Men's volleyball ranks No. 2 in division


The UC Santa Cruz men’s volleyball team has earned a No. 2 ranking in NCAA Division III.

The ranking was published Feb. 21 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Each week committees from around the country in each division study the week’s match ups to determine the best teams. Last week, the Slugs ranked No. 3. The next poll will be taken Feb. 28.

The Banana Slugs were awarded 227 points, second only to Springfield, which earned 254 points.

“We’re practicing like it’s competitive playoffs with a roster of passionate and talented student-athletes. Passion is the prerequisite to winning,” said head coach Paul Leon, who graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2013 with a degree in marine biology. He was named head coach in 2016.

As a student, Leon served as team captain, sending the Slugs to a Continental Volleyball Conference championship and a national tournament bid in the spring of 2012.

The team will go up against Hope International University (NAIA) in Fullerton on Friday.