Syracuse gets Stung by Georgia Tech 3-1 in ACC Opener
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
ATLANTA, GA – The Syracuse volleyball team (3-5, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) pieced together three straight wins to finish their non-conference schedule, but the Atlantic Coast Conference is an entirely different beast. The Orange swallowed a tough 3-1 loss to Georgia Tech (8-4, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) in the ACC opener. It’s the first time Syracuse has lost the conference opener since 2014.
The Yellow Jackets stung early by taking the first game 25-17. Georgia Tech scored four of the first five points, and never looked back. Sophomore outside hitter Mikaila Dowd led the way throughout the match with a team high 14 kills. The Illinois native made just one error in all four sets combined.
Georgia Tech tightened its grip with an easy 25-10 second set win. The Orange really struggled with a season low five kills and six attack errors. ‘Cuse hung around towards the beginning of the frame, until the Yellow Jackets exploded for 11 of 12 points to run away with the game.
The Orange showed some life with a crucial 25-17 third set victory. They cut attack errors in half and more than tripled their kill total of set two.
Polina Shemanova was instrumental in the third game, but was really one of the few bright spots for the Orange with a game high 17 kills. Junior outside hitter Ella Saada also had a very efficient day at the net with 10 kills.
Syracuse is really feeling the absence of senior Aliah Bowllan. The libero has missed the past three matches with an ankle injury. As a result, freshman defensive specialist Berkley Hayes has been thrown into the fire. The California native finished with just three digs.
Fellow freshman Marina Markova struggled with nine attack errors, which ties her season high.
The Orange get back to work on Sunday when they visit Clemson at 1 p.m.
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