Banana Slugs Finish Leopard Invitational with Two Losses

LA VERNE (10-7) - UC Santa Cruz played finished up the Leopard Invitational as they took on Whittier College and NCAA Division III #14 University of La Verne. The Poets would sweep the first match 3-0 and the Leopards won the evening match 3-1. 

Match #1 - vs. Whittier College

In the first set, the Poets would start the set on an 8-1 run capped by a service ace. The Poets would gain a double digit lead at 16-6 on a Makenzie Thieme kill. The closest the Banana Slugs would come as close as eleven, at 20-9, on an Erica Allen kill. The Poets won the first 25-10 and took a 1-0 lead in the match. 

In the second set, the Banana Slugs started the set with the first four points of the set. The Poets would score the next four points of the set to tie the set at 4-4. The two teams would trade points, and the lead, for the next twenty two serves. The Poets would take the lead for good, at 16-15, on a Thieme kill. The Banana Slugs would come as close as two, at 19-17, on a service ace. The Poets would win the second set 25-21 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Poets would start the set on a 6-0 run capped by an assisted block by Alexis Mills and Camryn Purdom. The Banana Slugs would come as close as four, at 7-3, after a service error. The Poets expanded their lead to eight on two occasions; the second occasion at 24-16 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. The Poets would win the third set 25-19 and won the match 3-0. 

For UC Santa Cruz, Erica Allen had five kills and for Whittier, Marissa Montoya had a match high nine kills. Alana Susbilla had ten assists for UC Santa Cruz and Purdom had a match high twenty for Whittier. Monica Lee led the Banana Slugs with ten digs and Montoya had a match high fifteen digs for the Poets.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a -.011 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .034 while Whittier had a .208 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .286. The Poets had seven fewer errors (22-15) than did the Banana Slugs.

Match #2 vs. #14 University of La Verne

In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first four serves. The Leopards would take their largest lead of the set at three, at 9-6, on a bad set by the Banana Slugs. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 15-6 run, capped by consecutive Rachel Sveiven service aces, to take the lead for good at 21-15. The Banana Slugs would take their largest lead of the set at seven, at 23-16, on a Leopards' attack error. The Banana Slugs would win the first set 25-21 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams would trade points for the first six serves. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at four on three different occasions; the third occasion at 10-6 on a Leopards' service error. From that point, the Leopards would go on a 7-2 run, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error, to take the lead at 13-12. The Banana Slugs would work their way back into the set and would take the lead at 20-19 on a Leopards' attack error. After the Banana Slugs took a 23-20 on a solo block by Claire Okerlund, the Leopards scored the next five points to win the second set 25-23 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Leopards started the set on a 13-5 run capped by a Banana Slugs' bad set. The Leopards would gain a double digit lead, at 16-6, on a service ace. The Leopards would take their largest lead at thirteen on three occasions; the third occasion at 22-9. The Leopards would win the third set 25-13 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Leopards would start the set on a 9-2 run capped by a Mireya Rojo kill. The Banana Slugs would come as close as four, at 13-9, on a service ace. The Leopards would take a double digit lead, at 22-12, on a Delaney Lynch kill. The Leopards would win the fourth set 25-13 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Okerlund had nine kills and for University of La Verne, Rojo had a match high thirteen kills. Cassie Nickel and Alana Susbilla had twelve assists for UC Santa Cruz and Madison Maynes had a match high thirty for University of La Verne. Monica Lee led the Banana Slugs with a fourteen digs and Kristen Sanchez had a match high twenty digs for the Leopards.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz hit .038  with the best percentage coming in the second set at .108 .  La Verne had a .149 hitting percentage with the best coming in the fourth set at .310. The Leopards had twenty-one more assists (47-26) than did the Banana Slugs.

The Banana Slugs will return home on Tuesday as they take on NAIA member William Jessup University at West Field House. The match is set to start at 6 pm