MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNY Poly Men's Volleyball Team (14-10, 7-6 NEAC) got three crucial victories on the road this weekend at the Lancaster Bible College NEAC Crossover. The team got on a roll starting with Friday night's victory over Penn St.-Altoona that continued with a pair of straight-sets victories over host Lancaster Bible and then Keuka. The Wildcats didn't drop a set the entire weekend.
SUNY Poly easily dispatched with the Chargers in the day's first match, winning 25-11, 25-16, 25-15. Senior Evan Smith (Saugerties, N.Y. / Saugerties) had a tremendous match, matching his previous season-high for kills with 10. He was right behind A.J. Davids (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton), who delivered 11 kills on 19 attempts (1 error), a .526 hitting percentage.
Piotr Kasza (Mechowiec, Poland / Academy of American Studies) got the start at setter for the Wildcats, finishing with 26 assists to go along with a solo block and a block-assist.
In the day's second match the Wildcats squared off with the Keuka Wolfpack, a team which had defeated the Wildcats once this year already (a 3-1 home loss on February 21st), and ranks just ahead of the Wildcats in the NEAC standings.
To the surprise perhaps of both teams, SUNY Poly took the first set in blowout 25-13 fashion, then survived two closer sets (25-23 and 25-21) to sweep the match.
The Wildcats hit an outstanding .342 in the match, and worked the ball through the middle perhaps better than they have all season. Zach Goggin (Feeding Hills, Mass. / Agawam) found middle-hitters Nick Hagen (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton) and Bobby Nilsen (Bohemia, N.Y. / Connetquot) for a combined 19 kills on 37 attempts. Nilsen was spectacular with 11 kills on 16 attempts (2 errors) for a .562 hitting percentage, while Hagen cleaned up 8 of his 11 attempts for a match-high .636 percentage.
Hagen, Nilsen, and Goggin also did a great job in the blocking game. Hagen and Goggin finished with 4 blocking-assists each, while Nilsen had two.
Once again, however, the Wildcats were led in kills by Davids. The former middle hitter, who switched to the outside this season, has settled into the role nicely. He continued his torrid weekend stretch in the Keuka match with 12 kills on 23 attempts (1 error), and added 7 digs to tie libero Justin Rich (Hamburg, N.Y. / Eden) for the team-high.
With a 7-6 conference record the Wildcats will now head to Wells College on Friday for their final NEAC match of the year. The contest could have huge implications for the NEAC playoffs, as the Wildcats are currently in 5th place, just a match behind Keuka (6-5 NEAC record) and Wells (7-5 NEAC) record. The top four teams at the end of the regular season qualify for tournament play.
Friday's contest at Wells is scheduled for 7:00 pm.