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Potts Sets Career Block Record in Upset Over UC-Santa Cruz

Potts Sets Career Block Record in Upset Over UC-Santa Cruz

THOSAND OAKS, Calif. – Senior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) became the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball program's all-time block leader and classmate Jake Reed recorded 19 kills to help the 10th-ranked Leopards upset second-ranked UC-Santa Cruz on day two of the Cal-Lu-Fornia Invitational.

Wentworth his .577 in the opening frame, however the Leopards found themselves down early, 7-4. The Black & Gold used a 9-2 run to take a 13-9 lead on a Reed kill. In the run, Potts, who had tied the career block record Friday night, teamed up with junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) to record his 350th career total block. The Banana Slugs pulled within a pair of occasions, including after an attack error made it 19-17. Five straight Wentworth points extended the lead to 24-17 and, after Santa Cruz scored the next three points, junior Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) ended the set with a kill (25-20).

The Leopards took a 2-0 lead with a 25-23 win in the second set, a set which featured 11 ties. Trailing 10-9, Wentworth went on a 6-1 run and took a 15-12 lead when Mullen served an ace. Santa Cruz scored four of the next five points to tie the set at 16-all, however four straight Leopard points gave the Black & Gold a 20-16 lead. A 6-2 run by the Banana Slugs tied the set at 22-all and the set would be tied again, 23-all, before a kill from junior Jon Roat and a Mullen ace ended the set.

Santa Cruz stayed alive with a 28-26 win in the third set. The Banana Slugs scored the first four points of the set, however Wentworth used an 8-4 run to tie the set at 8-all. The Leopards took a 14-12 lead on a Mullen kill before Santa Cruz used a 7-1 run to take a 19-15 lead. Trailing 21-16, Wentworth came back to tie the set at 22-all when Roat and Potts teamed for a block. The set would be tied at 24-all and 25-all before a service error gave Wentworth set point at 26-25. However, the Banana Slugs scored the next three points to take the set.

A wild fourth set saw 19 ties, however Santa Cruz took a 17-14 lead after a kill and built its lead back to three (20-17) after a service error. An attack error gave the Banana Slugs a four-point lead but Wentworth used a 5-1 run to tie the set at 22-all on a kill from junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.). Oshman gave the Leopards a chance to clinch the match with a kill which made it 24-23, however Santa Cruz scored two straight points to take a 25-24 lead. An Oshman kill knotted the score at 25-all and Wentworth would have five more chances at set point, including 31-30 after yet another Oshman kill. Santa Cruz scored two straight to give the Banana Slugs a chance to extend the match at 32-31 but out of a time out, the Leopards scored the next three, clinching the match when Potts and Reed combined for a block.

Potts, who also had 12 kills in the match, now has 357 career total blocks, breaking Dave Rooth's '00 mark of 349. In addition to his 19 kills, Reed had 10 digs. Oshman had 13 kills on 18 swings for a .722 attack percentage and five blocks, Mullen had 12 kills, four aces, and nine digs, Roat had nine kills, seven digs, and three blocks, and Mullen had 12 kills, four aces, and nine digs. Ritter finished with 56 assists, nine digs, and five blocks.

Wentworth hosts MIT on Tuesday.

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