Syracuse Volleyball Splits a Pair of Weekend Matches
By: Rahill Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal
It´s midway through September and Syracuse Volleyball sits at 1-7 so far this season. After starting 0-6, the Orange split a pair of midweek road matches against Cornell and Colgate.
Over the course of those two matches Syracuse has improved its play, but still has some issues to address. To start, the small roster size is an issue that is not going away. Not only does it lead to fatigue and unforced errors but it forces players to play out of position. According to head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam, This makes it difficult for Syracuse when they play teams like Colagte who have an established program and have been playing together for a while. Another issue that has plagued the Orange so far this season has been missed serves. In its most recent match vs Colgate, Syracuse had 10 service errors. Those misses broke any sort of momentum SU had when trailing in the first and third set.
However there have been some positives to take away from the last two matches. SU did pick up its first win of the season against Cornell last week in 4 sets. New recruits Cherlin Antonio and Zharia Harris-Waddy shined. Antonio led the team with 19 kills including 12 in the first set. Harris-Waddy had an unbelievable all around match. The freshman tailed 14.5 total points and a team leading six service aces. Antonio and Waddy are quickly becoming two of Syracuse most consistent producers on offense and defense. In the loss against Colgate yesterday, Antonio led the team with 14 kills. The transfer has now tailed 35 points over the last two matches. The junior has also had double digit kills in Syracuse’s last four matches. Antonio has certainly become the focal point of the SU offensive. She has started to draw attention from multiple blockers and defenders that she goes against.
The main question for Syracuse is can they find someone else to consistently join her? Harris-Waddy is an option but in the most recent match against Colgate it was ride or die with Antonio. The junior had over 30 kill attempts, more than doubling everyone on the team. This one person offense makes it a lot easier for opponents to stuff her kill attempts and SU’s offense in general. She also was the only player to have double digit points with 16. Harris-Waddy had the next highest with seven. If the Orange want to try and beat solid defenses that are similar to Colgate they are going to need to have a balanced attack. Despite all these concerns coach Ganesharatnam is proud of his team’s toughest and able to improve in each match they play.
Syracuse can get back to winning this weekend. The Orange will be home for the first time this season. They will host Iowa on Friday at 7pm and Morgan State on Saturday at 2pm