Banana Slugs Split at Home

Banana Slugs Split at Home

SANTA CRUZ (3-4) UC Santa Cruz finished their homestand as they took on NAIA member UC Merced and NCAA Division III #7 Dominican University (IL). The Banana Slugs fell 3-1 to the Golden Bobcats and won 3-1 over the Stars to break a two-match losing streak.

Match #1 – vs. UC Merced

In the first set, the Banana Slugs start the set on a 13-9 spurt capped by an Ian Pizzuti service ace. The four point lead was the largest of the set for Banana Slugs. From that point, the Golden Bobcats would go on a 7-2 run, capped by an attack error by the Banana Slugs, to take the lead at 16-15. The Banana Slugs would go on a 7-2 run, capped by a Justin Fortner kill, to give the Banana Slugs a 22-18 lead. The Golden Bobcats would go on an 8-2 set ending run to win the first set 26-24. 

In the second set, the teams traded points for the first twenty serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead at 11-10 on a Pizzuti kill. The Golden Bobcats would tie the set at 16-16 on a Zach Brill kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at three  at 24-21 on an attack error by the Golden Bobcats. The Banana Slugs won the third set 25-23 and tied the match at 1-1.

The Golden Bobcats started the third set outscoring the Banana Slugs 7-5. The Banana Slugs went on a 6-3 spurtfor an 11-10 lead. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at 16-14 on a Pizzuti kill. The Golden Bobcats would score the final four points of the set to win the third set 25-21 for a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the two teams would trade points for the first twenty five serves. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at two on two occasions; the second occasion at 15-13 on an assisted block by Raymond Cascio and Phillip Grote. The two teams would trade points, and the lead, back over the next nine serves. The Golden Bobcats would take the lead for good at 20-19 on a solo block by Christopher Calder. The Golden Bobcats won the fourth set 25-23 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Cascio had a match high twenty-two kills and for UC Merced, Jose Leon Gomez had thirteen kills. Matthew Nealon had thirty two assists for UC Santa Cruz and led the Banana Slugs with nine digs.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .278 hitting percentage while UC Merced had a .311 hitting percentage. The Golden Bobcats had eight more kills (62-54) than did the Banana Slugs.

Match #2 vs. #7 Dominican University (IL)

In the first set, the Stars would gain their largest lead of the set at 5-2. The Banana Slugs then went on a 9-5 run, capped by a Cascio kill, to take the lead for good at 11-10. The Stars would come as close as one on three occasions; the third occasion at 16-15 on a service error by the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would win the first set 25-19 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams traded points for the first eight serves. The Stars would gain their largest lead of the set at two  at 15-13. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 7-1 run, capped by a Cascio kill, to take the lead for good at 20-16. The Banana Slugs gain a four point lead again at 23-19 on a Casio kill. The Banana Slugs won the second set 25-23 and took a 2-0 lead in the set.

In the third set, the Stars would start the set on a 10-5 run capped by a service error by the Banana Slugs. Dominican led 18-13 before the Banana Slugs would go on a 9-4 run, capped by a Pizzuti kill, to tie the set at 22-22. The two teams would trade points over the next eight serves. The Stars scored the final two points of the set to win the third set 28-26 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Stars would start on a 15-10 run. The Banana Slugs answered with a 11-5 run, capped by a Cascio ace, to take the lead at 21-20. The Stars scored the next three points to take a 23-21 lead, but UCSC scored the last four points to win the fourth set 25-23 and  the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Cascio had a career-high twenty five kills and for Dominican, George Kougan had nine kills. Matthew Nealon had a match-high forty-four assists and Pizzuti led UCSC with a match-high seventeen digs.

Grote had 11 total blocks with 3 solos, including one to end the match. It was the most blocks by one Banana Slug in the past ten years.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .153 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .375 while Dominican (IL) had a .066 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .189. The Banana Slugs had nine more blocks (15-6) than did the Stars.

The next match for the Banana Slugs will be Thursday as they take on Emmanuel College at 7 pm in Thousand Oaks.