Syracuse wins 5-set marathon against Sacred Heart

UPDATED: Sept. 9, 2017 at 9:49 p.m.

Syracuse (5-4) won a five-set thriller against Sacred Heart (4-5) on Saturday afternoon in the Dartmouth Tournament in Hanover, New Hampshire.

After dropping the first set 22-25 to the Pioneers, the Orange took the next two, 25-22 and 29-27. Sacred Heart responded with a 26-24 victory in the fourth set before Syracuse won the fifth set, 15-11, to claim the match.

One day after setting the Orange season-high with 48 assists, Annie Bozzo re-upped with another season-best for Syracuse with five service aces. The junior setter was all over the court, dishing out 37 assists and tallying seven digs. Four players notched at least eight kills for the Orange, which had 47 total in the game. Mariia Levanova paced the Syracuse offense, setting a career-high with 11 kills in the match, while Santita Ebangwese added 10 kills.

After falling behind 3-0 in the opening set, the Orange responded with a 9-4 run, which prompted a Pioneers timeout. Sacred Heart then scored four unanswered points out of the break. Syracuse never recovered or regained the lead in the set. Despite a hit percentage almost .150 higher than that of the Pioneers’, the Orange were downed by five Sacred Heart aces in the set and fell behind 1-0.

Bozzo flipped the script in the second set, scoring the first two aces of the match for Syracuse. The aces, combined with errors by the Pioneers, helped the Orange jump out to an early lead in the second set that it never relinquished. The Syracuse lead stretched out to 19-15, and it appeared that the Orange was poised to pull away. But three straight points by Sacred Heart closed the gap to just one and caused a Syracuse timeout. The Orange closed out the set to tie the match at one set a piece.

The third set was one of runs, and Syracuse found itself on the right side of a late run when SU took a 24-22 lead. The Orange had the opportunity to take the lead in the match with two set points, but both points were squandered after Sacred Heart buckled down to tie the set. SU quickly regained its form to close out the set, 29-27.

After an inauspicious start to the fourth set, in which the Pioneers took a 3-0 lead, Syracuse went on to tie, 10-10. The Orange clung onto its 21-17 lead until it was faced with a match point at 24-23. But it couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. The match point was lost and two points later so was the set, and Sacred Heart sent the match into a fifth set.

In the fifth set, Syracuse immediately jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Pioneers clawed back to close the gap to one, but it proved the last run of the afternoon for Sacred Heart. The Orange finished the match on a 5-2 run and won its marathon match.

Syracuse has little time to relax following the win and it will play Iona at 4:30 p.m., the last game of the weekend for the Orange.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Sacred Heart’s record was incorrectly identified as 3-5. Sacred Heart, after this game, was 4-5. The Daily Orange regrets this error.


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