Banana Slugs Win First Matches of Midwest Trip

Banana Slugs Win First Matches of Midwest Trip

MILWAUKEE (1-26) UC Santa Cruz played two matches on their first day of their six match trip to Wisconsin and Illinois. The Banana Slugs defeated Marian University 3-1 in the morning match and Milwaukee School of Engineering 3-1 in the evening match.

Match #1 vs. Marian

In the first set, the Banana Slugs would start the set with the first two points of the set. The Sabres would then go on a 10-4 run, capped by an attack error by the Banana Slugs, to gain a 10-6 lead. The Sabres would gain their largest lead of the set at seven, at 19-12, on an assisted block by Jacob DeGroot and Joey Dittman. From that point, the Banana Slugs would go on a 10-3 run, capped by an attack error by the Sabres, to tie the set at 22-22. The set would go into extra serves but the Sabres would score the final two points of the set. The Knights won the first set 29-27 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Banana Slugs started the set on a 5-1 spurt capped by a Raymond Cascio kill. The Sabres came as close as one on two separate occasions; the second occasion at 9-8 on an Aaron Wendels kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at five on five separate occasions; the fifth occasion at set point on an Evan Kittle kill. The Banana Slugs would win the second set 25-20 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Banana Slugs started the set on a 6-3 spurt. From that point, the Sabres outscored the Banana Slugs 11-8 to tie the set at 14-14 on a Tyler Barnett kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at six, at 22-16, on a Chris Salas kill. The Banana Slugs would win the fourth set 25-21 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 12-6 run capped by a Sabres' attack error. The six point lead was matched on four other occasions; the fourth occasion at 18-12 on a Ryan Manley kill. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-20 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Lake Merchen had fifteen kills and for Marian, Jon Smallpage had a match high twenty-one kills. Evan Kittle had a match high fifty assists for UC Santa Cruz and Joey Dittman had forty-one for Marian. Kittle and Manley led the Banana Slugs with nine digs apiece and Cullen Liberski had a match high sixteen digs for the Sabres.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .280 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .324 while Marian had a .198 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .212. The Banana Slugs had one more service ace (5-4) than did the Sabres.

Match #2 vs. Milwaukee School of Engineering

In the first set, the two teams would trade points for the first fourteen serves of the set. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good, at 8-7, on a Cascio kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at six on three separate occasions; the third occasion at set point on an attack error by the Raiders. The Banana Slugs won the first set 25-19 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Raiders started the set on a 6-1 run capped by a Bryant Holland service ace. The Banana Slugs would then go on a 10-4 run, capped by a Justin Fortner kill, to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 11-10. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at two on six separate occasions; the sixth occasion at 23-21 on a service error by the Raiders. The Raiders would respond by scoring the next four points to win the second set 25-23 and tied the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the two teams would trade points for the first eight serves. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good at 5-4 on a Cascio kill. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at five on two occasions; the second occasion at set point on an attack error by the Raiders. The Banana Slugs won the third set and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 7-4 spurt capped by an attack error by the Raiders. The Raiders would go on a 4-0 spurt, capped by a Logan Baerenwald kill, to give the Raiders the lead at 8-7. The Banana Slugs would go on a 6-2 spurt of their own capped by an attack error by the Raiders. The Banana Slugs would take the lead for good at 16-15 on a block error by the Raiders. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at five, at 24-19, on a Fortner kill. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-21 and won the match 3-1.

For UC Santa Cruz, Merchen had fourteen kills and for Milwaukee School of Engineering, Bryant Holland had a match high twenty-four kills. Kittle had forty-one assists for UC Santa Cruz and Andrew Miller had a match high forty three for Milwaukee School of Engineering. Merchen led the Banana Slugs with a game high nineteen digs and Miller had fourteen digs for the Raiders.

For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .197 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .294 while Milwaukee School of Engineering had a .158 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .282. The Banana Slugs had five fewer service errors (11-6) than did the Raiders.

The Banana Slugs will continue their trip in Wisconsin tomorrow as they will have two matches at the Carthage Triangular. They will take on NCAA Division III #4 Carthage College in the morning match and Concordia University (WI) in the evening match.