LA VERNE - Despite outstanding individual performances, UC Santa Cruz was deprived of two wins during the last day of the highly competitive Leopard Invitational.
The Slugs finished the tournament with a 1-3 record and are 5-7 overall this season.
Match #1 vs Whittier
Meeting for the second time in a week, UC Santa Cruz worked vigilantly to combat Whittier the entire match, yet were unable to come back during deficits, losing the match 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 23-25, 17-25). After being overpowered in the first set, the Slugs did not concede, hitting .153 in the second set compared to Whitter's .083, and overcame the Poets to win the set. After winning set three, Whittier did not want a repeat of going 5 sets against the Banana Slugs and finished the match with a 17-25 victory in the fourth.
Claire Okerlund had a game-high 18 kills. Sinead Beaupain controlled the offense with 21 assists. Cassie Nickel asserted her seniority with 19 digs, and Alexandria Everett contributed a game-high 4 block assists.
Match #2 vs La Verne
Although UC Santa Cruz began by hitting 0.179 in the first set, just under the .182 of La Verne, they struggled during their final match of the tournament, losing 3-0 (15-25, 19-25, 24-26). With over 150 fans cheering mostly against the Slugs, UCSC was overwhelmed by the Leopards. At 24-24, the Leopards took the lead and last two points to win the third set 24-26. La Verne totalled 10 service aces to the Slugs' 2.
Once again, Sinead Beaupain and Claire Okerlund played significant roles. Beaupain had 18 assists and Okerlund was a force to be reckoned with, adding 13 kills and 11 digs to the box score to be named to the All-Tournament team. She is now 9th in career kills at UCSC with 579.
The Slugs complete their road trip Sunday, September 15, at Occidental.