Sunbirds Top Banana Slugs in Home Opener

Sunbirds Top Banana Slugs in Home Opener

SANTA CRUZ (9-12) UC Santa Cruz opened the home portion of their 2018 schedule as they took on NCAA Division II opponent Fresno Pacific University at Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Sunbirds won the last three sets of the match  to win 3-1.  

Both teams lost their last match. The Banana Slugs lost 3-0 to Whitman College on Saturday in Thousand Oaks while the Sunbirds lost 3-0 to Biola University on Saturday in La Mirada.

In the first set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 6-0 run capped by Shania Andrews's service ace. The Sunbirds would come as close as one at 13-12. From that point, the Banana Slugs would go on a 9-1 run, capped by Rachel Sveiven's service ace, to give them their largest lead of the set at nine at 22-13. The Banana Slugs won the first 25-18.  

In the second set, the two teams traded points for the first six serves. The Banana Slugs then went on a 4-0 spurt, capped by an attack error by the Sunbirds, to gain their largest lead of the set at 7-3. The Sunbirds would answwer with a 13-8 run, capped by a Jaalyn Sotoa-Stuebing kill, to take the lead for good at 16-15. The Sunbirds won the second set 25-20 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 7-3 spurt capped by an assisted block by Alexandria Everett and Claire Okerlund. The four point lead was the largest of the set for the Banana Slugs. The Sunbirds would go on an 18-13 run, capped by an attack error by the Banana Slugs, to take the lead for good at 21-20 and won the third set 25-22.  

In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at two, at 4-2, on a service ace by Timolin Kepon. The Sunbirds however took the lead for good at 6-5 on a ball handling error by the Banana Slugs. The Sunbirds would gain their largest lead of the set, at match point, on a Caroline Bodziak kill to win the fourth set 25-11 and the match.

For UC Santa Cruz, Okerlund had thirteen kills, Alana Susbilla had eighteen assists and Andrews led the Banana Slugs with fourteen digs.  For Fresno Pacific, Sotoa-Stuebing had sixteen kills and Sierra LeBeau had a match-high 21 digs.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .073 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .207 while Fresno Pacific had a .209 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .481.

The Banana Slugs continue their homestand as they host SlugFest at West Field House. On Friday, the Banana Slugs will take on Arcadia University at 11 am and Mills College at 3 pm.