Syracuse Leaves Milwaukee Winless, Loses Tournament Finale to Host Marquette
By: Justin Paura
CitrusTV Volleyball Reporter
It’s been a tough weekend for Syracuse. The Orange entered the Marquette Invitational Tournament without a loss and boasted quality wins over New Hampshire and Connecticut. None of that momentum could be found this weekend as Syracuse (2-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) lost out with the most recent loss being to No. 25 Marquette (7-2, 0-0 Big East) three sets to one.
Freshman Elena Karakasi started at setter for SU and made the most of it early. She assisted on eight kills for the team’s first 12 points, keeping SU in the set, only trailing Marquette by two. But the Golden Eagles rolled in the back half of the set, going on a 6-2 run to close out 25-17.
Set two went much better for Syracuse. It took advantage of 14 Marquette errors, six of which were service errors, and a slow defense that had no blocks in the game. Fifteen kills on 39 percent hitting, nearly half of them going to freshman Polina Shemanova, sealed the deal on a 25-19 victory for the Orange.
The third set moved back and forth as each side struggled to take advantage. Shemanova and senior Santita Ebangwese accounted for six of the Orange’s first eight points and jumped out to a quick lead. Marquette countered shortly after, taking a lead thanks to great hitting from Allie Barber and Jenna Rosenthal. The game reached 19-19 before the teams traded blows up until 23-23, then the Golden Eagles clamped down to win the last two points and go up 2-1.
After winning the third, Marquette was too hot to stop. They registered 17 kills and committed just five attack errors, asserting dominance over a fatigued Syracuse side. It was the largest margin of victory in a game this match as the Golden Eagles emerged victorious 25-15 to claim the match.
Despite the loss, Shemanova was excellent again. She paced the match with a career-high 20 kills and recorded a double-double with 10 digs as well. Karakasi led all players with 39 assists and Ebwagwese had 10 kills.
Syracuse falls to 2-3 on the season and will not play again until next weekend. The Iowa State Tournament is the last tournament on SU’s schedule before ACC play starts up September 21. First game of the tournament is against Wyoming on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
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