It’s no secret that Syracuse Volleyball has struggled this season. With three games remaining the Orange sit at 2-23 and 0-15 in ACC play. However, even in a year like this, you can still find some positives. For SU, one positive has been the emergence and play of Greta Schlichter. The freshman has been one of the youngsters who has really stood out this year.
Coming into the 2023 season, Schlichter was set to play her natural position, Libero. Fast forward to today and she has started every game at outside hitter because of injuries. This is something that is not easy or common in Volleyball. The German native stands at 5’6. The average outside hitter is supposed to be 6’3 This makes things super difficult for Schilter when it comes to trying to go up for a kill. However, with all of the challenges thrown her way, she has still managed to have a good season. The freshman has managed to post 93 kills which is the 4th highest on Syracuse’s roster. Schlichter has also managed to crack triple-digit points making her one of 5 players on SU’s roster to do so. Now, those numbers might not stand out. But, the fact that she has been able to do this while learning how to play a brand-new position this season, it’s pretty impressive.
Schlichter’s impact on this team goes way beyond the play on the court. The freshman has turned herself into one of the spark plugs of this team. The German native has had every chance this season to be negative. However, if you watch any of these teams’ matches, she has shown nothing but positive fighting energy. After every point, she is the one who is trying to hype up the team. She is also the one who is constantly diving on the floor and into the crowd to keep her team in points. Head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam has had nothing but positives to say about the freshman. According to the coach, she never complained about having to switch positions because she is the embodiment of a team player.
With all that being said, this season could prove to be great for Schlicher’s development in years to come. Syracuse hopes that the freshman will be able to transition back to her normal position next season. However, both Schlichter and coach Ganesharatnam believe that her play as an outside hitter can improve her play at Libero. They both believe that it gives her a better understanding of what is going on around the court and that knowledge is a great thing to have on defense. She now understands what is going on in a hitter’s mind and how they want to try and play or place a kill.
With Graduate Student Alyssa Bert is set to leave at the end of the season. The Orange are going to need Schlichter to step into that Libero position. However, based on what we have seen this season. It is safe to say that she is ready for that role next season. Her development is going to be something that the coaches and players are certainly excited to see.