Syracuse Earns First Road ACC Win of the Season
By Justin Paura
CitrusTV Volleyball Reporter
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — For the first time this season, Syracuse hit the road to face a conference opponent. After opening conference play with two wins over Georgia Tech and Clemson the weekend prior, the Orange carried their momentum into Friday’s match against Wake Forest. SU (7-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) defeated the Demon Deacons (5-10, 0-3 ACC) in four sets, making them the first Syracuse team this decade to open the conference season 3-0.
The Orange asserted their dominance right from the start. The defense accumulated for seven blocks, limiting Wake Forest to a horrible .032 hitting percentage in the first set. Syracuse executed hitting the ball, finishing with nine kills and only committing four errors in a rather calm 25-19 victory for SU.
Wake Forest put up more of a fight in the second set. Syracuse carried their momentum from set number one with a 4-1 run to start the second set, but the Demon Deacons started to rally back. Wake Forest held a lead as big as four for the most of the back half of the set, eventually winning 25-21.
Syracuse really found its offensive stride in the third set, setting the tone for the remainder of the match. Freshman Polina Shemanova led the offensive attack with seven kills as the squad hit their match-high with a .393 hit percentage. Winning by their biggest margin of the night, SU took the third set by eight and held all the control going into the fourth set.
After finding their firepower, there was no stopping the Orange. When they trailed 15-14, SU rallied off four straight points, three of them by kills and two by sophomore Ella Saada, to jump out in front. Syracuse didn’t let the lead go and went on to claim the set, 25-21, taking the match, 3-1.
Shemanova once against paced all players with 21 kills on 46 attacks. Seniors Santita Ebangwese and Amber Witherspoon controlled the defensive battle, combining for 17 blocks. The war at the net proved to be the difference as SU out-blocked Wake Forest, 18-8. The next test for Syracuse is at Duke Sunday at 1 p.m.
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