Syracuse Dominates Boston College to Close Out Season
By Leo Silverman
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
After starting the season 2-0, the last two weeks saw a completely different Syracuse squad take the court. The Orange lost all four road games, and none of them were close. Syracuse only won one set the entire trip, suffering losses in straight sets three games in a row. That SU team looked nothing like the team that beat Pitt in back-to-back games. That Orange squad was riddled with errors, and saw little offensive production from the starters and bench. That slump saw Syracuse go from 2-0 to 2-4 on the season, with a final series against a winless Boston College squad at home to close out the season.
Syracuse looked like a top team in the country against the Panthers in its first home series. The question remained how SU would fare against arguably the weakest opponent on its season while returning home. Luckily for Syracuse fans, Yelin’s squad looked like the squad that took down the top ranked team in the ACC preseason poll.
Game one was a sweep for the Orange, but each set was a battle in its own. Two of the three sets were decided by four points or less. The big improvement for Syracuse was that it limited unforced mistakes. After 51 errors in two games against the Cardinals, Syracuse cut down to just 18 in game one against Boston College. The Eagles were able to limit Junior Polina Shermanova to just six kills, but that left the middle wide open. Sophomore Marina Markova did the rest, notching 12 kills in the contest, her then season high.
Game two against the Eagles was where the new strength of the Orange really shined, the middle. With all of BC’s attention on Polina Shermanova, Markova was able to dominate. She tallied 14 kills, with four block assists in the match. Behind that and a career high thirteen kills from Senior Ella Saada, the Orange dominated. Syracuse won set two 25-9, and outscored the Eagles 75-41 in the match. This was by far SU’s most dominant win of the season, and SU’s third time sweeping an opponent this year. Interestingly, six of the eight games Syracuse played this season ended in three sets. The three on the road all saw SU lose, and the three at home were wins for the Orange.
This season has been a roller coaster for the Orange, but this last series against BC showed a bright spot for the future of Yelin’s squad. Casiano and Markova helped the Orange to eighteen blocks on the weekend, and Markova had 26 kills in the two games as well. Both middle blockers are sophomores, so they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. If teams continue to game plan around Shemanova, don’t be surprised if Coach Yelin focuses the offense through the middle more in the coming seasons.
Syracuse finishes the season at 4-4, going undefeated at home and winless on the road.
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