VB : SU wants more consistency with Big East games ahead

first_img Published on September 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Last Friday, Syracuse let a two-set lead slip away against South Florida. It wasn’t the first time this season for the Orange, as it also blew a two-set advantage in a loss to Utah Valley earlier in the month.The inconsistent play is a cause for concern for SU, but the team has remained positive despite its up-and-down performances thus far this year.‘That was a good game (against Utah Valley) for us because it showed us a lot that we need to work on, but at the same time it showed a lot of good things that we did in those first two sets,’ senior Ashley Williams said.Inconsistency has plagued a young SU team so far this season as seen by both dominant and disappointing stretches within individual games. Part of the Orange’s uneven play is the result of a young roster featuring nine freshmen. The young players have showcased their talent and potential throughout the season, but have also showed their inexperience during key points in matches.SU hopes that consistency will come with more experience in games and during drills at practice.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThough the Orange has given up early leads, it has also displayed the ability to come back in matches. When playing from behind, the team has played with a sense of urgency.In the Big Orange Tournament to open the season, the Orange faced Youngstown State and dropped the first two sets to the Penguins before rallying back to win three straight sets and the match.‘That’s the other side of the story,’ senior Noemie Lefebvre said. ‘I think we showed resiliency, and we were able to come back into a game.’The comeback against Youngstown State was also by far Ying Shen’s best performance of the season. The freshman had eight kills in the final three sets as well as a pair of aces.And while the outside hitter has had success since, she hasn’t consistently cracked the starting lineup. As well as she has played in some games, she has also struggled to find her comfort zone.But Syracuse doesn’t fear that the inconsistency from the freshmen is rooted in the early success. Orange veterans are insistent that the success hasn’t gone to some of the younger players’ heads.‘I don’t think they’re really overconfident,’ Williams said. ‘I think they’re still adjusting to our play. We’re trying to make everybody jell together as a team.’SU still hopes that a tougher nonconference slate than a year ago will straighten out some of the inconsistencies that plagued the team in Big East play last season.‘We played a few bigger games this year during preseason,’ sophomore Lindsay McCabe said, ‘so I think that was good to get them used to playing.’But it hasn’t seemed to help in the two games since Big East play began. A pair of disappointing losses has Syracuse back at square one and in position to disappoint in a similar fashion as last season.Much of the inconsistency has come from mental errors. SU committed 15 errors in the final two sets, allowing USF to beat the Orange at home. But the team doesn’t blame its loss to USF on its own errors.And those mental errors can often be straightened out through repetition. The Orange will be focusing on its mental toughness before its next set of games.‘I think we can just learn,’ freshman Nicolette Serratore said. ‘Going into other games we’re going to know that we need to put in the same intensity for every single point.’A quick fix for Syracuse is to keep things simple. In the second set against South Florida, the Orange rallied from a 10-3 deficit to win the set 25-22. Stretches like that prove the potential SU has this season.And if it can play like that on a consistent basis, a repeat of last season’s second-half collapse isn’t something Syracuse will have to worry about.‘We’re just talking to them on what’s working for us,’ assistant coach Kelly Morrisroe said. ‘We are constantly talking to them about just staying focused. … We just want to do what we do and do the simple things well.’‘If we can capitalize on the simple things, we’re going to win a lot of matches.’[email protected]last_img

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