THOUSAND OAKS (3-9) – UC Santa Cruz finished their time in Southern California as they took on NCAA Division III T-15th Rivier University in Thousand Oaks. The Knights swept the Banana Slugs 3-0.
In the first set, the two teams would trade points over the first ten serves. The Knights would then go on a 15-4 run, capped by an assisted block by Francis Kokoros and Khaynen Yocca, to take the lead for good at 20-9. The Banana Slugs would come as close as nine, at 23-14, on a bad set by the Knights. The Knights won the first set 25-14 and took a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, the two teams would trade points for the first six serves. The Knights would take the lead for good, at 4-3, on a Kokoros kill. The Knights would gain their largest lead of the set at eight on two occasions; the second occasion at 16-8 on a Kokoros kill. The Banana Slugs would go on a 13-7 run, capped by an assisted block by Raymond Cascio and Phillip Grote, to trim the Knights lead to 23-21. The Knights won the second set 25-22 and took a 2-0 lead in the set.
In the third set, the Knights started the set outscoring the Banana Slugs 4-1. The Banana Slugs would trim the Knights' lead to one, at 6-5, on an attack error by the Knights. The Knights would go on a 12-4 run, capped by a Kokoros kill, to give the Knights their largest lead of the set, at nine, at 18-9. The Banana Slugs would come as close as three on three occasions; the third occasion at 23-20 on an assisted block by Cascio and Justin Fortner. The Knights won the third set 25-20 and won the match 3-0.
For UC Santa Cruz, Fortner had six kills and for Rivier, Kokoros had a match high twelve kills. Matthew Nealon had fifteen assists for UC Santa Cruz and Pedro Campos had a match high thirty-four for Rivier. Pizzuti led the Banana Slugs with ten digs and Cam Roth had a match high seventeen digs for the Knights.
For the match, UC Santa Cruz had a -.020 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the third set at .114 while Rivier had a .154 hitting percentage with the best percentage coming in the first set at .243. The Knights had twenty more kills (40-20) than did the Banana Slugs.
The Banana Slugs will now have twenty four days before their next match. The next match is April 3rd as they take on NCAA Division III #3 Kean University in Union, New Jersey. First serve is set for 4 pm.