Kingsmen Fall in Five Set Thriller

Kingsmen Fall in Five Set Thriller

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen volleyball team suffered a tough loss Saturday night as they fell to the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs 3-2 in Gilbert Arena. Scores of the match were 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 21-25, 11-15.

Cal Lutheran (4-3) came out on a mission and took the first set 25-21. The Kingsmen carried that momentum into the second set and were up 10-2. They continued to put up the points and led 16-5. CLU didn't let up and won the second set 25-15.

The Kingsmen were looking for a sweep as the match moved to the third set. CLU was down 14-10, but answered with a 6-0 run to take the lead. Andrew Reina tallied one of his team-high 14 kills. Patrick Rowe served back-to-back aces. He had three in total. For the rest of the set, neither team led by more than two. With the score tied at 23, UCSC scored the next two points and took the set. The Banana Slugs leveled up the match as they won the fourth set 25-21. 

UC Santa Cruz (6-5) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the fifth set. Cal Lutheran got right back in it as Justin Dietrich swatted down a kill to make it a one-point game at 8-7. CLU kept it close and were only down one, 11-10, after a Dasmen Stewart kill. The Banana Slugs took from there as they won the set 15-11 and the match 3-2. 

After Reina's 11 kills, Brendan Ward tallied 12 and Rowe had 10. Ward added six digs and four blocks. Nick Christy recorded eight kills and had a hitting percentage of .636. 

Rowe recorded his second double-double of the year. He had a match-high 15 digs to go along with his kills. He had three solo blocks on defense to go with his three service aces on offense. 

Five more Kingsmen had at least five digs as Reina (eight), Nelson (six), Ward (six), Eli Moore (five) and Marc Quezada (five) all came up big defensively. 

The match was very close all the way around. The one difference was total team blocks. Cal Lutheran recorded 10, while UC Santa Cruz had 17. 

The Kingsmen hit the road for their next five contests with a four-game stretch being in the Midwest. The road trip starts with top-notch competition as No. 8 Cal Lutheran faces off with No. 3 Carthage on Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.   

Box Score: UCSC 3, CLU 2
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director