UC Santa Cruz women’s volleyball swept UC Merced 25-14, 25-17 and 25-17 at home on Sept. 28. The Slugs improved to 14-3 with the win and extended their win streak to six games in their second home game of the season.
In the first set, UCSC totaled nine kills and maintained a commanding lead throughout. With eight straight points midway through the set, the Slugs quickly put away UCM to take the lead.
“In order to beat Merced we all had to focus on staying disciplined and playing at the high level we are capable of playing at rather than dropping down to their level of play,” said outside hitter Kim Rabii.
The second and third games were also successes for the Slugs, who wrapped up the match in less than an hour and a half. Opposite hitter Elena Echeverria led offensively with seven kills, followed by Rabii with four. Echeverria leads the team with 161 kills this season.
Last season the Slugs faced off with UCM twice, coming out with a 3-0 sweep and a 3-1 win later in the season. Despite the success against UCM last year, the Slugs finished with a 13-14 record and failed to reach the NCAA tournament. A successful start to the season has the team confident, but without getting too far ahead of themselves, Rabii said.
“As a team we are working on taking one game at a time and not letting our success thus far affect our mentality,” Rabii said.
Rabii also says the team is shooting to qualify for the NCAA play at the end of the year. The Slugs wrap-up their regular season Nov. 1 at home versus Embry-Riddle University, where it will be determined if they will participate in playoffs.