Syracuse Sweeps Towson with Big Block to Reach NIVC Quarterfinals

  0 Derek Johnson | December 01st, 2017 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News


SYRACUSE DEF. TOWSON 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23)

  • Syracuse improves to 22-13; Towson falls to 27-6
  • Attendance: 91
  • Box Score

Syracuse kept its season alive and advanced to the NIVC Quarterfinals with their second win in as many days as they swept Towson. The victory sets up a former Big East battle as they will meet past conference foe West Virginia.

Both sides had opportunities to take each set, as Syracuse found themselves in front by a slight total in each. In fact, there were 17 ties and seven lead changes for the three sets, as the Orange played well in pressure-filled scenarios. They also stayed on edge in the third, even with a 2-0 set lead, after seeing Towson overcome a 2-0 set deficit yesterday.

The two schools strengths came from different aspects. Where Syracuse had a flowing offense (.274 to Towson’s .106) and strong block (11-3 in team blocks), Towson was the stronger serving team (6-1 in aces with four less serve errors). That serve almost kept the Tigers in the game despite a rough offensive go of it, while Syracuse did well to attack aggressively from difficult spots and keep things alive for their block to feast on.

Both the Syracuse attack and block were led by Santita Ebangwese (16 kills, .300, six blocks, four digs), while Amber Witherspoon (11 kills, .429, four blocks) and Anastasiya Gorelina (eight kills, .636) posted big numbers as well. Jalissa Trotter was the common theme for those attackers, as she dished out 43 assists.

In the losing effort for Towson, Julymar Otero (20 assists, nine kills, five digs) and Anna Holehouse (18 digs) impressed, but it wasn’t enough to establish the rhythm needed on the offensive end.

Syracuse will now look to make the NIVC Semifinals with a win on Monday against West Virginia while Towson’s season comes to a close after a strong 27-win campaign.

Press Releases

Courtesy of Syracuse:

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Santita Ebangwese finished with a match-high 16 kills and six blocks to lead the Syracuse women’s volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) victory over Towson Friday night in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). ‘Cuse improves to 22-13 with the win. The Tigers drop to 27-6.

Amber Witherspoon totaled 11 kills with four blocks and Anastasiya Gorelina added eight kills. Jalissa Trotter posted a match-high 43 assists and Belle sand added a team-high 12 digs.

The Orange will travel to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers on Monday, Dec. 4 in an NIVC quarterfinal matchup. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.

How It Was Decided
Ebangwese and Witherspoon combined for the first eight Syracuse kills of the match. Ebangwese added two blocks and the Orange jumped out to an early 12-7 advantage. Towson scored four straight points and cut the deficit to one, but ‘Cuse closed the set on a 6-4 run to win 25-22. Ebangwese finished with nine kills in the set to go along with five from Witherspoon.

A 9-2 run early on in the second set opened up an 11-5 lead for the Orange. Gorelina and Ebangwese produced three kills each during the stretch. Later on, Towson scored four straight points to level the score at 19. A 4-0 run pushed Syracuse in front and a Mariia Levanova kill capped off a 25-22 victory.

With set three all square at 16, Ella Saada tallied a kill, followed by a Tiger attack error and a solo block from Dana Gardner to put ‘Cuse in front 19-16. Towson scored three straight to even the set at 19. Witherspoon tallied three kills and a block assist down the stretch to lead the Orange to a 25-23 triumph.

Coach’s Thoughts
“It was a great performance tonight, but now we have to prepare for our next opponent,” said head coach Leonid Yelin. “We do not have a conference tournament, and to play in a single-elimination tournament is exciting for this team. We have to put this win behind us and get ready for West Virginia”

Of Note
West Virginia is the second Big 12 Conference foe that the Orange will face this season. Syracuse knocked off Kansas State on the road, 3-1, Sep. 1.

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