SU Ends Non-Conference Play with a Gutsy Win Over Iowa State
By Justin Paura
CitrusTV Volleyball Reporter
At the start of its final match before conference play begins, Syracuse (4-4, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) looked like they would finish its non-conference slate with a losing record. Iowa State (7-6, 0-0 Big 12) took the first two sets and had all the momentum as the hosts of the Cyclone Classic. However, the Orange offense clicked in the last three sets and they won the match 3-2.
Iowa State dominated the early portion of this match. The Orange played sloppily, committing eight errors while the Cyclones only had two in the first set. Freshman Polina Shemanova was relatively quiet for most of the match and had just three of her eight kills in the opening frame as ISU took the set 25-18.
The second set was more of the same for the Cyclones. Syracuse cut its errors in half and improved their hit percentage by .096, but Iowa State had almost the exact same boosts. They had 17 kills, tying for the most by any squad in a set Sunday, and won the defensive battle at the net. The 25-16 margin was the largest of any set this match and it allowed Iowa State to jump out to a commanding 2-0 lead.
After falling behind, SU turned things around. Senior Jalissa Trotter facilitated the offense extremely way, setting up 15 kills. She had 49 total assists in the match and added her only two blocks in the third set. ISU led 20-18, but Syracuse exploded for a 6-0 run before eventually winning the set 25-22.
The fourth set was another grueling, back-and-forth bout. Iowa State lost its control, committing a match-high 11 errors in the game. It was close again in the closing moments, but Syracuse had another late rally, this time a 5-0 run, to claim the game25-21 and force a fifth set for the third straight day.
It all came down to the final fifth set, but by that point Syracuse had everything working for them. Of the 15 points they scored, 11 were of kills and four of them were courtesy of sophomore Yuliia Yastrub. She finished the match with a season-high 11 kills and senior Santita Ebangwese led the team with 15 as the Orange won the final set 15-11 and the match 3-2.
At the end of eight non-conference games this season, Syracuse finished its slate .500. They play their first home and first ACC match of the season on Friday when they host Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.
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