set at eight, at 24-16, on an assisted block by Jonathan Carlson and Falduti and won the first set 25-18 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points for the first twelve serves. The Eagles would take the lead for good, at 7-6, on a Jonathan Predney kill. The Eagles would gain their largest lead of the set at eight, at 17-9, on a Predney kill. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 10-4 run, capped by a Gino Gamboa kill, to trim the Eagles' lead to two at 21-19. The Banana Slugs would not get any closer, however, as the Eagles won the second set 25-19 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Eagles would start the set on a 7-2 run, capped by an Alec Krilis kill. The Banana Slugs would come as close as two on two occasions; the second occasion at 17-15 on a Lake Merchen kill. The Eagles would gain their largest lead of the set at eight on two occasions; the second occasion at match point on a Falduti kill. The Eagles won the third set 25-17. The loss ended the Banana Slugs' five-match winning streak.

For UC Santa Cruz, Merchen had seven kills and for Concordia, Shad Harris had twenty assists for UC Santa Cruz and Ryan Manley led the Banana Slugs with six digs. Josiah Bergt had a match high eleven kills for Concordia. 

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .000 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .160 while Concordia had a .312 hitting percentage with the best percentage also coming in the first set at .381. The Eagles had eighteen more assisted blocks (27-9) than did the Banana Slugs.