Syracuse Swept for Third Game in a Row Following Errors at Crucial Points
By Leo Silverman
Citrus TV Volleyball Beat Reporter
Just two weeks ago, Syracuse had beaten Pitt for the second time on the weekend, with game two coming in straight sets. Early the next week, this 2-0 Orange squad was ranked fifth in the nation on the AVCA Coaches Poll. Fast forward to today, the Orange have dropped four straight games, the last three all being sweeps. Compared to last night’s game, Syracuse looked much better offensively, but at the end of each of the three sets, the errors and mental mistakes came back to haunt the Orange.
The first set in this second game against Louisville looked a lot like last night’s sets for Syracuse. The Orange found themselves down 2-8 thanks in part to five errors early on. By the midpoint of the set, Syracuse would still trail big, down 9-16 after Louisville sophomore Aiko Jones’ fourth kill of the set. From there, the Orange continued to beat themselves as two more service errors gave Louisville the eight-point lead the Cards would run away with, winning set one, 18-25.
Set two saw a glimpse of the Syracuse offense from that opening weekend. Midway through the second set the Orange held a three point lead up 8-5. At the halfway point of set two, Syracuse still held a three point lead up 14-11. Early on this set, Louisville looked sloppy, as the Cardinals had committed seven errors by the midpoint. From there, the Cardinals would only have two attacking errors as Louisville began to chip away at the SU lead. The score was all tied up at 18 after a Louisville-freshman Anna DaBeer kill. That’s when the errors came rushing back for the Orange. Two crucial SU errors would give the Cards a three-point advantage that Syracuse couldn’t come back from. Louisville would win the set 21-25 to go up by two sets.
Set three was by far the most competitive set of the weekend between these two teams. Both teams battled for the lead, but early on Louisville kept the edge over Syracuse. Service ace’s from senior Ella Saada and kills off the bench from players like freshman Naomi Franco kept Syracuse down only three points for much of the set. SU was down 11-14, but two straight Cardinal errors and two great kills from juniors Polina Shermanova and Marina Markova saw the Orange take the lead with a four-point swing. From there, no team would lead by more than two all the way to a dead tie at 25 all. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but another untimely attacking error from Shermanova gave Louisville set and match point, and Aiko Jones sent the Orange out with a broom, taking the do-or-die set 25-27 for the Cardinals. Syracuse hit just .136 in the game, and extended the skid to four losses in a row.
Syracuse will regroup and look to end the fall semester season strong with two games against Boston College at home. Game one takes place next Friday at 4 p.m.
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