THOUSAND OAKS - UC Santa Cruz held Emmanuel College to .085 hitting while hitting .244 themselves in a 3-0 sweep (25-22,25-19, 25-14) to open the 2019 Cal-Lu-fornia Invite hosted by Cal Lutheran.
UCSC went to 10-14 on the year while the Saints fell to 10-7.
Set One had 14 ties before UCSC closed the set with a 5-2 run to take a 1-0 lead. In set two, the Saints raced to a 6-2 lead before UCSC rallied to tie at 8 on Raymond Cascio's block. With UCSC up 14-13, the Banana Slugs went on a 6-1 run highlighted by a block by Justin Fortner and Matthew Nealon to take a 20-14 lead enroute to a 25-19 win and get up 2-0.
Set three was all UCSC. The Slugs never trailed, opening a 3-0 lead on Xander Vriesman's ace and leading as much as 11 at 20-9 before finishing the match with a 25-14 win for their second-straight win.
Cascio tallied .250 in the match with 8 kills on 24 swings to lead UCSC, racking up his 800th career kill. Fortner added 7 kills and six total blocks. Nealon had 26 assists and 6 digs. Erik English,Mike Kokoros and Justyn Schueler each had 8 kills for the Saints.
UCSC plays Adrian and Johnson & Wales on Friday in the tournament.