Syracuse Volleyball Prepares For ACC Slate

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023 at 6:28 pm by Sports Editor

By Rahill Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal 

It’s been a tough start to the year for Syracuse Volleyball. The Orange sit at 2-8 while only winning six sets all year. Now, Syracuse is improving with each match. But its schedule does not get any easier. The Orange are just entering ACC play and will travel to take on number 5 ranked Louisville on Friday. Syracuse will also have to take on multiple ranked opponents in Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh.

So with a gauntlet of a schedule coming up how can Syracuse turn the corner on its season? One positive is the return of Ariana Joubert. The sophomore played great in her first two matches back from injury. She tailed double digits kills and points against both Iowa and Morgan State. The right hitter’s return to the lineup will allow some of the players to play back their natural position. Another positive has been the breakout play from Mira Ledermuller. The freshman has done a great job of setting up SU’s hitters. Ledermuller tailed 33 assists in Syracuse’s win last weekend against Morgan State. Over the course of the season, Ledermuller is averaging just over 18 assists a game. Her brilliant play has gained the trust of her teammates and given them the utmost confidence. If Syracuse wants any chance at pulling off a few upsets they are going to need Ledermuller to produce at a high level. 

Something that Syracuse needs to prioritize is quick starts. For the most part this year, Syracuse has stayed competitive in sets when they get up an early 4 or 5 points. But that doesn’t happen enough. There have been multiple times this season SU has started sets in a 6 or 7 point hole. That is a huge issue because of its roster size. It is almost impossible for them to come back from those deficits when you only have a rotation of 9 to 10 players. If the Orange can start better they can hang with these deeper teams even if they lose momentum in the middle stages of sets. Head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam has the option to call a timeout to try and reset. From there, Syracuse still has the chance to make one final push to try and steal a set. If the Orange put themselves in early holes they are not going to have a chance to put any pressure on these ACC teams.

Syracuse will also look to decrease the amount of service errors. The Orange might only average 9 service errors per match but they come at  bad times. Multiple times during this season the Orange will make a charge by winning 3 or 4 points in a row. But, as soon as they get close they will miss a serve. These errors are momentum killers and will be magnified against ACC teams. SU has to be extremely solid overall to give themselves a chance against these teams. Syracuse will be on the road for the next two weeks before returning home on October 6th against Virginia Tech.