Despite holding on until the bitter end in each set, the D'Youville men's volleyball team was defeated, 3-0, by former rival Medaille on Wednesday night inside the College Center Gymnasium.
Falling in the three sets by scores of 23-25, 24-26 and 23-25, the Saints dropped to 0-2 on the season, while the visiting Mavericks moved to 1-0 for the campaign.
Racking up a game-high 12 kills was Medaille's Malachi Jackson, as the outside hitter finished with a .375 attack percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Dan Busha was the Saints' leader with nine kills and a .316 hitting clip, with freshman outside hitter Joshua Roy added nine kills himself at a slightly lower .278 clip. Both setters racked up 20-plus assists, as Jake Siwy had 29 for the Mavericks and junior Anthony Dean tallied 23 on the D'Youville side, while senior middle blocker Ali Khadra led the way with four total blocks (two solo blocks, two block assists) on the evening.
The Saints and Mavericks traded points early, but back-to-back kills from Chris Pauline Jr., broke an 8-8 tie and two service aces from Brandon Smith capped off a 4-0 run by Medaille. D'Youville was unable to retake the lead in the opening set, briefly bringing things even at 20-20 before Medaille took five of the final eight points.
The second set was a similar story, as the lead changed back and forth, including a 8-1 swing by Medaille that saw them wipe out a 16-13 deficit and jump out, 21-17. The Saints responded with a 7-1 stretch of their own to retake a 24-22 lead and reach set point, but Medaille rallied with three-straight points to win the frame.
An early 6-1 surge by the visitors in the third set put the Saints behind at 10-6, but a 4-0 D'Youville run highlighted by two aces from freshman middle blocker Nicholas Garbacz brought the game even at 14-14. The two sides exchanged the lead several more times before a 3-0 closing push by Medaille gave the guests the final lead, finishing off the Saints with a 25-23 set win.
Notables – Roy has now had a share of the team lead in kills in each of the Saints' first two games … Dean's 23 assists are a career high … The last time Khadra had multiple solo blocks was Feb. 29, 2020 against Wittenburg, with this being his tenth time doing so … Senior libero Mitch Mason paced all players with seven digs in the match.
Up Next – The Saints return to the court on March 9, playing at Medaille. Opening serve of that match is set for 7 p.m.
Follow the Saints – You can follow the D'Youville men's volleyball team on Twitter (@DYouvilleMVB) and Instagram (@dyouvillemvb).