Syracuse falls in 4 sets to Florida State

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After dropping the first two sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-15, the Orange found themselves in a tight third set looking to extend the match. Syracuse got the next point and Riley Hoffman came in to serve.

The Orange then scored six straight points — all off Hoffman serves — to build a comfortable 16-9 lead. Naomi Franco contributed two blocks during a seven-point run and Hoffman assisted on two kills — both by Polina Sheman. Florida State made a late run to bring the set to within three points at 23-20, but SU won the next two points to close it out.

The third set would be the only SU won as the Orange (10-11, 6-5 Atlantic Coast) dropped their second straight conference game against the Seminoles (15-7, 7-4 ACC) by a score of 3-1.

Shemanova led the Orange in kills with 19, followed by Viktoriia Lokhmanchuk, who contributed 16, and Franco, who had 11. Bre Walp was the only other Syracuse player with more than one, producing four kills. FSU used a balanced attack, although no player had more than 12 kills. Six different individuals contributed four or more kills.



After falling into a 12-6 deficit early in the fourth set, the Orange climbed back to take an 18-17 lead. Shemanova had six kills in the set, while Lauren Woodford and Hoffman had six and five assists respectively.

Shemanova hit a serve after Syracuse got a point to make it 22-21 in favor of Florida State, but the Seminoles ended the set — and the match — with three straight points. It was the most competitive of the three sets the Seminoles won, as head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said the Orange “did a better job” in the third and fourth sets than the first two.

“We passed better, we served a lot better at a high percentage, we found solutions on offense and we did a good job of finding space to attack the middle more because they were playing a 6-2 system,” Ganesharatnam said of Syracuse’s improvements. .

While the Orange had more kills and assists than the Seminoles during the match, Florida State’s serving advantage was too much for Syracuse to overcome. FSU finished with 16 service aces — the most SU has allowed all season, surpassing the previous high of 11. On the other hand, the Orange managed just four aces.

Unforced errors played a significant role in the match. Syracuse committed 16 receiving errors, another season high, with eight of those coming from Alyssa Bert after her previous season high of three. The Seminoles committed four receiving errors, a difference that more than offset the Orange’s advantage in kills.

“Bert, who has been very consistent for us all season, had a bit of a tough time today for the first time this season,” Ganesharatnam said. “I thought (Lokhmanchuk) was struggling a little bit. That’s bound to happen when you play 28 games.”

Ganesharatnam said Syracuse’s small roster size had an impact on the team’s fatigue down the stretch, giving the players “a lot of credit” for being “very consistent so far.” He’d like to give Berta a break, but she’s the team’s only pound. He’d like to give Lokhmanchuk more rest as she battles a knee injury, but her height is a must for the often undersized Orange.

On the plus side for Syracuse, Franco recorded a game-high seven blocks, tying the season high she set against Duke in September. Raina Hughes also had five blocks of her own as the only two Syracuse players with more than one. Hoffman led the Orange with 25 assists, followed by Woodford with 21.

Friday’s game was the first of four games for Syracuse, who will face Miami on Sunday afternoon as they look to get back into the win column.

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Contact Spencer: [email protected]

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