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Friday, Nov 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Syracuse Volleyball Drops to 7-18 in Loss to Miami

By Chris Venzon

The first two sets of Friday’s match up tilted in favor of the University of Miami. Head coach Leonid Yelin believed his players were stunned at the precision and pace with which Outside Hitter Olga Strantzali served the ball.

“She was a very powerful jump server,” he said. “Our players were so concerned with her serve, even after they received it a few times, that we had to take a time out. I could see they were still digesting what was happening.”

Strantzali finished with five service aces on the night. The Orange was up five points in the first set before the junior nailed two straight aces, sparking a Hurricanes run. Miami won the first set 25-22 in comeback fashion.

The blame can be shared equally between the ladies on the loss. Yelin wasn’t happy with the mindset his team carried into the match.

“I’ve been coaching so many years, and I can’t remember a time when a team did not come into a game mentally ready and during the game, when it’s not going well, they came back and refocused to win the match,” he said.

SU Middle Blocker Leah Levert finished with 10 kills on the night. Her performance marked one of the few bright spots for Syracuse. She pointed to a lack of energy as the reason the team was unable to pull out the win.

“I know what happened. I know why we lost, but I don’t understand where it came from. In the first set we were calm and we were disciplined, but we were lacking a spark.”

Syracuse will need to find a spark when they face Florida State on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Seminoles beat the Orange in straight sets in their last meeting on the road. The loss today puts Syracuse at 7-18 for the season.