UC Santa Cruz split two games against Midwest opposition to kick off their 2019 Slug Slam tourney. The Banana Slugs dominated in a sweep of Marian (WI) in the afternoon before being swept in their second match against North Central.
The Banana Slugs played magnificently against Marian, holding the Sabres to .000 hitting while themselves smashing .256 in the 25-23, 25-20, 25-13 win.
UCSC opened the first set in a 6-1 hole before going on a 10-5 run to tie it at 11. After nine more ties, UCSC took the set on a kill by Kyle Donohoe and Marian attack error.
The Banana Slugs saved their best for last in set three, outhitting the Sabres .308 to -.125 and won going away after jumping out to a 13-2 lead.
Donohoe had 10 kills while Cascio and Shapiro added 7. Cascio and Ian Pizzuti each had 2 aces.
In the nightcap against North Central however, UCSC could not get going in dropping the match in straight sets 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
In set one, the Cardinals outhit UCSC .212 to .056 to take a 1-0 lead as the hosts had 7 hitting errors. UCSC started set two hitting -.222 and trailed 8-2 to force a timeout. UCSC improved their hitting, but the Cardinals hit .214 themselves and had three aces to take the set and a 2-0 lead.
Set three saw UCSC get an early 4-2 lead, but after five ties, NCC closed the set on a 10-6 run to take the match.
Cascio led the Slugs with 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage.
The Banana Slugs play two on Sunday, starting with a 10am visit from Arcadia before concluding Slug Slam against fifth-ranked New Paltz at 6pm.