Sophomore Lauren Hogan Helps Turn Her Season Debut Into a Win Over Duke
By Annie Klaff
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – As a freshman, Ohio native Lauren Hogan hit impressive achievements. In her first match of her college career, she recorded 21 total digs. This was certainly not just beginner’s luck.
Throughout the 2020-21 season, Hogan kept “wowing” the Atlantic Coast Conference. She led the ACC with 4.75 digs per set. Not to mention, she also held the second highest total digs by a Syracuse player since 2008 (when the 25 points to a set win rule was first initiated). Again, she was only a freshman at the time.
Hogan was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team at the end of last spring’s season and ACC Rookie of the week multiple times. Former SU players to also receive All-ACC Honors as a freshman include current team star, senior Polina Shemanova.
Hogan being recognized for her strong season performances as a libero on April 5, 2021 (@CuseVB Twitter).
This year, however, the tides happened to change a bit for Hogan. She was forced to miss the first 13 matches for the Orange due to a knee injury. Last Friday though, the sophomore finally made her return to the court.
The Orange travelled to Durham, N.C. where they crushed Duke in a three-set sweep. With this victory came the first conference win for Syracuse and a strong season debut for Hogan. The defensive specialist led the team with 13 total digs and recorded the second most assists with four.
While those 13 digs don’t even compare to her season high of 28 last spring, Hogan is just starting to get back into it. There’s no surprise that the ACC competition will be tough for her to get back on top though. Duke’s Mackenzie Cole currently leads the conference in digs with 4.46 per set (versus what Hogan led with last year at 4.75). Hogan has great opportunities to stand out coming up with the Orange this weekend.
Looking specifically into Syracuse’s agenda, they challenge Wake Forest this Friday. The Demon Deacons have yet to win a conference match and they sit at a season record of 9-4. Following Friday, the Orange take on Virginia Tech Sunday to finish out the weekend. VT is also 0-2 in the ACC and are 9-5 this year.
“Now [in the] ACC — from the top to bottom — you cannot beat any team if you’re not not going to play well,” Yelin told the Daily Orange last week.
Yelin’s statement is a reminder to the Orange to perform their best. Syracuse needs to secure both of this weekend’s match-ups to solidify a winning conference record (12-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast). There are still only four teams ahead of ‘Cuse that remain undefeated and SU must hold on tight to that difference between them.
Additionally, it’ll be important for Hogan and the Orange to keep hitting those impressive individual markers. Top team players like Shemanova, Marina Markova, Abby Casiano, and Elena Karakasi haven’t met their personal season records since ACC matches began.
This weekend is an opportunity for SU to secure a winning conference record and for the Orange’s players to show out above other ACC stars. Friday’s match begins at 7 P.M. at home.
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