Tigers Rout Banana Slugs Behind Hughes' 11 Kills
Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific men's volleyball team was back in action on Friday, March 23 against UC Santa Cruz. The Tigers controlled every aspect of the game en route to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-12) match sweep. The win improved No. 11 Pacific to 7-14, while it dropped UC Santa Cruz to 9-5.
The Tigers were on fire all night hitting .446 as a team, mainly due to the 11 kill, .556 hitting percentage night from junior Taylor Hughes.
The first game started slow for the Tigers trading points to a seven-all tie, but the Orange and Black would find their rhythm to win the set 25-18. With the score knotted at seven, the Tigers would use a 6-1 run to gain control of the frame and match.
Leading the Tigers in the opening set was Hughes with five kills to hit .833. However, it was a total team effort to hit .520 as a unit, with Florian Gornik, Christian Ahlin, Sean Daley and Patrick Tunnell all recording multiple kills in the opening game. Daley would add two blocks in his first match home since setting the all-time school mark for total blocks in a career. Also, Tunnell added 12 of his 25 assists in the opening set.
The Tigers carried the momentum from game one to take the second frame 25-12. Pacific never trailed the entire set behind the right arm of Hughes, who added another five kills to hit .444 in the frame. The Tigers would hit .370 in the second game, behind three kills from Daley, with Gornik adding two. Tunnell would add nine assists in the frame, while Caceres collected three of his eight digs in the set.
Pacific would dominate the third frame to take the game and match 25-12. The Tigers were led by junior Matthew Houlihan's four kills on five swings. Chris Brecheisen and Dylan Walker would each add to the scoreboard with two kills in the frame, while freshman Tommy Carmody recorded a kill on three swings.
Leading the Banana Slugs for the night was Will Klepac and Salvatore La Cavera with eight and seven kills, respectively.
The Tigers look to carry the momentum of tonight's win into next weekend for a pair of contests against USC and Pepperdine on March 30 and 31.