THOUSAND OAKS (1-26) – UC Santa Cruz continued their twelve match roadtrip with a day trip to Southern California for Division III matches against Illinois Institute of Technology and #8 California Lutheran University. The Banana Slugs topped the Scarlet Hawks 3-1 in the afternoon and came back to defeat the Kingsmen 3-2 in the evening match to run their win streak to five.
Match #1 – vs. Illinois Institute of Technology
After going up 2-0, the Banana Slugs would start the third set on a 4-1 spurt capped by a Kyle Donohoe kill. However from that point, the Scarlet Hawks went on a 5-0 run, capped by an assisted block by Andriy Bench and Evan Robeck, to take the lead at 6-4. Three ties and three lead changes would occur over the next ten serves. The Scarlet Hawks would take the lead for good, at 11-10, on an attack error by the Banana Slugs. The Scarlet Hawks would take their largest lead of the set at nine, at 22-13, on a service ace by Kupiec. The Scarlet Hawks would win the third set 25-21 and trimmed the Banana Slugs lead to 2-1.
In the fourth set, the two teams would trade points for the first fourteen serves. The Scarlet Hawks would gain their largest lead of the set at 13-11 on a Banana Slugs' attack error. UCSC would outscore the Scarlet Hawks 7-4 over the next eleven serves to take the lead for good at 18-17 and gained their largest lead of the set at four, at 22-18, on a Scarlet Hawks' attack error. The Banana Slugs won the fourth set 25-22 and won the match 3-1.
For UC Santa Cruz, Donohoe had a match-high sixteen kills and for Illinois Institute of Technology, Bench had fourteen kills. Sam Wittert had twenty-six assists for UC Santa Cruz and Michael Ganczar had a match high thirty-five for Illinois Institute of Technology. Daniel Lien led the Banana Slugs with a match-high nine digs and Ganczar had seven digs for the Scarlet Hawks.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .390 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the second set at .545 while Illinois Institute of Technology had a .216 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fourth set at .290. The Banana Slugs had seventeen more kills (58-41) than did the Scarlet Hawks.
Match #2 vs. California Lutheran
After being down two sets to none, the Banana Slugs would start the third set outscoring the Kingsmen 4-1. The Kingsmen would then go on a 4-0 spurt, capped by a Banana Slugs' attack error, to take the lead at 5-4. The two teams traded points over the next thirteen serves. The Banana Slugs would gain their largest lead of the set at 14-10, on a Donohoe kill. The Kingsmen would go on a 6-0 run, capped by a service ace, to take the lead at 16-14. The Banana Slugs answered with a 5-2 spurt and would take the lead back at 19-18. The Kingsmen scored the next three points to take the lead at 21-19. The Banana Slugs responded with a 6-2 spurt, and won the third set 25-23.
In the fourth set, the Kingsmen would start the set on a 11-6 run capped by Patrick Rowe's solo block. The five-point lead was the largest of the set for the Kingsmen as the Banana Slugs then went on a 11-6 run to tie the set at 17-17. The Banana Slugs took the lead for good at 19-18 on a Phillip Grote kill before winning the set 25-21 to tie the match at 2-2.
In the decisive fifth set, the Banana Slugs outscored the Kingsmen 4-1 to start and take the lead for good. The Kingsmen would come as close as one on five occasions, but UCSC closed the set with another 4-1 run and won the match 3-2.
For UC Santa Cruz, Cascio had a match-high seventeen kills and for California Lutheran, Reina had fourteen kills. Matthew Nealon and Wittert both had twenty-three assists for UC Santa Cruz and Grant Nelson had a match-high thirty-three for California Lutheran. Tennessee Fulks and Lien led the Banana Slugs with eight digs apiece and Rowe had fifteen digs for the Kingsmen.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a .196 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the fifth set at .350. California Lutheran hit .193 with the best percentage coming in the second set at .368. The Banana Slugs had seven more total blocks (17-10) than did the Kingsmen.
The next match for the Banana Slugs will be Thursday as they travel to NCAA Division II member Concordia University of Irvine. The first serve is set for 7 pm.