ALBANY – Ryan Guyton's (Lockport, NY/Lockport) nationally ranked 17 kills led Sage in its 3-0 nonconference win over Elms College Thursday night.
In set one, Elms (4-4) jumped out to an 8-5 lead with kills by Daniel Bondarovsky, David Hernandez and Gabriel Rei Levy and an ace by John Dunphy. Both sides continued to swap points until Sage (4-2) went on a 3-0 run on a Guyton kill, a Guyton and Zachary Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square) block and an attack error to tie the set 11-11. Action went back-and-forth before Sage went on 5-0 run (19-14 score) with kills from Chris MacArthur (Ancram, NY/Taconic Hills) and Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam) and two Karl aces. Elms responded with kills from Hernandez and Bondarovsky to cut Sage's lead to 19-16. With the score at a critical 23-20, the Gator's scored their final two points of the set on a kill from Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill) and an attack error to take set one 25-20.
Action was even for much of set two, starting with a 13-13 tie. The Blazers went on a 4-0 run with kills by Dunphy and Reis Levy to go up 16-13. Sage countered with a 6-3 run that posted two kills and a solo block from Guyton to tie the game 19-19. With the set tied 20-20, Sage took its first lead of the set on an attack error to go up by one. Elms responded with a Bondarovsky kill to tie the game 21-21. The Gators scored two big points on a kill by Cecchi and a block by Fitzpatrick and Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane) to go up 23-21. The Blazers weren't done yet and tied the game 23-23 on a Reis Levy block. The Gators took the last two vital points on a Guyton kill and an attack error to take the second set 25-23.
Sage jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the third shot on the backs of Guyton and Karl. After trading points, Elms went on 9-3 run with kills from Reis Levy, Bondarovsky and Austin DeCosmo along with a Reis Levy block to a take 14-12 lead. Both sides went back-and-forth until Sage tied the game 16-16 on an attack error. With the set tied 20-20, Sage took a 22-20 lead on a Guyton kill and a block by Guyton and Karl. The Blazers came back within one on a Reis Levy kill, but Sage's 3-1 run with two errors and a Fitzpatrick ace took the third and final set 25-22.
The Gators were led on offense by Guyton with 22.5 points on 17 kills, four blocks and three service aces. Cecchi was also in double-digit points with 11 points on eight kills, two aces and two blocks with six digs. Karl chipped in a season-high eight points on four kills, four blocks and two aces. Fitzpatrick led Sage with a game-high 33 assists and seven digs.
Elms was led on offense by Hernandez with 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks along with Reis Levy with 11 points on ten kills and a block. Dunphy recorded 26 assists while Audrye Alejandro led the Blazers on defense with nine digs.
Guyton's 22.5 point effort ranks 5th in Sage single-match (three sets) effort, while his 17 kills ranks 8th in the Gator record books (three-set kills). The junior's 17 kills currently rank 5th nationally in NCAA Division III three-set matches.
Sage travels to Regis (Mass.) on Sat. Feb. 4 for a tri-match with Regis and NJCU. Match one with Regis is set to begin at noon while match two with NJCU will follow at 2 p.m.