Syracuse Volleyball to Celebrate SU’s 50th Year for Women’s Athletics This Weekend
By Annie Klaff
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Orange Volleyball team has a few things to celebrate this weekend. For starters, SU is coming off a strong win on Sunday over Virginia. Syracuse swept the Cavaliers out of all three sets.
Junior Marina Markova led the team with 18 kills and libero Yuliia Yastrub also topped the team with 13 digs. Sunday’s win was Syracuse’s first win in the last four matches.
The next thing that SU has to celebrate this weekend is taking part in the year-long acknowledgement of 50 years for Syracuse Women’s Athletics. This weekend will be the Orange’s final full weekend at home with two matches, one on Friday and one on Sunday.
In the 50th anniversary celebration this weekend, fans and the SU athletics department recognize volleyball’s history while wearing orange and blue.
The first Syracuse Volleyball season took place in 1971. It wasn’t until 2018 when the Orange made their first NCAA Tournament appearance. That same year, SU also became national champions after defeating Yale.
There have only been three SU players in these 50 years to be named an All-American. Just three years ago – when the volleyball team first carved their name into NCAA history – two of those three players received their honors. One was Santita Ebangwese and the other was Polina Shemanova.
Also in the eventful year that was 2018 for Syracuse Volleyball, Shemanova became the first SU player to be selected ACC Freshman of the Year. Shemanova, the current senior and outside hitter for the Orange, leads the team this season with 35 service aces and holds the second most kills with 360.
The St. Petersburg, Russia native and the Orange will continue celebrating SU Women’s Athletics and their own program’s history, but they’ll also continue on with their season.
SU fell to number three Pittsburgh last weekend in Panthers territory 3-0. On Friday, the Orange have a chance at revenge.
Looking back at last Friday, Syracuse held its own in the first set against Pitt. Set one was only lost by a score of 25-23 for the Orange. The following two sets, however, were SU’s downfall of the evening. The Panthers crushed SU 25-15 and 25-13 in sets two and three, respectively.
Pittsburgh’s ability to hold its opponents to weaker numbers is one of the best in the conference and the nation. Pitt only allows its opponents to record a hitting percentage of about .186 and only about 11 digs per set. Additionally, the third ranked team leads the conference for letting its challengers only secure about 10 blocks per set.
There’s no surprise that Syracuse is gearing up for a tough competition yet again. But, energy should be high this weekend in the Women’s Building for the 50th anniversary celebration, SU’s final double-match weekend at home, and attempting to form a winning streak.
The weekend begins on Friday at 7 p.m. against the Panthers.
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