Syracuse’s 11-2 second-set run keys straight-set victory over Georgia Tech

first_img Comments The ball struck SU’s Mariia Levanova and sailed out of bounds. It looked like Friday’s match would soon be even at one set apiece.Late in the second set, that deflection gave Georgia Tech (11-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) a 23-16 lead as GT looked to even the match after Syracuse (5-4, 1-0) had taken the first set, 25-14. But the Orange would not be undone. SU ended on an 11-2 run to take the set 27-25 and went on to win the match 3-0 in straight sets.The play following the ball out of bounds was a Georgia Tech service error. Then came an ace by SU’s Santita Ebangwese. Then a save by freshman Polina Shemanova to keep the play alive, ending with a crushing cross-court kill by Yuliia Yastrub. Soon the game was tied 24-24 and the Orange from there took a 26-25 lead. Some of the crowd in the Women’s Building got to their feet.Amber Witherspoon went up for a block, hitting two Georgia Tech players, and an attempted dig made the ball sail behind them. The crowd went wild as the Orange celebrated.“The crowd was beautiful,” Ebangwese said. “The crowd never hurts, especially at home. I know personally I’m a person with a lot of energy and being able to feed off the crowd just made it a lot easier to be energetic.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGeorgia Tech was not able to recover. Although the Yellow Jackets tied it at 10 in the third set, they never got a hold of the lead from there. Shemanova, who led the game with 15 kills, fired the ball into the hands of a Georgia Tech player and the dig flew backward into the wall, ending the third set 25-21 and putting the match to rest.Despite the chaotic second set sequence, SU head coach Leonid Yelin said his timeout speeches never took a different tone.“We’re always talking about what we have to do,” Yelin said. “Regardless, if we are ahead or we’re behind, we’re just talking about what we have to do.”A key to the Orange’s success throughout the match, including the second set, was being the better blocking team, something that has become a trend for Yelin’s teams. Syracuse out-blocked Georgia Tech, 15-4. Witherspoon was the biggest contributor in this area registering 10 herself.Syracuse also minimized attack errors, committing 10 to Georgia Tech’s 25. The Orange also registered a .248 hitting percentage on the game, and hit at .400 after the first set. All the while Georgia Tech struggled, finishing at .120.“I think it is important but we don’t stand on the court thinking, ‘don’t mess up,’” senior Jalissa Trotter said. “We’re on the court thinking, ‘make this a point, get this point’ or ‘be ready for this ball.’”Following a weekend of three five-set games, SU was happy to have a game end in under an hour and forty-five minutes. Back in the conference room, as Ebangwese waited for her teammates and media interviews to start, she smiled when the final game runtime was mentioned, crediting it all to the second set win.“When we notched it up at 24-25, I was like ‘Bro, come on, come on,” she said. “We made it this way. We made it all this way from 16-22, we might as well take it.” Published on September 21, 2018 at 11:16 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more