Volleyball Stays Perfect in ACC After 3-1 Win over Duke
By: Ryan Bridges | @RyanBridges517
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Syracuse Volleyball took down Duke 3-1 on Friday.
In the first set, the Orange and the Blue Devils were in a tight battle to start. Both teams were tied at 15 points. Then, Duke went on a 7-0 run which essentially ended Syracuse’s first set hopes. The Blue Devils took the set 25-18.
The Orange were down for a portion of the second set as well, trailing 12-10 early. Duke’s Rylie Kadel was causing all sorts of problems for Syracuse. Up until this point, Kadel had three kills and two blocks in the second set alone.
Later on, the Blue Devils were on a 4-0 run that tied the score at 18. It looked as though Duke was finding their groove and were going to go up two sets to none.
That is when Syracuse went on a 6-0 run of their own and won the set 25-19.
When asked what changed during that run, SU Head Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said, “I thought we served the ball really well. I thought our line-up and timing for the block was really good. We had some really good blocks and touches to slow down the offense.”
In the third set, Syracuse gained several sizable leads but failed to pull away. The Orange went up 23-18 and looked as though they had the set under control. However, the Blue Devils cut the lead to one behind two kills from Gracie Johnson.
Luckily for SU, they would not have to do too much to close out the set. With the score at 23-22, Duke’s Rylie Kadel hit the ball straight into the net on a serve.
Then, on a set point, the Orange’s Lauren Woodford registered an ace. The Orange won the set 25-22.
A big standout for the Orange in the third set was right side hitter Naomi Franco.
The junior constantly found a way through the Duke blockers, often getting the ball past two of them at a time.
“Sometimes it is a decision and sometimes I go up and swing and trust how athletic I am… and I know that I am over the block”, Franco said in regards to what her thought process is when going for a kill.
Duke came out of the set break energized and ready to extend the match, taking a 8-5 lead early in the fourth set.
That’s when the Orange’s Polina Shemanova completely took over the set. In the final seven points the Cuse’ scored, Shemanova had four kills. Her heroics gave Syracuse the set win and the match victory.
Syracuse now moves to 2-0 in the ACC and is first place in the conference.
Next week, SU will try to remain undefeated in the ACC as they take on Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.