Volleyball Beats Clemson in Straight Sets
By Zachary Levine
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse volleyball took down Clemson in straight sets in its second home ACC matchup on Friday.
The Orange came into the contest with an 11-6 record, having won three out of its four ACC matches. Friday’s contest marked Syracuse’s first home game back from a three-game road trip.
The Orange started out the first game a bit slow, as Clemson jumped out to a three-point lead. After that, SU rallied for four straight points and took a lead it would never look back from, rolling to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 victory.
Head coach Leonid Yelin had a positive attitude after the win, but was careful not to sell the Tigers short.
“We feel good,” said Yelin. “We always feel good about winning, but we also know what we have to do better…I was kind of waiting. When [is Clemson] going to break and quit. They didn’t quit regardless of the score. They [were] trying all three games.”
The struggling Clemson Tigers entered the game winless in ACC play, looking to rebound after recent losses to UNC and NC State.
The game belonged to Christina Oyawale and Jalissa Trotter for the Orange. Trotter tallied a match-high 24 assists, while Oyawale broke a single-match record with a hitting percentage of .917, passing Dena LaBarbera’s .900 against Niagara in 1994.
When asked how she has been making more of an effort to get kills, Trotter said she has just been “going with the flow.”
“I benefit my team where I am needed,” Trotter said. “So, if my team needs a kill, set me up, I’m ready. That’s all.”
Trotter, the 5′ 7″ junior from Texas, tallied her 1,000th career assist during last Sunday’s game against Wake Forest.
After a no-contest second set, the Orange faced a bit of adversity at the start of the third, with Clemson again jumping out to an early three-point lead. Four straight points helped SU shut the door on the Tigers, sealing the win.
“We just completely came out today and everyone wanted it,” said Oyawale. “We wanted this game and we came out and gave it our all. I gave it my all, we gave it our all, and that’s exactly what happened.”
It was all about a game plan for Coach Yelin.
“We just have to stick to the plan,” he said.
Anastasiya Gorelina was also an X factor in the Orange victory. The junior outside hitter from Uzbekistan tallied both 11 kills and digs on the night, upping her kill total to 143 on the year. Gorelina trails only Santita Ebangwese in total number of kills this season.
The Orange are back home on Sunday, when it takes on Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets come to Syracuse with an ACC record of 2-3, most recently falling to Boston College on Friday. Sunday’s matchup will be the seventh between the two teams, with the Yellow Jackets taking the last contest in straight sets.