Syracuse Goes 0-4 in ACC Road Trip

Tuesday, Oct 03, 2023 at 9:16 pm by Sports Editor

By Rahill Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal

Syracuse Volleyball went 0-4 on its two-week road trip. The Orange continued to struggle, only winning one set in its 4 matches. A main reason for that has been the lack of consistent offense and a tough schedule.

The Orange started the road trip against 5th-ranked Louisville and finished against 8th-ranked Pittsburgh. During the road trip, SU was not able to post an effective kill percentage. The Orange never posted a percentage above 20%. This offensive struggle is because players are being forced to play out of position. Head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam has talked about this issue before saying that “out outside hitter are not actually outside hitters”. This issue really presents itself against these tougher ACC schools. The only SU player who has managed to give consistent offensive production is Cherlin Antonio. The transfer has managed to post double-digit kills and points in almost every match this season. However, because she is the only consistent offensive threat, bigger programs are starting to make a consistent effort to take her out of matches. Once teams clue in and minimize Antonio, Syracuse’s offense begins to struggle.

So, how can Syracuse try to counteract this issue? Something it can do is try and serve better. So far this season, SU has committed some poorly timed service errors. If they want to try and compete they need to try and get some more free points. In the one set that SU won on this road trip, Zharia-Harris-Waddy served five aces in the middle stages to give Syracuse a large lead. From that point on, the Orange were able to close the set out relatively quickly. Another thing Syracuse can do is try and get Ariana Joubert more involved in the attack. The sophomore has had a difficult season with injury so far this season. But, she played really well in her first two matches back from injury. Joubert tailed double-digit kills in both matches against Iowa and Morgan State. However, since then she really has not played much. Joubert only played 3 total sets during the 4 match road trip. If Syracuse wants any chance at competing, it needs Joubert back on the court as quickly as possible.

Now, despite going 0-4 on this road trip, there are some positives to take away. Firstly, Cherlin Antonio. The junior has been nothing short of incredible this season. Antonio managed to post a career-high 19 kills and 20.5 points in the loss to Notre Dame. Even with all the pressure on her to carry the offense, she continues to produce at a high level. The Dominican Republic native is now ranked 5th in average kills per set in the ACC. Another positive has been the serving of Harris-Waddy. The freshman has climbed to 6th in aces per set in the ACC.

Syracuse will return home from two weeks sitting at 2-12. It will play four more matches against ACC opponents starting with 10-5 Virginia Tech. First serve is set for 6 p.m. from the Women’s Building.