MARCY, NY - Sage men's volleyball dropped a non-conference road match at SUNY-Polytechnic 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) Wednesday night.
In the first set, SUNY-Polytechnic (2-3) went up 8-4 on two aces and a kill from Max Szuba. The Gators came back and tied the game 12-12 on a kill from Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam) before the Wildcats went on a 4-1 run lead by Szuba, Zach Goggin and Ryan Gloff. Sage (1-2) cut the lead to 18-17 on a Wildcat attack error. Poly responded with a 3-0 run led by Gloff and Robert Nilsen. With Sage down 24-20 and the match point on the line, the Gators fought back within one (24-23 score) on a Zachary Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square) ace, but a kill from Nilsen sealed the 25-23 for Poly.
The Wildcats got off to quick start in set number two going up 8-2 early on. Sage cut the lead down to 8-4 on an attack error before Poly went on a 9-4 (17-8 score) run on the backs of Gloff and Nilsen. A kill from Cecchi three quarters through the set cut Poly's lead down to 18-12, but the Wildcats pulled away to take the second set 25-17.
Both teams swapped points back-and-forth in the final set until the score was tied 22-22. Poly's James Homan had a kill to put the Wildcats up 23-22, but a Poly service error tied the set 23-23. The Wildcats then reclaimed the lead again on a Sage service error before Poly's Derek Connelly scored the set-winning ace to take the match.
Cecchi led Sage with a match-high 14.5 points on 13 kills and three blocks. The junior also led the team in digs with five. Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill) led Sage in assists with 22 while freshman Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane) had a match-high four blocks.
On the other side of the net, Gloff led Poly with 14 points on 13 kills and one ace while Szuba totaled 11.5 points on seven kills, four aces and one block. Goggin had a match-high 30 assists. On the defensive end, Piotr Kasza led with four digs with Nick Hagen leading in blocks with three.
Sage is set for its home opener on Sat., Jan. 28 in Kahl Gymnasium. The Gators take on Mount Ida at noon and Keuka at 4 p.m.