Men’s volleyball ends California trip with 3-0 loss
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Juniata men's volleyball dropped a 3-0 loss to the Banana Sluggers of the University of California Santa Cruz Saturday afternoon to cap its four-day California trip.
Set scores were 28-30, 20-25, and 22-25.
After four days of traveling the coast of California and facing-off with Hope International and no. 4 Stanford University, the Juniata (1-2) men's volleyball team finally succumbed to the fatigue and let its final game on the West Coast slip through its hands.
The first set was a brutal battle riddled with long rallies in which the Eagles worked hard from behind to tie the match just in time to send the set into extra points. After handling the pressure of remaining perfect to get to set-point for five marks, Juniata gave in and lost the set on an attack error.
The Eagles managed to keep it close throughout the remaining two sets and fought from behind to make it a close second set and were leading for most of the third, but ultimately couldn't overcome UC Santa Cruz's (1-1) blocking and hitting performance.
Senior Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) led the Eagles in kills with seven, while fellow senior Mike Kraft posted six and sophomore Paul Ejups (Bay Shore, N.Y./West Islip) tallied five terminations. Freshman Eric McCarthy (Villa Park, Ill./Willowbrook) sprawled for a match high 18 digs, while Kraft put-up an individual season high 11 digs. Senior John Almquist (York, Pa./Central York) assisted 22 times with Ejups and junior Cameron Andrew (Dallas, Texas/The Greenhill School) each assisting once to a termination.
As a squad, Juniata swung at a bleak .019 attack percentage with 24 kills, 22 errors on 108 total attacks, the least terminations and the most errors yet this season. The Banana Slugs swung at a .168 clip with 39 kills with 20 errors on 113 total attacks. On a positive note, the Eagles racked up 54 digs in the contest, the most they have posted yet this season.
Juniata returns to the court on Saturday, Jan. 21, against Hilbert College as part of a three match weekend at the Elmira College Tournament in New York.