CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sage traveled to MIT Saturday afternoon to cap a 1-1 trip with a 3-1 win over Emmanuel College (16-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20) and a 3-0 loss to MIT (25-11, 25-18, 25-22) in the second match.
If the first match, Emmanuel (0-2) jumped out with a 10-2 start led by Max Guttuso, Alex Silva and Justyn Schueler. After exchanging points, the Saints took their largest lead of the set 19-9. Sage (1-1) cut Emmanuel's lead down to 22-15, including a kill from Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane), but it wasn't enough as kills from Silva, Erik English and a service error gave the Saints its final three points in the 25-16 set win.
Sage picked itself back up in the second set with a 16-4 start in set two led by senior Chris MacArthur (Ancram, NY/Taconic Hills) with two aces and a kill. The Saints cut down the lead to 18-8 before Sage went back up 22-10 thanks to a kill from Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam). Emmanuel refused to go down easy though, and posted a 6-1 run (23-16). Kills from Cecchi and Ryan Guyton (Lockport, NY/Lockport) garnered Sage its last two points, and the Gators tied the game 1-1 with its 25-17 set win.
Set no. three started off close with an 11-11 score before Sage went on a 7-2 (18-13) run capped by a Wenz kill. The Gators then held a 7-6 run advantage in the last points of the set, including three but kills from Guyton to win set three 25-19.
In the fourth and final set, Emmanuel jumped to a 7-2 lead on the back of English's two aces and one kill. Sage cut the Saints lead to three (9-6) on an attacking error. After extending its lead to 17-11, Emmanuel let Sage tie the set 18-18 on seven straight points. An ace from Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill) gave the Gators their first lead of the set. The Saints tied the game again 19-19 on a ball handling error, but the Gators went on a 6-0 run to lock in the 25-19 set win and their first match win the season.
Guyton led the way with 11 points for Sage on nine kills, an ace and a solo block. Cecchi chipped in nine points with seven kills while MacArthur and Wenz added 8.5 and eight points, respectively. Fitzpatrick posted 26 assists while MacArthur totaled a team-high two aces. On the defensive end, Fitzpatrick came up with nine digs.
On the other side of the net, English tallied a game-high 11.5 points on nine kills, two aces and one assisted block. Silva and Schueler were the next high scorers were eight and seven points, respectively. Seamus McDonagh recorded 28 assists and three assisted blocks while Elijah Parks had a team-high 11 digs.
In match no. two with MIT (2-0), the Engineers jumped out to a 12-3 lead but Sage managed to close the gap to 13-7 on a kill by Tyler Schnaible (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendehowa). MIT countered with a 12-4 run to finish off the set 25-11.
The hosts registered seven of the first eight points of the second set; however, the Gators countered with a 6-2 spurt that narrowed the gap to 9-7. MIT slowly increased its lead to 18-12 courtesy of an ace by senior Suvash Fulay. Despite the deficit Sage continued to attack, coming within three (20-17) on a block by Fitzpatrick and Zachary Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square). This was as close as it would get as the Engineers claimed the next four points. A blocking error extended the frame for Sage, but a serving miscue denied them an attempt at a comeback in the 25-18 set.
Sage quickly built a 5-1 lead in the final frame, which later moved to 16-13 following back-to-back kills by Cecchi. MIT responded with four straight points as a block by Jacob Gasparich put the Engineers in front for the first time in the set. A hitting error followed by a kill from Karl returned the lead to the visitors; however, junior Tavish Smith produced two kills and a block to give the Engineers a 20-18 edge. An exchange of points ensued until a ball-handling error helped Sage knot the set at 22. MIT capitalized on blocks by Martin Krasuski and Skyler Kaufman along with a hitting error to pull out the 25-22 win.
Guyton and Cecchi each totaled 9.5 points and eight kills for Sage. Fitzpatrick recorded 12 assists while Guyton led the way on defense with seven digs. Cecchi and Schnaible were dominant at the net with three block assists a-piece.
MIT's Krasuski totaled a match-high 13.5 points on nine kills and three aces. Smith added 11 points with a match-high ten kills. Fulay led the way with 15 assists with Yize Dong and Michael Kulinski added 12 and 10 assists, respectively. On defense, Fulay came up with eight digs while Thomas Nelson had seven.
The Gators look to garner their second win on Wed., Jan. 25 on the road at SUNY-Polytechnic at 7 p.m.