Syracuse attack gives balanced yet inefficient performance in home loss to Clemson

first_imgThe Syracuse offense passed the eye test, but statistically was not up to par.SU setter Gosia Wlaszczuk spread the ball around, but the Orange’s hitters were not consistently converting sets into points.“Our offense was not good,” SU head coach Leonid Yelin said. “How it could be good if its (middle blocker Monika Salkute), out of 41 swings, .098 (hitting percentage)? If it’s (outside hitter Silvi Uattara), out of 40, .025 overall? I mean, this numbers, it’s not good.”Syracuse (8-16, 1-11 Atlantic Coast) fell to Clemson (17-9, 5-7) in four sets Friday night in the Women’s Building with a balanced yet inefficient offensive attack. For the first time in ACC play, four players scored double-digit points for the Orange. Right-side hitter Stacey Smith stepped up to provide SU with early offense as SU won the first set.“It maybe seems like (the offense was better) because one of our players, which we’re really pleased she stood up today, is Stacey,” Yelin said. “I think offensively, this was probably her best match.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSmith had 11 kills on 24 attempts as well as two block assists to give her 12 points, tied for second-most on the team.During a key run in the first set in which SU came back from down three to tie the set at 16, Smith had four kills and a block assist.“It was amazing to have one more player to go to,” Wlaszczuk said of Smith offering her another option on the offensive end.Wlaszczuk seemed to make every right decision in the first set in deciding whom to pass to. Yelin said he “helped” her more than he usually does, trying to get her to kill a bad habit.Being new to the setter position, Wlaszczuk is more likely to set the players she is most comfortable with, notably Uattara and Salkute. When she does, the SU offense becomes predictable, allowing defenses to set up double and triple blocks on the primary Orange attackers.Against Clemson, Yelin told Wlaszczuk not to set Uattara and Salkute when they were in the back row and for the most part, she listened.“I said, ‘Leave them alone, I will tell you when it’s time, you can get in,’ and she did,” Yelin said.Senior middle blocker Lindsay McCabe was another recipient of Wlaszczuk’s new mentality, recording eight kills on 23 attempts. She also had eight block assists.McCabe had three kills and three block assists in the first set, when the SU offense looked to be at its best.“I think Gosia was just delivering me the ball really well and that makes my job easy,” McCabe said.Her play was less consistent for the rest of the match, something McCabe blamed on a lack of mental awareness.The distribution of points early in the game should have made Salkute and Uattara’s jobs easier, but neither was able to finish consistently.Uattara, SU’s primary offensive weapon, didn’t receive the most sets for the fourth time in ACC play and said she saw fewer double and triple blocks than usual due to Wlaszczuk’s sharing. When she got the ball, Uattara simply wasn’t finishing.As Yelin said, while it may have looked good, SU’s offense did not perform efficiently.As a team, SU hit .128 and made 30 attack errors, six more than Clemson despite five fewer attempts.Yelin looked back at the game positively, pleased with his team’s drive and Wlaszczuk’s growth as a setter.Said Yelin: “She’s doing a phenomenal job for somebody who’s never done this.“That’s what we keep telling all of them.” Comments Published on November 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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