Jan. 19, 2009

 

Courtesy of Pacific

Stockton, Calif. - Pushed to five games, the Pacific men's volleyball team prevailed in the end against UC Santa Cruz, defeating the Banana Slugs 3-2 on Friday, January 16. The win moved the Tigers to 2-4 on the year and snapped a four match losing streak while UC Santa Cruz fell to 3-2 overall.

Set scores for the match were: 29-31, 30-28, 30-27, 28-30, 15-8

Faced with the pivotal fifth set at home against a team that Pacific has never been defeated by, the Tigers made certain that streak would continue. Juniors Mark Bauhs (Danville, Calif.) and Jason Borchin (Roseville, Calif.) stepped forward to pace the Tigers. The duo were the first two servers for the Tigers in the set and forced UC Santa Cruz into three critical attacking errors with a strong delivery during each of the first six points. Borchin continued to stoke the Tigers' fire with two cross-court kills on assists from Bauhs, giving the Tigers' a 5-1 lead. Midway through the set with an 8-4 lead, Pacific ended all doubt as the Tigers scored three consecutive points behind kills from junior Kevin Pratte(Hemet, Calif.), Borchin and Bauhs to take a 11-4 edge. This lead would be enough for Pacific to take the set as well as the match, 15-7.

The score of the first set went back and forth throughout the entire set, in fact, the two teams battled through 15 ties. Despite a stellar performance of four kills from senior Joe Forbes (Westport, Conn.) and 10 service errors by the Banana Slugs in this set, Pacific would fall short, 31-29. Leading 21-20, Pacific started to gain a lead on the Banana Slugs. A service error by UC Santa Cruz, a kill by Borchin and a kill by junior Clay Ostrander (Wheaton, Ill.) brought the score to 24-20. Unfortunately, the Banana Slugs scored four consecutive points, tying the score at 24-24. With the game tied 27-27, Forbes recorded one of his 17 total kills from the middle, to bring the score 28-27. But a quick sideout by UC Santa Cruz would tie the game 28-28, and the game would tie again at 29-29. UC Santa Cruz scored two more points on two kills to take the first set. Pacific hit .176, compared to the Banana Slugs .297.

The second set was much like the first, in the way it went back and forth, and the scored tied 11 times. When the score was tied at 6-6, Pacific scored two consecutive points on a kill by Borchin and a block by freshman Sean Daley (Moorpark, Calif.) and Bauhs bringing the score to 8-6. The score quickly tied up again at 8-8 and again at 9-9. The Tigers started to break away after the tie at 9-9, with a kill from Forbes, an error by the Banana Slugs, an ace by Bauhs, followed by two errors by UC Santa Cruz, pushing the Tigers out to a 14-9 edge. This lead would start to diminish and the score tied up again at 20-20. The Tigers continued to fight and with the score tied at 28-28, they forced the Banana Slugs into an error and finished up the set on a block by Forbes and freshman Nicolaas Schenk (Kamuela, Hawaii), knotting the match at 1-1. Pacific improved their hitting percentage to .240, while their defense helped bring UC Santa Cruz's down to .094.

The Tigers were able to jump to a 5-2 lead in the third set. Pacific's lead did not look like it would hold up when the score was at 8-7, but a kill from Pratte brought the lead back up to two points at 9-7. Although UC Santa Cruz pulled within a point once again at 11-10, the Tigers refused to relinquish their hold on the game. Bauhs, the setter, was able to find his hitters 14 times to rack 14 more assists to his match total of 60. At the end of the set, with the score at 28-27, Borchin got a kill and the game ended on a great solo block by Schenk, to win the set, 30-27.

The fourth set of the match had 13 tie scores. UC Santa Cruz scored the first three points of the match. A kill by Forbes, an ace by Borchin, and a kill by Borchin, brought the score to 3-3. Later in the set, the Tigers were down 17-14, but by forcing UC Santa Cruz into two errors and a block by Bauhs and Daley, the Tigers were able to tie the game up. The score would tie again at 26-26, but UC Santa Cruz would score the next two points and create a slight lead of 28-26. This lead would hold out to the end of the set and the Banana Slugs won by a score of 30-28, forcing a fifth game of the match.

Borchin had 18 kills, and six digs for the Tigers, while Forbes had 17 kills and a team-leading .500 hitting percentage. Pratte, meanwhile, finished with his second consecutive double-double, posting 12 kills and 13 digs to help the Tigers defeat UC Santa Cruz.

Justin Lam had 28 kills and eight digs to lead the Banana Slugs.

The Tigers return to the court on Friday, Jan. 23 at Pepperdine at 7 p.m.