How Syracuse Volleyball Has Performed at Home Compared to on the Road Thus Far
By Annie Klaff
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
After Syracuse’s conference home opener this season, players Polina Shemanova and Izzy Plummer stressed how nice it was to play on their own court. The band and fans cheering for Syracuse all contribute to a strong win for the Orange.
This past weekend however, SU was back on the road traveling to both Indiana and Kentucky. The travel process, a crowd rooting against SU, and being in an unfamiliar setting certainly did not help with their performance.
On Friday against Notre Dame, the Orange suffered a straight-set loss. SU was unable to reach 20 points in any set. Sunday looked much better even though they took on third ranked Louisville. The Cardinals still defeated the Orange in three sets, but Syracuse was a tough challenge nonetheless.
“We couldn’t close out the sets, but this was a very good game compared to Friday,” said Head Coach Yelin after hanging on tight to Louisville on Sunday. The Orange fell to a close score of 24-26 in both the first and second set.
Still, Syracuse has performed better while at home. Even though SU has had only two home conference matches, almost every area of the court has looked stronger with the home court advantage.
The chart demonstrates Syracuse’s average number of kills, assists, points, errors, blocks, and digs while competing against an ACC opponent both at home and away. It is evident that the Orange have shown out stronger on their home court.
‘Cuse has tons of room for opportunity to continue going on this trend in the next couple of weeks. The team hits a stretch of four consecutive home matches coming up.
Despite the bonus of settling back at home this weekend, last Friday and Sunday put SU at an unfavorable position in the conference table. The two losses put Syracuse at .500 in the ACC and only seventh out of the 15 teams (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast).
As of late, attacking errors are what have been causing SU some struggle. As seen in the chart, Syracuse has a fewer average number of errors at home than away which is a plus, but those numbers are still on the higher end. For comparison, now second ranked Louisville has an average of just 10.3 errors against conference opponents.
Head Coach Yelin mentioned that he and his team need to strive for cleaner play about a week ago. Additionally, junior Marina Markova said that her own personal goal was to improve consistency.
Two of the Orange’s strongest players, Markova and Shemanova, lead the team in errors with 72 and 99, respectively. Cleanliness and consistency are certainly ways Syracuse can improve upon in order to enhance the likeliness of continuing their success at home.
Friday against NC State will in fact be the next test for this trend. The match begins at 12 P.M. and time will tell if Syracuse can gain back their winning conference record.
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