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After a straight set rout on Friday, No. 8 Syracuse (2-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) blew two late-set leads in a 3-0 loss to No. 9 Louisville (4-1, 4-1). It was SU’s third straight-set loss in as many games and fourth straight loss after starting the season 2-0 against Pitt.
Louisville jumped ahead early in the first set, scoring three straight points on an Anna DeBeer kill and two attack errors by Polina Shemanova. On the next point, Shemanova’s attack landed in bounds for Syracuse’s first point of the game and Shemanova’s one thousandth career kill.
Syracuse and Louisville seemed evenly matched near the beginning of the second set, until Syracuse went on a 6-1 run to make the score 11-6. Louisville missed two serves and had three attack errors within the seven-point span.
Syracuse was able to hold their lead for most of the set until a kill by DeBeer tied the set at 18. An ace and two Syracuse attack errors followed, giving Louisville a three point lead late in the set. The Orange failed to capitalize on their lead and nine Louisville attack errors, dropping the set 25-21.
In the third set, the Orange struck first, taking advantage of two errors by Louisville attackers. Their lead did not last long, as Louisville scored six straight points, three of those coming from kills by Aiko Jones. Jones caused trouble for SU all weekend — her 28 kills between the two games led both teams, and she leads the Cardinals in kills this season.
Even after falling behind early, the Orange came back, taking a 19-16 lead late in the set. Louisville’s 10 attack errors in the third set helped the Orange jump ahead late, but like the second set, they were unable to keep that momentum for the rest of the game. Syracuse and Louisville passed the lead back and forth near the end before the Cardinals scored three straight points to win both the game and the match 27-25.
In an otherwise bleak performance by SU, the front line shined and recorded 3.0 blocks per set, their highest through six games this season. For the sixth game this year, Shemanova led the team in kills, with 13. Freshman Naomi Franco recorded three blocks and two kills.
The Orange return to Syracuse next weekend to face Boston College in the final two games of the regular season. The Eagles have lost all four of their matches so far and have won two total sets, one against Louisville and another against Pitt. BC is the only team Syracuse will face this fall that is not currently ranked.
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