Attack errors doom Syracuse in loss to Cincinnati

first_img Related Stories Syracuse offense sputters in pair of Big East losses during weekend Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse hung in as much as it could in a competitive match against Cincinnati.The effort was there and the Orange even took a late 20-17 lead in the first set. But after a late debacle that saw Syracuse commit five attack errors in the next seven points, the Bearcats seized the momentum and ultimately won the match 3-0.The Orange’s struggles on offense stemmed from the team’s lack of ball control. While SU scored 22, 20 and 19 points, respectively, in the three sets, it was the 28 attack errors that stood out in the loss. Unlike Cincinnati, Syracuse was unable to get digs without jeopardizing offensive opportunities, giving away crucial points in the process.“Cincinnati’s ball control was unbelievable,” SU coach Leonid Yelin said.Cincinnati’s (9-14, 7-3 Big East) defense thrived compared to Syracuse’s (9-15,1-8 Big East). Not only were the Bearcats well positioned, but they were also scrappier, as SU players described. The Bearcats were able to control the ball and thrive off the Orange’s frantic defense that left the middle defenders out to dry.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut it all starts with the serve.Syracuse’s serve-receiving struggled at times on Sunday. The Orange failed to win early points in rallies, ultimately exposing its frenzied defense.“When our service-receiving goes down, it’s difficult to run an offense,” Syracuse middle blocker Samantha Hinz said.While ball control is important during the serve, it is just as important during the rally. Many times the Orange was unable to set up outside hitters with effective passes after digs leading to easy defense and offense for the Bearcats.“Digging and setting up defense starts with the block and when (Cincinnati) is disregarding our block and hitting over it, it messes everything up,” said Melina Violas, Syracuse defensive specialist. “You can’t run a good offense without a good first pass, and when we struggle with that like we did today, you are going to lose.”In the third set, Syracuse managed just two blocks, leading to sporadic scrambling on defense. Four different times, Cincinnati’s Emily Hayden finished off a long rally with a kill, taking advantage of the Orange’s failure to finish points.Better ball control leads to better hitting.That was especially true with Silvi Uattara’s performance in Sunday’s game. The freshman outside hitter from Voronezh, Russia, was one of a few lone bright sports on offense for the Orange on Sunday with 11 kills. Waiting patiently on the left side of the court, Uattara would unload on shots that the Bearcats defense could rarely dig.“If you have ball control, you will make your hitters better,” Yelin said. “And ours was an issue from the beginning.” Commentscenter_img Published on October 22, 2012 at 12:08 am Contact Bryan: bwrubin@syr.edulast_img read more