Sunday, December 3, 2023

Syracuse falls to 2-25 on season following 3-0 loss to Georgia Tech

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Trailing 24-20, SU’s Veronica Sierzant positioned herself to receive an incoming Georgia Tech serve. During the two teams’ first matchup of the year, on Oct. 29, the freshman had been a focal point, putting up 16 assists.

But down by four with the second set on the line, Sierzant connected awkwardly with GT’s service, sending it flying out of bounds.

Despite stringing together a few impressive spurts, Syracuse (2-25, 0-17 Atlantic Coast Conference) was unable to stave off No. 9 Georgia Tech (22-5, 13-4 ACC), losing in straight sets. The Yellow Jackets notched 38 kills to SU’s 24 and were dominant on their service, registering nine aces while the Orange mustered just two.

Opening the first set, GT jumped out to a 4-0 lead beginning with an ace from Elizabeth Patterson. Then, Isabella D’Amico and Liv Mogridge combined for a block before recording consecutive kills of their own.

From start to finish, Georgia Tech’s offense was balanced. Ten players had at least one kill while five players dialed up four or more.

Mira Ledermueller stopped the bleeding momentarily with a kill to make it 4-1 but the Yellow Jackets fired back with another two straight scores off of Bianca Bertolino and eventually increased the deficit to 10-4. Later on in the set there was more of the same. Though Greta Schlichter helped Syracuse clinch the next two points, Georgia Tech embarked on a costly 7-1 run to extend its lead. By the time SU’s Alyssa Bert managed to score on a service ace, the Orange still trailed 17-9.

Ultimately, Georgia Tech went on to take eight of the next 11 points and cruised to a 25-12 first-set win.

To start the second set, GT’s Afedo Manyang went on a personal 5-0 run before Ledermueller answered with one of her five kills on the match — a career-high for the freshman. Yet, following Ledermueller’s score, Georgia Tech finished the set recording five runs of three straight scores.

First, the Yellow Jackets pieced together a kill and an ace before profiting off of an SU attacking error. Then, quick runs of 3-0 and 5-0, fueled by unforced errors from the Orange, put GT well in front. Georgia Tech also weathered a brief Syracuse scoring outburst including two kills from Sierzant, who finished with a game-high 10 kills, to take a two-set lead after winning 25-20.

The third and final set of the match was the most tightly contested through the opening 20 possessions. After trading scores, both teams were tied at 9-9 before GT pulled away. Falling behind 12-11, the Orange only scored twice more in the set as the Yellow Jackets went on a commanding 8-0 run to complete their sweep.

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