Results from Sunday Hurt Syracuse Volleyball’s Chances for NCAA
By Annie Klaff
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Earlier in the season, the Orange Volleyball team defeated Duke in three quick sets. Yesterday, however, looked a bit different. Syracuse fell to the Blue Devils 3-1 in sets.
Two months ago when SU gave Duke a challenge, it was the Orange’s first conference win. Syracuse’s strong victory presented a .359 hitting percentage, versus Duke’s .221. SU also only tallied 12 total attack errors and added 17 more assists than the Blue Devils.
Syracuse celebrates a strong performance on Blue Devils territory (Cuse.com).
The majority of the conference season after that seemed to be a different story. Against Duke yesterday, SU recorded a .133 hitting percentage, even though the Blue Devils’ .233 was practically the same as before.
Part of the reason for SU’s low hitting percentage on Sunday was the team’s 25 total attack errors. Of the 17 total conference match-ups this season, Syracuse averaged about 18 errors each match.
Another thing to note from yesterday was SU’s inability to recover Duke’s serves. The Blue Devils recorded ten service aces over the Orange, tying their second-most for the whole season.
After the match, Head Coach Yelin added, “It’s not like we lost and we got beat by a better team. We lost and we lost to ourselves.” Going down this way in a crucial game was not the way the team wanted for a senior night.
Duke’s chance to celebrate on the Orange’s home court (GoDuke.com).
On the bright side of Sunday’s match, graduate students Yuliia Yastrub and Dana Gardner were celebrated for their time wearing the color orange on SU’s senior night. Additionally, SU sophomore Lauren Hogan led both teams with 24 digs. This was Hogan’s highest dig record in the last four matches.
While Sunday’s loss certainly didn’t help Syracuse’s chances of receiving an at-large bid for the postseason, they still have one more opportunity. The Orange take on NC State (15-12, 9-7 Atlantic Coast) this Wednesday at 3 p.m. Gaining another win would strengthen SU’s hope in making it to the NCAA tournament.
As far as Wednesday’s match-up looks, the Orange already fell to the Wolfpack earlier this season in four sets. Since then, NC State has secured five more matches to add to the win column. Comparatively, SU only added two after the two squads’ first meeting in October.
The Wolfpack are third in the conference for average kills per set with just under 14. However, Syracuse leads the ACC with opponent blocks, holding them to only 1.6 per set.
Given the switch-up of past results against Duke, NC State could really go either way. Coach Yelin believes that the recent loss came from a lack of mental focus. If the Orange can pull out a strong mentality and energetic boost down in Raleigh, NC, a win would be highly beneficial.
Again, gaining one last win could help Syracuse receive an at-large bid to enter the NCAA tournament. The bracket will be announced this coming Sunday, Nov. 28 at 8:30 p.m.
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