No. 17 Baylor Sweeps Women’s Volleyball in Regular Season Opener
By: Brad Klein- CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
MADISON, WI – The 2018 Syracuse volleyball team made the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. After a nine-month layover and plenty of changes to the roster, the Orange were handed their first opening day loss since 2016. No. 17 Baylor (3-0, 0-0 BIG 12) defeated Syracuse (0-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) in straight sets with very little pushback from SU.
Baylor set the tone early on by seizing the first set 25-15. But, the Orange showed some life by matching the Bears in kills with 12 led by outside hitters Polina Shemanova and Ella Saada. However, both struggled in the second frame.
The Orange lost the battle at the net en route to a crushing 25-11 second set loss. Syracuse only managed five kills in the second frame to Baylor’s 12. On top of that, Syracuse was shooting itself in the foot with a negative second set hitting percentage. Syracuse committed 22 attack errors in the match to just eight committed by Baylor.
Ella Saada committed half of the total errors; the first time the sophomore has committed double-digit errors in her career.
But Saada and the Orange cleaned up their sloppy play during the third set, playing in stride with the Bears for the first time. SU led for most of the third frame. Baylor gained the lead late in the final set going up 21-20 during a late surge. The Bears won nine of the final 12 points scored, propelling them to a 25-23 set victory and match sweep.
Syracuse does not have much time to think this loss over, and the competition only gets better as the Orange clash with No. 11 Marquette on Saturday at 1:30 pm in Milwaukee.
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