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Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Syracuse Volleyball Can’t Close Late, Falls 3-1 to Duke

By Chris Venzon

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– The Syracuse volleyball game has come a long way, but ‘Cuse still struggles to close out sets when it matters most. Today against Duke, that struggle was brought to the forefront, as the Syracuse lost in four sets, 25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21.

Specifically in the third set, the Orange was tied with the Blue Devils late in the set 20-20. With an opportunity to go up a set on Duke, ‘Cuse lost four straight points, ultimately five out of six, and lost the set 25-21. A service ace and two blocking errors sank Syracuse’s effort in what was a turning point in the match.

“I think today we just played a more disciplined team,” SU middle blocker Santita Ebangwese said, “We couldn’t make the same mistakes we made on Friday [against Wake Forest, and we did.”
The young nucleus of sophomores and freshmen has strung together good performances recently. Ebangwese had a stellar .412 kill percentage against Duke. Sophomore Jalissa Trotter finished with a career high eight kills and 18 assists. Trotter attributed her play to her attacking mentaility.

“I just tried to stay aggressive, but it’s whatever is best for the team. No matter what position I’m playing, I’m trying to stay aggressive.” Trotter said.

The pieces of the Syracuse volleyball puzzle are present. Strong wins against Clemson and Louisville earlier in the season showcase the potential of the team. Three set losses to North Carolina and Notre Dame are reminders that there is still a long way to go for head coach Leonid Yelin’s squad. A 6-16 record won’t win the ACC this year, but the future radiates with hope moving forward. Only time will tell if the Orange can piece the puzzle together.

There next game is Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:30 p.m. ‘Cuse travels to Chesnut Hill to face Boston College.