Syracuse beginning to hit stride after 1-6 start

first_img Published on September 16, 2013 at 1:09 am Contact Eric: [email protected] Energy and confidence can go a long way. Syracuse found that out this weekend when it went on to win the Candlewood Suites Challenge.The Orange finished out the tournament by winning all three matches in straight sets. Just one week removed from dropping three of four matches, SU looked like a completely different team.Last week, Syracuse failed to develop an identity on the court. There were frequent substitutions and it seemed like no players knew what was expected of them. But now it seems head coach Leonid Yelin has figured it out.“We know who’s our starters… and most importantly we have the accepted starters too,” Yelin said. “This is really important, people are accepting their role. You’re not sitting there being upset and when your opportunity is going to come, take advantage of it.”After being benched in last weekend’s tournament finale, sophomore hitter Silvi Uattara came back focused. She tallied a total of 36 kills for the tournament, while adding five aces. She finished the tournament with a .447 hitting percentage.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think it helped me a little,” Uattara said regarding her benching. “Now I’m trying to do my best, best. Before I was trying to just do my best, but now I am trying to do even more than that to show coach and everybody that I deserve to be on the court.”Freshman setter Erica Handley also provided a necessary spark, tallying 92 assists in the three matches and a career-high five kills against Delaware State.But it wasn’t any individual player that made it happen. It was a team effort. The players seemed deflated last weekend, but this weekend they came out with more passion.Having a set lineup surely helps. Getting into a rhythm and developing a sense for the pace of play is key as well. So is having energy.Yelin acknowledged it at the end of the last game, about the lack of energy, and clearly he did something to correct it.“I think it’s just our attitude in practice, we were working really hard,” junior Nicolette Serratore said. “We just didn’t want to lose again so we were just really determined to get the win.”Energy and determination might not be the only thing that helped Syracuse this week. To go out and dominate like that the competition has to be a bit weaker, Yelin said.Syracuse took Friday’s first set 25-5, setting the pace for the whole tournament.One thing that cannot be overlooked is that when you start losing, no matter how well you play, your attitude will suffer, Yelin said.“Because when you’re trying, and in their opinion trying so hard, and maybe it’s hard but you have to work together,” Yelin said. “So they try hard and no result, it’s hard to stay up.”After a slow 1-5 start, junior Lindsay McCabe said the team was relieved to have won this tournament. With more positive vibes and a renewed sense of winning, Syracuse can now look ahead to its upcoming schedule.The youth on the team plays a role in its lack of confidence. Being inexperienced and not used to losing can do that to you, McCabe said. But changing to winning is a quick way to regain that confidence.“It feels really great especially since our beginning wasn’t that hot. It’s really a boost of confidence and I think it’s definitely going to help us,” Serratore said. “And to just kind of have that feeling of what it’s like to win and how great it feels is really going to push us to work harder.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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