MARCY, N.Y. – The SUNY Poly Men's Volleyball Team (10-6, 3-4 NEAC) took two out of three at the NEAC Crossover on Friday and Saturday, which the Wildcats hosted. The team swept Penn State Altoona on Friday evening, fell to Keuka in four sets in their first match on Saturday, then finished out the tournament with a sweep of the Lancaster Bible College Chargers.
The Wildcats played one of their best matches of the year on Friday evening, defeating the Nittany Lions 25-17, 25-19, 25-18. The home team hit just shy of .400, finishing the match with a hitting percentage of .398. A.J. Davids (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton) had an outstanding match, settling into his new role on the outside this season with a 14 kill performance, hitting .294 for the match. Trailing him was freshman Scott Grable (Ballston Lake, N.Y. / Shenendehowa), who had a breakout performance with 10 kills on 17 attempts.
Middles Bobby Nilsen (Bohemia, N.Y. / Connetquot) and Nick Hagen (Hilton, N.Y. / Hilton) might have been even more impressive. The pair combined for 17 kills (9 for Nilsen and 8 for Hagen) on 25 attempts, with neither committing a single hitting error the entire match.
Unsurprisingly with all the deft attacking going on, the man setting the table for everyone had a great match too. Zach Goggin (Feeding Hills, Mass. / Agawam) doled out 40 assists, a huge number in a match that only went three sets. The 6-foot-5 rookie also added 6 digs and an ace.
On Saturday the Wildcats had the script flipped on them, as the Keuka College Wolfpack earned a four-set win 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 26-24.
Davids again led the Wildcats in kills, this time with 12, but was joined in the match by floor captain Dan O'Connor (Latham, N.Y. / Shaker), who had one of his best matches tallying 8 kills on 22 attempts for a .318 hitting percentage, while also coming up with 11 digs, just behind the 13 of libero Justin Rich (Hamburg, N.Y. / Eden) and Davids's 12.
While the 'Cats hit a respectable .230 in the match, they were bested by the pair of Connor Hinman and Tim Jackson for the Wolfpack. Hinman walloped 22 kills to lead all players, and Jackson added 18 in a match that saw the Wolfpack out-kill the Wildcats 57 to 44.
The Wildcats immediately rebounded, taking down the team they faced in last year's NEAC Championship, the Lancaster Bible College Chargers, in straight sets during the final match of the tournament. SUNY Poly defeated the Pennsylvania team 25-13, 25-20, 25-22.
Davids led SUNY Poly for the third match in a row with 14 kills, and several other Wildcats contributed as the team cruised to its third conference win of the year. Jeff Knapp (Hamlin, N.Y. / Brockport) performed well as the primary setter in the match, tallying 21 assists and 9 digs.
The Wildcats will next take a break from conference play as they travel to Elmira College this Friday. They will take on perennial powerhouse Nazareth in a 6:00 pm match before squaring off against the host team at 8:00.