Syracuse Stages Comeback to Take Down Huskies
By Justin Paura
CitrusTV Volleyball Reporter
In Syracuse (2-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) volleyball’s first match against New Hampshire Friday, the team did not drop a set and it was never really close. Saturday presented a different situation for Leonid Yelin’s squad, facing Connecticut (5-2, 0-0 American Athletic) who handled both UNH and Iona Friday in four sets. The Huskies jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead after the first two sets, but the Orange fought back and won three straight to emerge victorious.
It was all Huskies in the beginning of the first set. Danielle Cabel set the pace with six kills as UConn outhit Syracuse 16-10. SU made it interesting down the stretch, taking a brief lead at 23-22 thanks to an 8-0 run. But UConn did not back down to the late surge and secured the set 26-24.
UConn denied a tie for SU in the second set. A 7-1 stretch gave the Huskies the lead and they they never looked back, winning the set 25-19. UConn’s defense flexed its muscle at the net, blocking four potential kills while SU did not stop the Husky attack once.
Towards the end of the second set, Yelin decided to make a change at setter. Freshman Elena Karakasi replaced Jalissa Trotter at 18-14 and manned the position for the remainder of the match.
The move proved to pay dividends for the Orange. Karakasi had 15 assists in a live-or-die third set, also adding two kills and a block. The third game featured 12 ties and seven different lead changes and Syracuse outhit UConn 18-11 to provide a spark.
SU carried that momentum into the fourth set. Freshman standout Polina Shemanova made her presence known, racking up six kills and spiking the set home to give the team a 25-23 victory to even up the match.
In the fifth set, the Orange capped off a sensational comeback without leaving any doubt. With the set tied at 4-4, Syracuse rattled off seven straight points and never let the Huskies get going. SU won the set 15-7 to claim the 3-2 match victory and improve to 2-0 on the young season.
The women come home from the UConn Invitational Tournament without a loss and now prepare for next weekend’s Marquette Tournament. The Orange will play BYU on Friday, USC next Saturday and the host Marquette next Sunday.