SU Volleyball Opens 2018 with a Win
By Justin Paura
Citrus TV Reporter
In its first match of the regular season, Syracuse (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) volleyball defeated New Hampshire (1-4, 0-0 America East) in straight sets, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-21. Freshman Polina Shemanova led the way for the Orange with 17 kills and 37 attacks in the first game of the UCONN Invitational Tournament. It is the second-straight season SU starts regulation play with a victory.
The Orange opened quickly as Shemanova earned her first colligate kill on the first play of the match. The St. Petersburg native finished the set with four kills and SU only trailed for one play in the first set. Syracuse outplayed UNH on defense, blocking six shots compared to zero blocked shots from the Wildcats.
The second set was even more convincing than the first. The Orange never trailed and Amber Witherspoon came alive offensively. The redshirt senior registered seven kills and two blocks to partner with Jalissa Trotter, who netted 12 sets as Syracuse punched 16 kills.
SU didn’t look as dominant out the gates in the third game. New Hampshire opened 3-0 and led at the halfway mark, but that would be it for UNH. Shemanova earned seven of Syracuse’s last 14 points on kills to close the door on the first match of the season.
Syracuse won the offensive battle with 44 total kills, led by 17 from Shemanova, eight from Witherspoon and six from Ella Saada. Trotter led all players with 34 assists and her and Witherspoon each led the defensive effort with six blocks each.
The next challenge for the Orange is Saturday afternoon against the tournament host UCONN. The Huskies defeated UNH in an earlier match on Friday 3-1.