Monday, September 26, 2016

Another Disappointing Loss for SU Volleyball

Story and photos by Kelsey Snider

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Coming off a win against Boston College, the Syracuse Orange was swept by the NC State Wolfpack on Sunday in its second match of the Atlantic Coast Conference season (25-15, 25-18, 25-20).

It wasn’t a lack of skill that attributed to the loss, but a lack in mental focus, head coach Leonid Yelin said.

“The team didn’t show up, you know that’s all I can say because over one night people not losing skills,” Yelin said. “They mentally not prepared.”

Set 1:

The tone of this match was set early on when the Orange women (2-10, 1-1 ACC) made two service errors and an attack error giving theWolfpack (8-6, 1-1 ACC) a 7-3 lead. NC State seemed to have complete control of set one. The Wolfpack wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary that would shake up the Orange. The Orange players hurt themselves by having too many unforced errors.  

Set 2:

Going into set two, the Orange still didn’t seem to be focused. The first play was an unforced attack error. As the set went on, NC State’s passing started to break down, and Syracuse began to find a rhythm. Syracuse began to pull away with a five point run making the score 8-4.

But the Wolfpack started to come back into the game with kills flying past the Orange’s block.

Syracuse, which usually depends on its big block, had to rely on the floor defense. Without the block to work around, the floor defense had trouble picking up balls. Junior libero, Belle Sand, said when it comes to defense it comes down to communication and being able to read the attacker.

“As a young team we are, we just need to work on getting to our spot and that not being our set spot,” Sand said.

Again, NC State wasn’t doing anything special in its offense. When the Orange left a whole in the block or it was a one-on-one block, the Wolfpack seized the opportunity to kill.

Set 3:

It was back and forth for most of set 3. Syracuse and NC State hit the best in the third. The Orange hitting .231 and the Wolfpack hitting .464. Syracuse had a more consistent set with keeping the attacks and serves in play. However, their defensive game is what became the Orange's demise. NC State out-dug Syracuse 41 digs to 34 and out blocked Syracuse 7.5 blocks to 6.0.

Looking ahead:

The Orange hopes to find consistent mentality for the matches ahead.

“We emphasize a lot on you can’t just turn it on and off,” Sand said. “You got to keep it up and I feel like that’s something we have to focus on now for the next couple games.”

The Orange plays the Florida State Seminoles (9-2, 2-0 ACC), who are ranked 15th in the nation, in Tallahassee on Friday, Sept. 30th.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

SU Defeats UConn in First Away Game of Season

By Bridget Chavez
Photos by Kelsey Snider

EAST HARTFORD, CONN. - One yard, one turnover and one final scoring drive made all the difference in Syracuse's 31-24 win over UConn Saturday afternoon at Pratt and Whitney Stadium. With little time left in the final quarter, the Orange defense held the Huskies on fourth down-and-one at the goal line, forcing a turnover. The Orange offense took over with a 99-yard scoring drive, getting into the red zone for the first time in the game, sealing the deal for SU, who came off a two week losing streak at home. 

“It’s a big difference to say you’re 2-2 instead of 1-3,” Coach Dino Babers said. “For them to get this win against a very good opponent, I’m happy and hope to keep it going.”

Orange starts fast again, then stalls

An early 14-0 lead at the start of the first quarter set up the Orange to outplay the Huskies in both passing and receiving yards. 

Wide receiver, Amba Etta-Tawo, was well on his way to breaking SU records with 118 receiving yards at the end of the first quarter. By the end of the game Etta-Tawo had shattered a 31-year-old Syracuse record for most receiving yards in a single game with 270 receiving yards. Huskies wide receiver, Alec Bloone, trailed with 20.

SU’s quarterback, Eric Dungey, threw for 145 yards while UConn’s, Bryant Shirreffs, threw for 36 yards.
Momentum shifts

With 12:20 left to play in the second quarter, Shirreff's attempted pass to Hergy Mayala was tipped by and apparently snagged by SU’s Cordell Hudson at the 11-yard line for an interception. The call was challenged by UConn and overturned. 

The Huskies offense then began to poke holes in the Orange defensive line scoring their first touchdown on a two-yard rush by running back Ron Johnson. Bobby Puyol’s extra point sailed through the goal posts. 

Down by seven with less than a minute to play in the half, the Huskies, Arkeel Newsome, scored the home team’s second touchdown on a 6-yard run. Again, Puyol scored the extra point for the Huskies, tying up the score, 14-14. 

Desperate to regain the lead, SU marched up the field to the UConn 30-yard line falling short again of making it into the red zone. After three time outs as UConn tried to ice him with two-seconds to play, SU’s Cole Murphy made a 47-yard field goal bringing the Orange to a 17-14 lead at the half.

Second half.
UConn started off the third quarter with a 30-yard drive only to be stopped by the Syracuse defense, who held them on fourth-and-two. The SU offense took over at its own 6-yard line for a mere 7-yard drive and punted.

 The Huskies offense made it to the 10-yard line but instead of going for it on fourth-and-one, as they did several times before in the game, they went for the 27-yard field goal tying up the game again, 17-17.

Orange defense scores, then stops Huskies

SU's often-struggling defense came through again as Cordell Hudson intercepted Shirreffs pass after Zaire Franklin had tipped it for a pick six, running the ball back 22-yards for a touchdown with less than one-minute left to play in the thurd quarter. Cole Murphy’s PAT was good and Syracuse led 24-17.
The middle linebacker Franklin, who had the game-changing tip, then made the goal line stop as the Huskies drove tie on  fourth down.

Dungey drives, flies

Orange offense came back to score on a 99-yard drive with Dungey vaulting into the end-zone on a 6-yard rush, securing the Orange win.

UConn responded with a touchdown on a 24-yard pass to close the gap, but time expired and SU took home the win.

The Orange will take on the Irish Saturday, Oct. 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The once tenth-ranked Fighting Irish were upset by the Duke Blue Devils, Saturday, 38-35 in South Bend and fell to 1-3.. 

The UConn Huskies will face the University of Houston Cougars on Thursday, Sept. 29.

SU vs. UCONN Photos

East Hartford, Conn. -- Syracuse evened its record at 2-2 with an upset of UConn Saturday afternoon, 31-24. here is a look at the game in pictures by Kelsey Snider. Click on any photo to start slide show.