Written by Andrew Capitelli (SJC-LI Sports Information)
Patchogue, NY| Paul Curaro collected a game-best 14 kills as the fourth-seeded St. Joseph's College (L.I.) men's volleyball team defeated fifth-seeded Sage College in the first round of the Skyline Conference championship inside the Danzi Center on Tuesday evening.
With the win the Golden Eagles—who advance to play top-seeded Kean University in the conference semis on Thursday—improve to 19-10 on the year. The Gators wrap their season with a 17-15 mark.
After building an 11-8 lead in the first set, SJC used a 7-0 run to widen their advantage to eight points (18-11) en route to a 25-13 win.
Sage took the second frame by a 25-17 score line and played the Golden Eagles to a 20-20 tie in the third. The Gators grabbed three of the next four points to go up 23-21, but four-straight points by St. Joseph's—capped off by a Kyle Biggers kill—fired the hosts to a 25-23 victory to go up 2-1 in the match.
Up 18-14 in the fourth, Curaro contributed three services aces to a 6-0 run to push the guests to the brink (24-14). Sage rallied for four straight but a Ryan Guyton attack error clinched the 25-18 set and 3-1 match victory for SJC.
Matthew Amberge contributed 12 kills to a St. Joseph's attack that generated a total of 45 kills on the evening, and setter Tyler Jones dished out a game-best 40 assists. Michael Barfield was credited with a team-high nine digs.
Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week Kyle Biggers hit .500 and went for eight kills in the match.
Start time for the semifinal match at Kean University on Thursday evening is 7:30 pm. Follow the action live here.