LA VERNE (10-5) – UC Santa Cruz traveled to Southern California to take part in the Leopard Invitational hosted by University of La Verne. The Banana Slugs fell in the first match of the evening 3-0 to Whittier College and lost 3-0 to the host Leopards in the second match.
Match #1 – vs. Whittier
In the first set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 10-4 lead capped by a service ace by Claire Okerlund. The Banana Slugs would lead by six on three other occasions; the final occasion at 16-10 on an attack error by the Poets. The Poets would go on a 10-3 run, capped by an attack error by the Banana Slugs, to take the lead for good at 20-19. The Poets won the first set 26-24. In the second set, the Banana Slugs started the set on a 12-8 spurt capped by a service ace by Timolin Kepon. The Poets would respond with a 9-4 run, capped by a service ace, to give the Poets the lead for good at 17-16. The Poets won the second set 25-23. In the third set, the Poets started the set on a 10-4 run capped by a Makenzie Theime kill. The Banana Slugs would come as close as two, at 18-16, on an Okerlund kill. The Poets would win the third set 25-21.
Okerlund led the Banana Slugs with ten kills.
Match #2 vs. University of La Verne
In the first set, the Banana Slugs would start the set on a 7-2 run capped by a kill by Okerlund. The Leopards would get back into the set with an 8-2 run capped by a Haley Celaya kill. The two teams would trade points, and the lead, for the next eighteen serves. The Leopards took the lead for good, at 19-18, on a Celaya kill. The Leopards won the first set 25-20. In the second set, the Leopards would start the set on a 7-2 run capped by a Darrah Jones kill. The Leopards would win the second set 25-20. In the third set, the Leopards would start the set on a 9-4 run, capped by a Katelyn Winiecki kill. The Banana Slugs would respond with a 13-7 run capped by a Shania Andrews kill to give the Banana Slugs the lead at 17-16. The Leopards would then go on a 7-3 run capped by an assisted block to give the Leopards the lead at 23-20. The Banana Slugs would score the next three points to tie the set at 23-23. The Leopards, however, would score the final two points of the set to win the third set 25-23.
Okerlund had 11 kills to lead the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will finish their time at the Leopard Invitational as they take on Pomona-Pitzer at 10 am and DeSales University at 12:30 pm.