With the season winding down, can Syracuse get its first ACC win of the season?

Wednesday, Nov 01, 2023 at 10:39 am by Sports Editor

By Rahil Jaiswal | @RahillJaiswal 

Syracuse Volleyball is running out of time to try and get its first ACC win of the season. The Orange sit at 2-20 and 0-12 in conference play. With only six games remaining, the question looms. Can SU get an ACC win this season?

With the upcoming schedule, it doesn’t seem likely. Although the Orange have played well in the last few matches, they still have yet to win another set. The CUSE have only won eight sets all season. Their last set win came against Wake Forest back in October. In its last two matches, Syracuse played two of its better matches of the season last weekend but still got swept. It fell to Clemson on Friday and Number 11 Georgia Tech on Sunday.

Not to mention, Syracuse has a hard schedule to finish the season. Su still has to play number 7 Pitt and number 11 Georgia Tech again. Not to mention, it has to travel to NC State who are 10-1 at home this season. In these ACC matches, Syracuse struggles to compete consistently over the match. Once again, it all comes down to the lack of players on Syracuse’s roster. In SU’s matches against Clemson and Georgia Tech, the Orange ran out of gas in the third set. Both teams started to pull away and the unforced errors started piling up for Syracuse. This has been a common theme throughout the season. In lots of ACC matches the Orange have competed well in the first two sets, but then faded away in the third set because of exhaustion and fatigue. The lack of players for Syracuse is only getting worse. SU’s most consistent outside hitter Cherlin Antonio did not suit up this weekend. The Orange were already having to rely on non-pin hitters to carry the load and without Antonio, that issue only grows.

 If Syracuse wants to get its first conference win of the season it has to serve well. The Orange play their best when they are serving well and getting a lot of free points. Now, this means they must serve aggressively. While that does lead to some errors, it is what they have had to do. Freshman Zharia-Harris-Waddy and graduate student Alyssa Bert have been Syracuse’s most consistent servers all season. Harris-Waddy served 5 aces in the second set against Florida State last weekend which got SU back in contention. The middle blocker leads the team in aces with 27. Bert is not far behind with 24. This duo has to be on point serving-wise if Syracuse wants to have a chance. Another player to watch out for is Lailia Smith. The Junior has been great since coming off injury. Smith has been SU’s most efficient hitter over the last few matches. 

The Orange have their best chance at its first conference win tonight. Syracuse travels to take on Boston College which has struggled in ACC play. The Eagles sit at 3-9 in conference play and have lost their last five ACC matches. The first serve is set for 6 p.m.