A Big Defensive Performance Leads Syracuse to Victory

  0 Carly DeMarque | October 03rd, 2016 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Stats

Syracuse picked up a much needed win against conference foe Miami. The Orange out-blocked the Hurricane 14 to 4.

Freshman Mackenzie Weaver stepped up for Syracuse putting down 23 kills. Contributing to the block fest for the Orange, Santita Ebangwese contributed to half of the teams blocks with seven and 13 kills, while Amber Witherspoon  added six blocks and five kills.

Leading all players, Olga Strantzali had a career-high 25 kills and 10 digs, making it her sixth double-double of the season for the Hurricane. Hannah Sorensen handed out a career-best 50 assists.

Press Release

Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Freshman Mackenzie Weavertallied a career-high 23 kills and the Syracuse volleyball team split the weekend in the Sunshine State, outlasting Miami, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables.

The Orange completed the come-from-behind win in four sets (19-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-21) to advance to 2-2 in ACC play and 3-11 overall.

Weaver had a career day, as the newcomer tallied 23 kills, nine digs and two service aces to lead the Orange to the conference victory.

“She did a really good job really stepping up offensively,” associate head coach Erin Little said of Weaver’s effort today. “She did well on the serve and all around. She really came up today and helped the team.”

As a team, the Orange were dominant at the net, tallying 14.0 blocks to Miami’s 4.0 on the night.

“It’s great to get the win,” coach Little said. “Even after that first set that they dropped, they found a way to come back and then keep the momentum. They really stepped up in blocking and staying disciplined until the end.

“Offensively, the setters did a good job of finding Santita (Ebangwese), who had a great game. Leah (Levert) helped us a lot on the block on the right side.”

Sophomore Santita Ebangwese tallied a season-high 13 kills on the game, hitting .591 percent (13 kills – 0 errors – 22 attempts). Ebangwese also added one service ace, two digs and seven block assists.

Fellow sophomore Anastasiya Gorelina was the third Orange player to tally double-digit kills, as she had 11. Gorelina also had six digs, one block assist and a solo stop at the net.

On defense, Leah Levert led the effort at the net, as the junior tallied a season-high 10 assisted stops.

Aliah Bowllan recorded career-high marks as well, as the freshman contributed 20 digs from the back court.

Leading in assists on the night was sophomore setter Jalissa Trotter, who tallied 27. Trotter also was second on the team in digs with 10.

“Jalissa and Aliah were a big help to us defensively. It was a great win for the team, and we’ll continue to get ready for next weekend.”

The pair of Levert and Ebangwese combined for a stop to mark the first point of the game, but Miami (7-9, 1-3 ACC) jumped out to take the lead in the first set after a 7-1 run to force the first Syracuse timeout.

Both teams registered points back and forth until Miami secured a seven-point lead (19-12) leading into the second Orange timeout of the set.

The Orange made one last stride in the first set by tallying a 7-6 run, but it wasn’t enough as the Hurricanes secured the game, 25-19.

After a two-point head start for the Hurricanes in the second set, the Orange found themselves on top thanks to a 6-0 run (8-4 SU).

Syracuse continued the power stride, as the Orange took a seven points lead (14-7 SU) to force the Miami timeout.

The Hurricanes tallied an 8-3 run after the break to bring the score within two points (17-15 SU) and force the first Orange timeout of the set.

The game was tied four times out of the timeout as the pair fought to reach the 25-point mark. The Orange were able to fend off the Hurricanes and claim set two, 27-25, after a service ace from Weaver and a kill from Gorelina.

The pair kept the game within one point or tied until it was an even 7-7 in the third set.

A 5-0 run gave the Orange a 12-7 advantage and ‘Cuse never looked back as the gap stayed within two points or more until the end of the third.

The Orange were able to outlast the Hurricanes to win set three, 25-22, and take a 2-1 lead in the game heading into the fourth set.

After struggling to claim the lead in the fourth game, Syracuse sealed the deal thanks to a 6-0 run to lead the Hurricanes, 17-10.

Miami fought down to the wire to close the gap and force a fifth set, but the Orange maintained composure and closed out the fourth set, 25-21, to win the match 3-1.

The Orange return home to continue ACC play next weekend at the Women’s Building. Syracuse hosts Notre Dame for its annual Pink Game on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and then welcomes Louisville on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match. Admission to both games is free of charge.

Press Release

Courtesy of Miami Athletics

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball team fell to Syracuse in four sets on Sunday.

The Hurricanes (7-9, 1-3 ACC) hosted the Orange (3-11, 2-2 ACC) on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Both teams battled, but Syracuse was physical at the net and that proved to be the difference.

“It was a close match,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “We’re more concerned about where we’re at in respect to our standards. We obviously did not meet our standards today. They played well. They blocked 14 balls, so that was something they did well.”

The Canes jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the opening set, forcing Syracuse to call timeout and try to slow Miami’s momentum. The Hurricanes took a 10-point lead, 14-4, and continued charging to a 19-12 lead before Syracuse called timeout. The Orange cut Miami’s lead to four, 22-18, but the Hurricanes would close out the first set with a 25-19 win.

Syracuse started hot in the second set, taking a 14-7 lead before Miami called timeout to regroup. A resilient Hurricanes team battled back to tie the set at 22 and reached set point, 24-23, but Syracuse would claw back to even the set at 24 and 25 before evening the match with a 27-25 win before the intermission.

The Hurricanes and Orange played tight early in the third set, with the two teams knotted at seven, but Syracuse jumped to a 20-14 lead that forced Miami to call timeout. Syracuse continued to push, reaching set point at 24-18. Miami would make a late push, cutting the lead to two, but dropped the third set, 25-22.

Syracuse and Miami continued their back and forth battle in the fourth set, playing to a 14-10 Syracuse lead when Miami called timeout. The Orange extended its lead to seven, 17-10, but the Hurricanes cut it to three, 21-18. Syracuse closed out the set, 25-21, and the match in four sets.

Olga Strantzali led the Hurricanes with a career-high 25 kills and recorded her fifth double-double of the year, tallying 10 digs while hitting .277 and tying her season-high with five service aces.

Anna Haak notched her fourth double-double of the season, recording 12 kills, 16 digs, two service aces and an assist. Lucia Pampana also had 12 kills, hitting a team-high .500 and adding two blocks.

Kolby Bird had six kills and hit .312 for the match, adding five digs and a team-high four blocks. Madison Dill had four kills and a block in reserve, while Sakile Simmons added three kills.

Hannah Sorensen dished out a career-high 50 assists, adding five digs and a kill, while Sylvia Hernandez had 15 digs and three assists as Miami’s libero. Sara Duque had 11 digs in her second career start.

Following this weekend’s matches, the Hurricanes will hit the road for a pair of matches against NC State and North Carolina. Miami will play at NC State at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7, while they are set to face North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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