SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Endicott men's volleyball program took on two top-10 nationally-ranked opponents in #8 UC Santa Cruz and #6 Rivier at the Slug Slam Invitational over the weekend and in two matches against the host Banana Slugs and one against the Raiders, the Gulls went 0-3 on the weekend. Endicott fell to 10-8 overall on the season and now turn their focus to back to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play with a road match against Elms on Wednesday, March 19th at 6:00 pm.
Match One: Endicott 0, #8 UC Santa Cruz 3 (25-16, 25-17, 25-19)
Endicott senior outside hitter Brennan Lowe (Malibu, Calif.) in his return to his home state totaled a team-high six kills with four digs in the team's first match of the weekend.
Fellow Californian's Josh Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) and Tyler Bacon (Cypress, Calif.) played well in their return home as Anderson matched fellow senior Travis Netherton (Waukegan, Ill.) with five kills on 11 swings (.273) while Bacon set the Gulls offense with 16 assists while adding four digs.
Gulls sophomore middle Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) was the most efficient on the attack with a .571 hitting percentage as he totaled four errorless kills on seven attempts.
Endicott's defense was led by two solo blocks from Netherton as well as a block solo and a block assist from senior middle Mike Coniglione (Glenville, N.Y.). Libero Aaron Jessee (Okinawa, Japan) had a match-high eight digs in the loss.
Match Two: Endicott 1, #6 Rivier 3 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-14)
Playing against Rivier for the second time in a span of one week, Endicott turned in a near mirror image performance of their 3-1 loss to the Raiders at the Endicott Invitational. Endicott battled back-and-forth with Rivier through three sets, putting up a team-hitting percentage of .288, before faltering in the fourth set as the team amassed just six kills with five errors at a .062 clip.
The Raiders were consistent throughout the match with a .311 team hitting percentage including a .320 average in the fourth and final set in which they won 25-14.
Netherton was a dominating presence in the middle for the Gulls in Saturday's match, striking 12 kills on 17 attempts (.529) and making four blocks at the net including one solo stuff. Netherton's blocking effort was part of 10.5 team blocks that also featured six assisted blocks from Coniglione and five assisted blocks from Anderson.
Offensively, Lowe once again turned in a solid match with eight kills while sophomore outside John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) and Conglione were a presence with nine and seven kills, respectively.
Bacon and Little split the setting duties with both players accumulating 18 assists while Jessee once again led the team with nine digs. Osborne added six kills and two block assists as well.
Match Three: Endicott 0, #8 UC Santa Cruz 3 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20)
Playing the Slugs on back-to-back days, Endicott were once against swept in straight sets but saw a few individual, standout performances including a team-high five kills from senior right side Brandon Chadwick (Chelmsford, Mass.) and four kills from sophomore middle Daniel Toth (Vernon, N.J.).
Netherton finished off a solid weekend with four kills on 10 errorless swings while Tayek, Coniglione, and Osborne all contributed with three kills apiece with just one error between the three of them.
Jessee bumped his weekend total up to 27 digs with 10 against UC Santa Cruz on Sunday. Coniglione and Osborne both recorded a solo block while Netherton had two assisted blocks.