Syracuse Survives in Five Sets for First ACC Win of the Year

Monday, Sep 30, 2019 at 12:08 am by Sports Editor

By Brad Klein

CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter

CLEMSON, SC – Syracuse volleyball (4-5, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) and Clemson (6-7, 0-2) met for the 12th time on Sunday, both in pursuit of their first ACC win of the year. The impasse certainly translated onto the court, as Syracuse prevailed in a five-set marathon.  

The Orange won the first game 25-20. Head Coach Leonid Yelin’s squad won six of the first seven points scored. Syracuse piled up three aces to Clemson’s zero in the first frame alone, but the service line was far from a haven for SU.

Syracuse gifted Clemson 15 points on service errors throughout the match, only two of them coming in the first set. In the next game, the Orange made four errors on serves, and the Tigers took advantage by swiping the set 25-18. It wasn’t a very clean game for SU after the serve either. They tallied seven errors in the frame.

Clemson rode the coattails of redshirt junior Kaylin Korte who smacked 21 kills and picked up 12 digs. While the outside hitter only posted five kills in the third set, she was also responsible for the winner to cap off a triumphant run. The Tigers scored five of the last six points to narrowly win the set 26-24, and take a 2-1 lead. Four more service errors by Syracuse fueled the comeback.

But Syracuse would not go away. Two monster performances by outside hitters Ella Saada and Polina Shemanova gave the Orange the edge. Shemanova posted her third double double of the season with a game high 24 kills and a career high 20 digs. Saada shined with her first double double of the year. The junior racked up 21 kills and 17 digs.

The two led Syracuse to a 25-17 fourth set victory.

The Orange owned the momentum heading into the final set, but Clemson did not allow much separation. SU’s largest lead in the final game was three. Both squads went back and forth until Shemanova rotated to the service line with a chance to win the set and the match, leading 15-14.

The righty muscled the ball beyond the back line for her third service error of the day, reviving Clemson’s hopes. Freshman outside hitter Marina Markova stepped up for Syracuse on the next sequence. The Russian came up with the most essential of her 17 kills just in front of the back line, giving the Orange a 16-15 lead. After that, SU’s work was done. Clemson’s Solei Thomas’ attack sailed long to give Syracuse their first conference win of the season.

Syracuse continues ACC play next week on Friday, October 4th as they host Wake Forest in their home opener. | @BradKlein15