Banana Slugs Defeat Golden Bobcats in Four

Banana Slugs Defeat Golden Bobcats in Four

MERCED (2-17) UC Santa Cruz hit the road to take on NAIA member UC Merced in Merced. The Banana Slugs won 3-1 over the Golden Bobcats.

In the first set, the Banana Slugs would outscore the Golden Bobcats 9-5 to start the set. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at eight, at 23-15, on a Raymond Cascio kill. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-19 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points for the first thirteen serves. The Golden Bobcats would go on a 6-2 spurt, capped by a Joseph Webb kill, to gain a 13-8 lead. The Golden Bobcats would gain their largest lead of the set at six on four occasions; the fourth occasion at 20-14 on an attack error by the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 6-0 run, capped by a solo block by Kyle Donohoe, to tie the set at 20-20. The teams would trade points, and the lead, over the next sixteen serves. The Golden Bobcats would score the final two points of the set to win the second set 30-28 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the two teams would trade points over the first twelve serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good at 7-6 on a Justin Fortner kill. The Golden Bobcats would come as close as one on two occasions; the second occasion at 12-11 on a Tyler Vincelli kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at six, at set point, on an attack error by the Golden Bobcats. The Banana Slugs won the third set 25-19 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 4-0 spurt capped by a Cascio kill. The Golden Bobcats would go on a 6-2 spurt, capped by a Christopher Calder kill, to tie the set at 6-6. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 5-0 run, capped by a Golden Bobcats attack error, to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 11-6. The Golden Bobcats would respond with a 10-4 run of their own, capped by a Jose Leon Gomez kill, to give the Golden Bobcats the lead at 16-15. The Golden Bobcats would gain tier largest lead of the set at two, at 18-16, on a service ace. The Banana Slugs would get their way back into the set and would take the lead for good at 21-20 on a Cascio kill. The Banana Slugs would win the fourth set 25-23 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Cascio had a match high twenty-one kills and for UC Merced, Gomez had sixteen kills. Matthew Nealon had thirty-eight assists for UC Santa Cruz and Ryan Steele had a match high fifty-one for UC Merced. Cascio and Matthew Nealon led the Banana Slugs with eight digs apiece and Kainoa Ferguson had a match high ten digs for the Golden Bobcats.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .300 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .423 while UC Merced had a .185 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .366. The Banana Slugs had twenty fewer errors (35-15) than did the Golden Bobcats.

The next match for the Banana Slugs will be Friday as they start a three match homestand against take on NCAA Division II member UC San Diego at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The first serve is set for 7 pm.