Syracuse Drops Second Match of Cyclone Classic
By Justin Paura
Volleyball Beat Reporter
In the second match of the Iowa State Tournament, Syracuse (3-4, 0-0 Atlantic Cooast) did not have the same luck it did in Friday’s bout. Iowa (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) outlasted the Orange in five sets to claim the 3-2 victory. It was the Hawkeyes’ second win of the day and the third of the Cyclone Classic.
The Orange came out the gates swinging. It started with a 4-0 run and Syracuse got out to s quick 7-3 lead. They spiked 14 kills on 37 percent hitting and forced the Hawkeyes into seven errors, while they were only able to hit 19 percent. Senior Santita Ebangwese led the charge with five kills and SU nabbed the first set comfortably, 25-18.
The tables turned drastically in the second set. Syracuse took the first two points, but Iowa followed with a 5-0 rally. The game was close midway through as the Orange only trailed 15-12 before the Hawkeyes found their stride. They closed the set with their second 5-0 run to finish Syracuse off 25-15.
Syracuse got killed by big runs from Iowa in the second set, but they were able to flip the script one set later. It was SU who opened the third set on a 5-0 run, featuring a pair of kills from freshman Polina Shemanova, and won the next four points after that run was broken from an Amiya Jones kill. Shemanova was unstoppable in the game, picking up 10 of her career-high 22 kills, punishing the Iowa defense. Ebangwese slammed the final point home to secure a 2-1 lead with the 25-19 final for the set.
Iowa stayed alive with a big fourth set. It was their best game of the match in terms of kills and hitting percentage and they got huge production from their lead hitters. Seniors Taylor Louis and Reghan Coyle combined for 11 kills while junior Cali Hoye, who led the match with 24 kills, had four of her own. The Hawkeyes took the game 25-19 to force the game into a fifth set.
It was the second consecutive five-set match for Syracuse and their fourth of the season, winning high pressure matches against UConn and Wyoming and dropping a heartbreaker to USC. In an effort to make it 3-1 in such games, the Orange fell 15-10 to an overpowered Iowa side. Louis had another six-kill game while the defense silenced Shemanova who was unable to get a kill.
Syracuse has just one more match before ACC play starts on Friday against Georgia Tech. The Orange concludes the Cyclone Classic against the host Iowa State Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.