WESTON, Mass. – Sage men's volleyball split on the road with a 3-1 win (25-15, 25-27, 25-13, 25-13) over NJCU and a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) loss to Regis (Mass.) Saturday afternoon.
Against NJCU (0-3), the beginning of the first set was neck-and-neck with a 10-9 in favor of the Gators. Sage (5-3) then went up 18-10 with a Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam) kill and a Zachary Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square). They built on the momentum went on a 7-5 led by Cecchi and Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane) to take the first set 25-15.
The second set started out with a 12-12 tie before the Gothic Knights went on a 5-2 run with two Julian Moreira kill and a block to go up 17-14. Sage countered with a 7-1 run of their own with blocks from Wenz, Karl, Ryan Guyton (Lockport, NY/Lockport), Tyler Schnaible (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendwhowa) and Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill). Both sides went back-and-forth until NJCU went up by two to take the second set 27-25 and tie the match 1-1.
Set three started with a 10-10 tie until Sage exploded with a 15-3 run led by Guyton, Karl, Schnaible, Wenz, Jared Almy (Howes Cave, NY/Cobleskill-Richmondville) and Austin Laverty (Schenectady, NY/Mohonasen) to take the set 25-13.
In the fourth and final set, Sage jumped out to an early 14-5 lead led by Guyton, Schnaible and Wenz. The Gothic Knights scored four points to cut Sage's lead to 16-9, but the Gators responded with a 6-1 (22-10 score) run on the back of Wenz. Sage scored its last three points on a service error and two Guyton kills to take the set 25-13 and the match 3-1.
Sage was led on offense by Guyton with 19 points, 15 kills, four blocks and an ace. Wenz scored a career-high 16.5 points one 13 kills, three aces and a block while Schnaible chipped in a career high 11 points on five kills, four blocks and three aces. Fitzpatrick had a match-high 39 assists. On defense, Melvin Tejada (Springfield, MA/Springfield Central) had a match-high eight digs while Karl finished with four blocks.
Moreira led NJCU with 14.5 points on 11 kills, two aces and two blocks. Jonathan Andrews was also in double-digit scoring with 10.5 points on seven kills, two aces and two blocks. Jimmy Vega finished with 28 assists. Moreira and J.J. Berecia led the Gothic Knights with seven digs a piece.
In the other match with Regis (2-4), set one was extremely tight with the largest lead for either team two points. With the set tied 21-21, the Pride took a 24-22 lead on a Marcos Aguirre kill. Sage cut the lead to 24-23 on a Wenz kill, but a Seasn Bisnett kill sealed the first set 25-23 for Regis.
Regis came out in the second set with a 9-5 lead. The Gators countered with a 5-2 run with kills by Guyton, Wenz and Schnaible to cut the Pride's lead to 10-9. Regis responded with a 6-3 run to go back up 17-13. The Pride then added another five points to go up 22-15. They scored their final three points on two Drew Beimel kills and an attack error to take the second set 25-18.
In the third and final set, Regis jumped out to a 9-3 lead. Sage then went on a 10-5 run led by Cecchi, Schnaible, Guyton and Karl to cut the Pride's lead to 14-13. Regis responded with a 6-2 run to go back up 20-15. The Gators came back within one (21-20 score), but the Pride were just too much and went on a 4-1 run to take the third set 25-21.
Guyton led Sage with 18 points, 17 kills, four digs and an ace. Fitzpatrick was one dig short of a double-double, finishing the match with 26 assists and nine digs. Karl finished with three blocks while Cecchi recorded two aces.
Bisnett had a team-high 12.5 points for Regis with 12 kills and a block. Marcos Aguirre was also in double-digit scoring with 10 points on 10 kills. Joe Hanrahan finished with 36 assists, and Drew Beimel totaled a match-high four blocks.
The Gators are back in action Feb. 10-11. Sage takes on Lasell on Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. They play Elmira and D'Youville the next day at noon and 2 p.m. respectively.