MILWAUKEE – Senior Bryant Holland notched 24 kills to lead the MSOE men's volleyball team in action against No. 3 UC Santa Cruz, suffering a 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21 defeat Friday evening at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (1-1) were playing in just their second match of the season and battled the Banana Slugs (9-1) hard throughout the night but could not keep up with the more seasoned visitors.
Holland had a second-straight strong attacking night, hitting .364 on 55 attacks after hitting .471 in the season-opener Wednesday. Senior Logan Baerenwald added 14 kills and senior Andrew Miller picked up a double-double of 43 assists and 14 digs.
Lake Merchen led UCSC with 14 kills and 19 digs. Ryan Manley had 13 kills and 14 digs while Justin Fortner finished with 11 kills.
The Banana Slugs used a pair of 4-0 runs in the first set to establish some breathing room and held off any Red & White advances down the stretch. They then led 23-21 in the second frame before MSOE rallied for the final four points of the game. Holland registered a pair of kills in the run, book-ending two services by sophomore Jake Christensen to even the match at 1-1.
Santa Cruz again used micro runs to pull away from the Raiders in the final two sets before holding them off. In the third game it was a 3-0 spurt to break away from a 14-14 tie before later scoring the final three points.
To clinch the match, it was again three-straight points helping the visitors to break a 15-15 tie and never look back.
MSOE rebounded from a tough first set in which it hit .000 to finish at .158 for the night. The team peaked in the fourth set in which it hit .282. The Banana Slugs hit .197 as a team.
The Raiders return to the court Feb. 9 at Concordia Wisconsin in their first-ever NACC match.