SU Struggles to Close Out Sets in 3-0 Loss to UCF
By: Ryan Bridges | @RyanBridges517
CitrusTV Volleyball Beat Reporter
ORLANDO, F.L. – Syracuse has been faced with some very tough matchups so far this season. They have faced teams who have returned their best players, and coaching staff year after year.
There is no substitute for the continuity and experience that this brings to a program, and when Syracuse and UCF matched up on Friday night, the difference between them became more and more clear as the match went on.
However, you would not have been able to tell just by watching the first set. The Orange earned a set point after weathering the initial UCF run. Closing out a set like this set would have been huge for SU. This was the loudest crowd they played against, and arguably the best team they have played so far. The Orange were now one point away from taking control of the match. However, UCF’s experience showed as they won two straight points to regain the lead and got the crowd back into it. The Orange fought hard but eventually lost the set 28-26.
Even though they let the first set slip away, SU showed in the second set that they were going to keep coming. UCF only led by one point midway through the set. However, the Knights went on a 4-0 scoring run and the Orange never got back into it. The Knights went on to win the second set 25-20.
After the Orange took an early lead in the third set, it was all UCF from there. The Knights went on an incredible 13-2 run and never looked back. In the third set, Syracuse had more errors (8) than kills (5) and registered a negative hit percentage (-0.125). SU lost the third set by 14 points, their largest defeat of the whole season.
It’s safe to say this is not how Syracuse wanted the night to go. However, they have one more chance to iron out their kinks before they play in front of their home crowd. Their final game in Orlando is against North Florida on Saturday at 2 P.M.