SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Marymount University men's volleyball team started off the Slug Slam at Kaiser Permanente Arena, hosted by UC Santa Cruz, on Friday afternoon, dropping a 3-1 decision to Wells College.
A close battle throughout the whole match, the Saints used extra points in the set one to grab an early 1-0 lead. Down the stretch, points were traded from 20-19 all the way to 25-25. Needing extra points, Marymount made it quick business with back-to-back kills to grab the first game, 27-25. The two kills were landed by sophomores Raymond Tarasi and Jason Perkins.
In a similar fashion, set two went to extra points after back-and-forth play late. However, this time the back-to-back points to seal up the 27-25 decision were in favor of the Express, landing a block assist and a service ace to draw the match even, 1-1.
The third game saw the Saints grab an early advantage, but Wells answered back with a stretch that had them holding a two-point lead at 14-12. A service error by the Express and a kill by senior Joseph Zanelotti evened it back up, but three-straight points by Wells put it out ahead for the rest of the set.
In the fourth, the Saints were battling throughout to stay in striking distance of the Express. Although trailing through much of the set, they eventually battle back to tie up the game at 21-21. Unfortunately, a 4-2 run by Wells was enough to hold off MU for the 25-23 decision and 3-1 final.
Senior Sam Safley led all hitters with a match-high 22 kills on a .421 kill percentage. He was followed by another double-digit performance by Tarasi, while junior Miles Olson added nine. Zanelotti commanded the offense with a match-high 42 assists, and sophomore Chris Manganiello controlled the defensive side with a match-high eight digs.
The Saints continue the tournament on Friday night with a matchup against host UC Santa Cruz at 11 p.m., eastern time.