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Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 8:30 pm

Through six duals this season, Syracuse is missing consistent doubles play

Yaw Bonsu, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse’s biggest problem this season has been its lack of high-level play when it comes to doubles. 

In six duals this season, the Orange have only won the doubles point twice. Is that due to a lack of talent on the court? No. Head Coach Younes Limam’s approach to the game is one that spreads opportunity to different pairs. However, with the Orange only winning 38% of their doubles matches since last season, that approach has proven to be flawed.

Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Coach Linam has put out 14 different pairings. Miranda Ramirez and Guzal Yusupova hold the best record at 5-3. But for pairings such Ramirez/Zeynep Erman and Polina Kozyreva/Sofya Treshcheva, their records fall below .500.

When it comes to the top spot, seven different duos have played at number one: Hansen/Erman, Hansen/Treshcheva, Kozyreva/Treshcheva, Ramirez/Novotna, Yusupova/Erman, Yusupova/Ramirez and Novotna/Kanapatskaya,

No duo listed above has played more than 10 total matches together, which is something that Coach Younes Limam’s game plan contributes to. No one has the opportunity to build a true chemistry with another teammate. This coupled with the fact that Coach Limam does not allow teammates to room together.

Flashing back to Syracuse’s 4-3 win over Notre Dame, the chemistry was where the Orange fell flat. Yes, Ines Fonte is a freshman. However, it does not take away from the fact that it was only her second match with Miranda Ramirez. 

The duo’s chemistry fell flat the whole way through. In a breakdown done earlier this week, it was clear that Ramirez and Fonte lacked an adequate amount of practice. One play highlighted Fonte’s lack of awareness on a rally. The freshman put herself in a position to lose the point right away. So much so that it left her partner, Miranda Ramirez, unable to assist on the play.

The breakdown can be seen here.

Doubles matches should be reserved for older players who have experience with their teammates. Unfortunately, because of how Coach Limam runs his lineups, no player has more than 20 doubles matches under their belt.

Is Coach Limam underrating the doubles point? Maybe so. After all, Syracuse did both survive against Notre Dame and lose against Louisville because of that. 

The way to fix this problem is simple: make your doubles pairs upperclassmen-orientated, and keep the same lineup throughout each dual.

Next up for SU is a Drumlins date with Virginia on Friday at 12 p.m.

@yawbonsu27 | ybonsu@citrustv.net