Kingsmen Split on Day Two of Slug Slam; Sweep Marymount, Fall to Wells

Connor Hinthorn tallied seven kills, hitting .538, as Cal Lutheran swept Marymount (Va.).
Connor Hinthorn tallied seven kills, hitting .538, as Cal Lutheran swept Marymount (Va.).

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran men's volleyball team went 1-1 on day two of UC Santa Cruz's annual Slug Slam, which was held Friday and Saturday. The Kingsmen started the day with a narrow defeat to No. 11 Wells and answered with a sweep of Marymount.

The scores of the match with Wells were 23-25, 21-25, 25-15, 23-25. The Kingsmen then defeated Marymount for the second time this week with scores of 25-17, 25-16, 25-16.

CLU has started the season 3-2 and tallied two sweeps at the Slug Slam with the two losses coming at the hands of ranked teams. 

Cal Lutheran vs. Marymount (Va.)
Patrick Rowe led the way and continued his hot hitting stretch as he tallied 11 kills, with an attack percentage of .400. He added seven digs and five blocks, including three solo. 

Andrew Reina was next with nine kills and chipped in with a team-high eight digs, while Connor Hinthorn had a strong game with seven kills, hitting .538. 

The Kingsmen dominated the net as Rowe tied with Justin Dietrich for the team lead with five blocks. Jacob Cudiamat got his first start at the setter position and dished out 30. He added three blocks and three aces to his game. 

With CLU down 4-3 in the first set, the Kingsmen rattled off eight straight points and took an 11-4 lead. They carried that momentum throughout the set as the teams exchanged points and took an early 1-0 match lead after the 25-17 set win.

The scoring runs were a trend for the Kingsmen in the second set as CLU scored four in a row to go up 14-10, five in a row and were up 19-13 and finished off the game with five in a row to win 25-15. Cal Lutheran continued that pressure throughout the third set and won 25-16 and swept the Saints. 

Cal Lutheran vs. No. 11 Wells
Rowe tallied the first double-double of the season and second of his career with 11 kills and 11 digs. He had an all-around game as he added three blocks and two aces. 

Reina connected on a new career-high of 16 kills to lead the Kingsmen. He was one dig shy of a double-double and added one block. Dietrich was next with eight kills, five digs and had a match-high five blocks. 

Blake Zingerman continued the season at the setter position and tallied 30-plus assists for the third time in four games. He dished out 34 and added seven digs and two kills and is averaging 8.63 assists per set. Defensively, Hinthorn tied Rowe with the most as the duos both recorded 11. 

The Kingsmen scored 20-plus points in every set for the second consecutive match. CLU scored 23 in the first set and 21 in the second as they fell into a 0-2 hole. 

Cal Lutheran bounced back in the fourth set, scoring four straight points, and took and early 8-4 lead. A few points later, CLU put together another run, this one six straight points as they took a commanding 16-7 lead. They were able to coast the rest of the way and took the third set 25-15. 

The fourth set was tied 14 times as the lead went back-and-fourth. One team would answer with a run and the other was right there to counter. Wells finally got some breathing towards the end of the set, scoring four straight to take a 24-21 lead. CLU didn't shy away as a kill and block cut the lead to just one point. However, the Kingsmen were not able to climb all the way back as Wells won the fourth set 25-23 and the match.

The Kingsmen return home for a three-game homestand next week. On Thursday, Cal Lutheran will host Fontbonne with first serve set for 7 p.m. 

Box Score: WC 3, CLU 1CLU 3, MU 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director