Syracuse rebounds from losing weekend in Florida with improved front court play

first_imgWhen Syracuse head coach Leonid Yelin was asked after Syracuse’s win over Georgia Tech was a must-win for his team, Gosia Wlaszczuk interjected with an emphatic “Yes!”The Orange’s last road trip against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents then-No. 17 Florida State and Miami did not prove successful. SU failed to win a set against either team and was out-killed 93-68 over the course of back-to-back losses. The losing stretch set them back two spots — sixth place — in the conference standings, with Miami passing up the Orange.Syracuse stopped its slide against Georgia Tech (14-9, 5-6 ACC) on Friday in the Women’s Building thanks to front court improvements that allowed its often utilized backcourt the breathing room it needed in order to set up the offense.Yelin attributed the Orange’s improvement to its persistence in the practices that followed its poor performances last weekend.“If you’re working really hard,” Yelin said, “good things, sometimes even luck, are going to happen.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse had 15 blocks against the Hornets, five more than it recorded in the losses to the Hurricanes and Seminoles combined. The effective front court play brought the Orange’s backcourt off of its heels and it recorded 76 digs, 36 more than in SU’s game against Miami and 28 more than against FSU.The Orange’s success in digging allowed it to extend points in a way that it couldn’t during its Florida trip. Two of Belle Sand’s 21 digs for the Orange came on match point against the Hornets. Sand sprawled onto the floor twice to save kills just before they landed, allowing Syracuse to keep the rally alive until the tenth shot, when hitter Santita Ebangwese stuffed a GT kill attempt for the match-winning block.The resurgence of Syracuse’s defense allowed its setting game to find a rhythm. Syracuse’s set game provided 62 assists on Friday, one assist from matching their entire output from the previous weekend.Those assists translated into 67 kills and a .292 killing percentage for a Syracuse front court that couldn’t kill at a clip greater that .210 over the course of the two game losing streak.Senior Gosia Wlaszczuk, the Orange’s primary setter, said that the improvement against the Yellow Jackets was a much needed confidence boost heading into her team’s matchup against Clemson (5-18, 0-11) on Sunday.“We built confidence on every point that we made,” Wlaszczuk said after SU’s win on Friday. ”(When) we score, when we celebrate, when we see each other jumping it pulls the whole atmosphere up and helps to get the next point.” Comments Published on October 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more