Syracuse Offense Goes from Bad to Worse in Another Disappointing Weekend
By Leo Silverman
Citrus TV Volleyball Beat Reporter
Last weekend saw Syracuse struggle mightily on the offensive side of the net against a well-rounded Notre Dame team. The defense continued to stay stout, behind bright spot freshman, Lauren Hogan. Against talented teams like Notre Dame and Louisville though, Syracuse needed to bring a complete game to come away with a win. Last weekend, SU wasn’t able to, and this weekend against the Cardinals was not any better.
In fact, Friday’s game against Louisville to kick off the weekend was by far the worst performance from the Orange so far this season. Syracuse finished the match with a negative hitting percentage of -.023, the lowest this season for SU. Another season high for the Orange in this match came in total errors, of which Syracuse had 33. The second set had 14 Orange errors, and those fourteen points given away contributed greatly to SU losing the set by 13. Star Outside Hitter Polina Shemanova had 12 attack errors on the match alone. The largest lead Syracuse had in the entire match came in the third set, when SU led 7-4 early. In the end, Syracuse would be swept for the second game in a row, and fall under .500.
Unfortunately for Orange fans, the next game must have felt like déjà vu. The lone bright spot from the game came with Polina Shemanova’s 1000th kill with Syracuse, which was early in the first set.
Outside of that, for the third game in a row, Syracuse was beaten in straight sets. That does not tell the whole story though, as this game saw Louisville finish with more total team errors. This time around, it was the timing of the errors that spelled doom for the Orange. For example, a crucial point in set two came with both teams tied at 18. Syracuse had already dropped the first set, and needed an answer to a fierce Cardinal attack. Four points and two SU attacking errors later, the Cards had pulled away, up 18-22. That four point gap would prove too much as Louisville would take the 2-0 match lead with a set two win, 21-25.
That wasn’t the end of it either. Late in set three, the score was deadlocked at 25. Of course every point matters, but when it is first to a two point lead, the stakes get even higher. In that moment, just like the set before, a crucial error hurt the Orange. A Shemanova attack error put the Cards on set and match point, and the next point saw them take it all.
Even though Louisville had a statistically sloppier game, errors wise in game two, the Cards resiliency pushed them past those mistakes, something Syracuse desperately needs to regain going into the final games against Boston College. The first game against BC is next Friday at 4 p.m. in the Women’s Building.
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