SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Marymount University men's volleyball team fell in its final match of day one in the Slug Slam, dropping a 3-0 decision to host No. 8 UC Santa Cruz.
The Saints came out swinging against the eighth-ranked team in the country, seeing six lead changes in just the first set. However, the final sway of advantage went in favor of the Slugs, hitting a five-point stretch to jump out ahead, 19-15. Later in the game, the Saints trailed 24-21 and calle a timeout. Out of the break, a kill by senior Sam Safley and a Slug attack error got MU within one. Unfortunately, Santa Cruz found its last point on a kill of its own to steal the set, 25-23.
The beginning half of set two had MU with an 11-10 advantage at the midway mark. But the Slugs responded with six-straight kills to take a lead that didn't falter the rest of the way, building a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-19 game.
In the third, the Saints commanded much of the game, earning the first three points on a kill by sophomore Raymond Tarasi, a block by Safley and sophomore Jason Perkins, and another kill by Safley. They maintained that advantage all the way to 21-19. However, the Slugs found some offense late, laying down three kills to take a 22-21 lead.
Junior Miles Olson cut the run with a kill of his own to draw it even at 22-22, but Santa Cruz finished off the match with three-straight points to take the final set, 25-22.
The Saints had three players land double-digit kills, led by Safley with a match-high 16 on a .364 kill percentage. Tarasi and Olson contributed 10 each. Senior Joseph Zanelotti sent out a match-high 39 assists, and sophomore Chris Manganiello dove out for a match-high 11 digs.
Marymount continues in the Slug Slam on Saturday, January 11 with two more matches. The Saints will take on Cal Lutheran again at 3:30 p.m., followed by Lakeland at 6 p.m. Both times are eastern time.