Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's volleyball went 1-1 in their home opener on Sunday afternoon as they lost 3-0 to the St. John Fisher Cardinals but came back to defeat the Daemen Wildcats 3-0.
The first match of the day against St. John Fisher was tied at 5-5 early before the Cardinals would open up a 13-9 lead. D'Youville would close the gap to two at 16-14, but Fisher would go on a 9-3 run to close out the set, winning the first 25-17.
D'Youville would fall behind 7-3 in the second set before coming back slightly to trail 8-6. Trailing by two at 15-13, the Spartans were starting to pull themselves back into the set before Fisher scored three consecutive points to extend their lead to 23-16. The Cardinals would then close out the second set to take a 2-0 match lead by taking the second 25-19.
Hoping to stay alive in the match, the Spartans fell behind early in the third 7-1. Fisher would remain in control throughout the rest of the third as the went on to win 25-10 and the match 3-0.
Ali Khadra (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East) led the team with seven kills, followed by Ryan Kilijanski (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) adding six and three digs. Chance MacDowell (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) had a team-high nine digs as Evan Oliver (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville South) tallied 24 assists.
Eager to regain their form in the second match of the day, the Spartans fell behind the Wildcats 8-5 after Daemen scored five consecutive points to take the lead. D'Youville would come back to tie the match at 12-12, but the Wildcats would regain the lead for the next several points. Trailing 20-17, D'Youville took it up a notch. They scored the next five points to lead 22-20 as they held onto their lead to win the first set 25-23.
Daemen was able to again get an early lead over the Spartans at 9-5 and then extend their lead to 16-10. D'Youville would then regain their composure to score 11 of the next 15 points to take a 21-20 lead. The Wildcats, however, would not go quietly as they led at match-point 24-22 before the Spartans would score five of the next six points to win the second set 27-25.
In the third set, the Spartans this time held an early lead at 9-8. D'Youville would then extend their lead to 16-13 and then 21-16. The Wildcats would then make another run to make the score 23-23, but the Spartans would hold on to win the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
Pat Stroh (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) led the team with 11 kills, adding five digs and two blocks. Khadra added seven kills with Zac Bochacki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) recording six kills and eight digs. Oliver added 26 assists in the win.
D'Youville will next host the Thiel Tomcats this Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00pm.