Syracuse Gets Swept on Florida Road Trip, Capped off by an Empty Effort Against FSU
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
TALLAHASSEE, FL – It’s almost impossible to play competitive ACC volleyball without purpose, an incentive to win the match. For Syracuse, (5-10, 2-6 Atlantic Coast) every match is essential. But as an injured team is still trying to find its identity in the middle, getting healthy and forming a formidable postseason rotation might be more important. That gave Florida State the upper hand on Sunday. The Seminoles (12-5, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) needed a win to leapfrog into the top-four of the ACC standings, giving them home court advantage in the conference tournament. FSU played like it when they swept SYR in a showcase of dominance.
Florida State led throughout the match, with the exception of the first few points in each frame.
Their dominance took place in the front at the net. The Seminoles piled up 13 blocks to the Orange’s 3. Sophomore middle blocker Taryn Knuth totaled 10 blocks.
Four of Knuth’s blocks came in the first set, which Florida State won 25-23. Her fourth block gave the Seminoles a 23-22 lead. That set up outside hitter Peyton Caffery for a kill. The Junior finished the match with 15 kills. But in the end, the Orange coughed up the first frame on an Elena Karakasi service error. The Greece native committed two of Syracuse’s nine service errors.
The narrow first set loss did not deflate the Orange though. Coach Leonid Yelin’s squad sprinted out of the gate with the first four points, and eight of the first 10. Sophomore outside hitter Polina Shemanova showed off her full arsenal in the run with a kill, block and service ace. Shemanova finished with a game high 17 kills. However, she did commit 10 attack errors. That’s the third time the Russian made double digit attack mistakes this year. FSU used some of those mistakes to piece together a 5-0 run in the middle of the frame, and ultimately win the set 25-18.
Florida State catapulted to the sweep from there, winning the third set 25-21. Syracuse, again, showed some resistance. The Orange played most of the set close, but from behind until they tied the Seminoles at 19 apiece. A Berkeley Hayes service error and an Elena Karakasi ball handling error gave the Seminoles the two-point lead they needed to comfortably coast to the win from there.
Syracuse will be down south next weekend when they play North Carolina on Chapel Hill on Friday.
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