AURORA, NY – Junior Ryan Guyton (Lockport, NY/Lockport) scored a match-high 18.5 points, but it wouldn't be enough as the Express of Wells won 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-21) in a non-conference match Wednesday night.
Guyton's 18.5 points came off a 17-3-35 hitting line. Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, MA/Agawam) was also in double-digit scoring with 10 points on nine kills and one ace. Casey Fitzpatrick (Haverhill, MA/Haverhill) had a match-high 33 assists while leading the team in digs with six. Tyler Schnaible (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendahowa) also led the Gators on defense with three blocks.
On the other side of the net, Caden O'Loughlin led Wells (7-9) with 14 points on 13 kills and two blocks. Scott Litvin led the way with 20 assists while Josh Unardi had 15 of his own. Brannon Perdicho had an impressive double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Unardi was also impressive on defense with four blocks.
Wells came out in set one with a 15-2 lead, but Sage (8-8) went on an 8-2 run led by Guyton, Cecchi and Schnaible put Sage up 20-17. The Express went on a 4-0 run to reclaim 21-20. A kill from Sage's Chris MacArthur (Ancram, NY/Taconic Hills) tied the match at 21-21, but Wells went on a 4-1 run to win the set 25-22.
In set two, Wells jumped out to a 15-8 lead on the back of Perdicho, Jonathan Haines and Undari. Sage responded with a 4-1 run to cut the lead down to 16-12. The Express then went on a 7-2 to extend their lead to 23-14. Sage cut the lead down to 23-17 on a Schnaible kill, Guyton kill and an attack error. A Perdicho kill put Wells back up by seven before a Guyton kill and an attack error put Sage back within 24-19. However, a kill from Undari finished the set for Wells at 25-19.
Sage came out with a 9-5 lead in set three led by Guyton. A 9-4 Wells run put the Express up 14-13. Sage tied the match 14-14 on a Guyton kill. Wells responded with a 6-3 run to go up 20-17 in the must-win set for the Gators. Both sides went back-and-forth until a small run from the Express ended the set at 25-15.
With his 48th career block, sophomore Austin Laverty (Schenectady, NY/Mohonasen) passed No. 10 Juan Polanco in career block assists at Sage.
The Gators travel to Lehman on Sat., March 4 for a tri-match with Pratt and Lehman at noon and 3 p.m. respectively.