UNION, NJ – Junior Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, NY/Agawam) recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs, but Sage fell to Arcadia 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 20-25) after dropping their first match of the day to Kean 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-12).
Cecchi's double-double against Kean was the third of his career. Tyler Schnaible (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendahowa) recorded the highest hitting percentage for the Gators with a .300 while Zackery Karl (West Monroe, NY/Central Square) was second on the team in kills with eight. Leading Sage (14-14, 4-3 Skyline) in assists was Austin Laverty (Schenectady, NY/Mohonasen) with 32 while Ryan Guyton (Lockport, NY/Lockport) recorded a team-high three aces. On the defensive end, Laverty added seven digs while Schnaible, Karl and Shane Wenz (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane) each had two blocks.
For Arcadia (12-16), Austin Braas and Jason Manley combined for 35 points on 28 kills, six blocks and four aces. Also scoring in double-digit figures were Edwin Waters Jr. and Bryce Galloway with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Braas's .500 hitting percentage was the best for the Knights. Sean Cohen recorded 43 assists while coming up with a team-high nine digs. Rounding out the defense was Robie Moctezuma with an impressive six blocks.
The first set started neck-and-neck until Arcadia pulled ahead 18-13. Both sides swapped points over the next few serves, but the Knights took the set 25-20.
With Arcadia up 1-0, the second set started just as close as the first. With the score tied 19-19, Sage went up 21-19 on two Knight errors. A kill from Waters Jr. cut the lead down to 21-20, but a Karl kill and a an attack error put Sage back up 23-20. Galloway brought the score down to 23-21 with a kill, but it wasn't enough and the Gators took the set 25-22.
In the third set, Sage took a 17-14 lead on a Knight attack error, but Arcadia went on a 5-1 run to take 19-18 lead. A kill from Karl tied the set 19-19, but the Knights went on a 6-3 run to take the set 25-22.
In the must-win fourth set, both teams went back-and-forth until Arcadia took a 20-16 lead. The Knights then went on a 4-2 run to go up 24-18. Sage scored two straight points on attack errors, but a kill from Moctezume locked the set for Arcadia 25-20.
In the first match with Skyline foe Kean, Sage was led by Cecchi with six kills while Laverty recorded 15 assists. On the other side of the net, Kean's (21-8, 7-0 Skyline) Jacob Kauffman scored a match-high 13.5 points on 10 kills, three blocks and two aces while Ian Capp recorded 28 assists for the Cougars.
The first set started in an 11-11 tie before Kean went on a 11-4 run to take their biggest lead of the set. With scoreboard reading 22-15, Sage responded with a 3-1 run with kills by Guyton and Schnaible. Kean's Steven Zarzycki broke up the run with a kill to bring the score 24-18. Sage then scored three straight points, including a block by Chris MacArthur (Ancram, NY/Taconic Hills), but Kean scored on a kill by Dylan Flor to take the set 25-21.
With Kean up 1-0 in the match, Sage jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second set on the backs of Karl, Guyton, Laverty and Jarod Martel (Albany, NY/Colonie Central). Kean came back to tie the set 9-9. With sides went back-and-forth until the Cougars took a 22-19 lead. A service error cut the lead down to 22-20, but Kean scored three straight points to take the set 25-20. The Cougars went on to take the third set 25-12.
After today's tri-match, Sage sits in the sixth and final playoff spot with one week left in the regular season. Topping the Skyline is Kean with a perfect 7-0 record followed by Ramapo and Mount Saint Vincent with 5-1 records. Rounding out the fourth and fifth place spots are St. Joseph's – Long Island and Purchase with 4-2 and 4-3 records respectively. NJCU is currently behind Sage with a 3-3 record, and is hopping to bump into the sixth playoff spot after this week.
Sage takes a break from conference play for their last home match of the regular season against Bard College on Wed., Apr. 5. The Gators will be honoring MacArthur prior to the contest in conjunction with senior night.