Boston College Shuts Syracuse Volleyball Down in the ACC 2021 Opener
Syracuse entered into this ACC season opener with a seven match winning streak against East Coast rivals Boston College in matchup history. Both times last year the two went head to head, the Orange shut the Eagles out in three quick sets. This year looked a little different. The Eagles took the victory tonight kicking off conference matchups, forcing the Orange to add one more loss to that near perfect record.
The second set tonight was where Syracuse shined through on the court, taking it with a close score of 25-22. The first, third, and final sets, unfortunately, looked all quite similar in scores with BC securing them all by either eight or nine points. There was a bit of hope for SU toward the end of set three, striving for that major comeback. BC was left on the edge of set point for three straight points, until an unfortunate attack error from SU let them drop. The Eagles were the sure winners here tonight.
Two major things hurt Syracuse tonight. The first was Boston College’s incredibly strong defensive performance out on the court. BC’s Amaka Chukwujekwu was on top tonight with 4 blocks and Sophomore Anna Murphy was hitting dig after dig, keeping SU from securing those attack attempts. Eagles’ libero Murphy holds the second most digs in the conference, totaling at 198. Tonight, she tallied on 16 of those digs, certainly causing a struggle for the usual Orange attacking leaders, Polina Shemanova and Marina Markova. Tonight was the first time all season where either Shemanova or Markova did not lead the match in kills.
The second area where Syracuse struggled out in Chestnut Hill tonight was total errors. Three SU players, Shemanova, Markova, and Naomi Franco led the match in total errors, giving up necessary point opportunities.
While the Orange surely put up a fight, they’ve clearly discovered a challenge this season, and that challenge will be ACC competition. Syracuse will look towards Sunday versus Duke as redemption from their 0-1 early conference record.