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Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 at 3:21 am

Volleyball Gets Swept by Pitt at Home

By Jonah Karp

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse volleyball team lost to Pitt in three sets (24-26, 24-26, 19-25) at home on Friday. The Orange entered the ACC showdown with one conference loss on the year, while the Panthers were undefeated in conference play.

Whichever team came away with the victory would take control of the ACC standings. Head coach Leonid Yelin insisted that, despite the high stakes, there was no reason for his teams to have butterflies.

“This is too soon to start worrying about this,” Yelin said. “I hope we never worry about this. We have to be strong enough mentally to not be afraid. When [Syracuse plays] safe, it’s easy for them.”

Santita Ebangwese said that the game plan was simple.

“We knew that their defense was a little shallow,” the middle blocker said, “They don’t block line very well, so we tried to use that as much as possible.”

Ebangwese, who posted 10 kills and 12 points, said the team’s offense was not the primary issue in the defeat.

“I think the offense was pretty okay,” she said, “We need to find who’s hot and stay with them.”

Anastasiya Gorelina finished the game racking up a game high 16 kills and 18 points.

Despite her outstanding individual performance, the outside hitter was critical of her execution.

“The goal for me is to jump as high as I can, and reach as high as I can,” Anastasiya said, “Sometimes I did this, sometimes not.”

Yelin broke the loss down to underperforming on one task.

“We didn’t stop two key players,” he said, “If you look at their numbers, they had huge numbers.”

The two players Yelin referred to are Stephanie Williams and Nika Markovic. Williams tallied 14 kills and 14 points, while Markovic notched 14 kills and 17 points.

The loss drops the Orange to 14-7 on the year and 6-2 in ACC play. The Panthers improve to 14-4 on the year and remain undefeated (7-0) in conference play.

The Orange heads back on the road for two games, beginning Friday, October 20 in Atlanta. SU will take on Georgia Tech in an ACC showdown at 7 pm.