ALBANY – The Sage men's volleyball team took two wins in its home opener Saturday against Mount Ida (25-16, 25-17, 25-17) and Keuka (25-23, 25-17, 25-16).
In Sage's (3-2) first match against the Mustangs of Mount Ida (4-3), Sage jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first set on kills by Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane) and Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam) and a block by Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill) and Tyler Schnaible (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendehowa). The Gators built on their momentum and went on a 11-4 run (22-11 score) on the backs of Wenz, Schnaible, Ryan Guyton (Lockport, NY/Lockport) and Jarod Martel (Albany, NY/Colonie Central). The Mustangs went on a small 3-0 run to cut Sage's lead to eight (22-14 score), but the Gators scored their last three points on a service error and kills from Schnaible and Guyton to take the first set 25-16.
The second set started 5-5 until Sage went on a 5-1 run (10-6 score) led by Chris MacArthur (Ancram, NY/Taconic Hills). Mount Ida cut the lead down to 11-9 on a series of Sage errors. However, the Gators went on a run to go up 19-10 on blocks by Wenz and MacArthur, an ace by Zachary Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square) and a kill from Guyton. Both sides continued to swap points until the Mustangs went on a 4-1 (22-16 score) on errors by Sage. The Gators chomped back to score its final three points on service errors and a Guyton kill to take the second set 25-17.
In the final set, Sage jumped to an early 10-6 with points from Fitzpatrick, Schnaible, Guyton, Cecchi and Karl. Both sides swapped points until the Gators went on a 6-3 (16-9 score) run with kills from Guyton, Cecchi and Martel. The Gators extended their lead to 21-12 on the backs of Karl, Guyton and Schnaible. The Mustangs followed with a small 3-0 run that had an ace from Nathan Sprengle and a kill from Peter Griffenkranz. Sage countered with a 4-2 run to take the third set 25-17.
Guyton scored a match-high 15.5 points on 10 kills, five aces and one block. Fitzpatrick led the way in assists with a match-high 26. On the defensive end, Wenz totaled an impressive six blocks with Cecchi chipping in six digs.
Mount Ida was led by Griffenkranz with 6.0 points on five kills and two blocks while Sprengle totaled 13 assists. The Mustangs were led on defense by Nelson Leadbetter with a match-high seven digs and Tyler Shinkle with three blocks.
In Sage's second match with Keuka (1-1), Sage jumped out to an early 4-1 lead on kills by Guyton and Cecchi. The Wolves countered with an 8-5 run to tie the game 9-9 on the back of Christian Nickerson and Connor Gail. Both teams continued to swap points until Sage took a 22-18 lead with a solo block by MacArthur. Keuka responded with a small 5-2 run (24-23 score) on a kill by Jared Kucko and a block by Colin Steele and Kucko. Schnaible followed up with Sage's set-winning kill to take the set 25-23.
In the second set, both teams swapped points in a tight exchange leading to a 16-16 tie. Sage finally pulled ahead with a five-point lead (21-16 score) with kills by Guyton and Wenz, an ace from Fitzpatrick and a block by MacArthur and Wenz. Keuka broke up the run with a kill by Gail, but Sage went on a 4-0 run to take the set 25-17.
After starting the final set 6-4 in favor of Sage, the Gators went on a 9-2 run (15-6 score) with kills from Cecchi and Guyton and a block by Fitzpatrick and Karl. The Wolves countered with a small 3-0 run (15-9 score) on the back of Chris Corcoron. Sage responded with a 9-4 (24-13 score) run featuring kills by Martel, Schnaible, Cecchi and Karl along with a block by Fitzpatrick and Schnaible. Keuka staged a small 3-0 comeback (24-16 score) with a kill by Gail until Guyton put away the match with the set-winning kill.
Sage was led by Guyton with a game-high 17 points on 16 kills and one ace. Cecchi added 10 points with 10 kills. Fitzpatrick recorded his first double-double of the year with 31 assists and 11 digs. MacArthur led the way on defense with four blocks while Melvin Tejada (Springfield, MA/Springfield) with six digs.
Keuka was led by Gail with 11 points on 11 kills. Corcoran totaled 23 assists and eight digs while Steele came up with three blocks.
Wenz's six kills against Mount Ida rank 3rd in Sage single-match (three sets) history. MacArthur moved up to 8th in the career record books passing Scott Fitzgerald in career kills (316) and points (413). Guyton also re-etched his name in career records by passing Jeb Kubish and Scott Fitzgerald in digs (282) for 8th place.
The Gators are set to host Elms in their next match on Wed., Feb. 2 in Kahl Gymnasium at 7 p.m.