3rd set comeback propels Syracuse to win in ACC opener

first_imgWith the match tied at one set apiece, Syracuse found itself down 23-18 in the third set. To win and go up two sets to one, Boston College needed just two more points. The Eagles never got one.A 7-0 run by the Orange — thanks in part to five of Kendra Lukacs career-high 18 kills on the match — not only won the set for Syracuse, but it tipped the rest of the match as well. Lukacs’ dominance paired with two timely substitutions keyed the Orange run, and SU (9-5, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat BC (3-8, 0-1), three sets to one, on Wednesday night in the Women’s Building. Syracuse changed its setter and one of its middle blockers in the midst of a third set run by the Eagles and immediately saw results. The new setter was Jalissa Trotter, Syracuse’s opening-day starter at the position. Trotter had been injured for the past couple weeks and Annie Bozzo replaced her for the last few non-conference games.“We just felt, with the tempo of the game, we have to change,” said head coach Leonid Yelin. “We didn’t (plan) this … it just happened. We have to make these kind of changes, because the whole goal is winning.”Trotter tallied 20 assists in just two sets on Wednesday, good for second on the team, but wasn’t the only change to the Orange rotation in the third set. Freshman middle blocker Dana Gardner, having only played 14 total sets in Syracuse’s first 13 games, was thrust into the spotlight to play in the biggest match of her career. The Knoxville, Tennessee native only had one kill in three sets, but Yelin thought her production went further than the box score.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Dana, she did exactly what we asked,” he said. “We know she’s not gonna jump through the roof, but she does a solid job.”If not for Lukacs’ heroics, though, the surprise effectiveness by Trotter and Gardner would’ve been all for naught. Lukacs’ five kills during the pivotal Orange comeback included three in a row to end the third set. And she wasn’t done. The sophomore added four more kills in the fourth set, two of which came consecutively to break a 22-all tie and give Syracuse two match points. “One of the hardest things is coming back after a break or after a timeout and coming back with that same mentality,” Lukacs said. “A huge part of whether you’re up or down is just making sure you maintain that momentum and bring it into the next set.”Anastasiya Gorelina also set a career-high in kills with 20, and for her, a deficit like the one the Orange faced against BC changes how she plays.“I start playing with my heart,” she said. “Like I jump higher. I don’t know exactly what changed inside, but it’s something like…” Gorelina snapped her fingers. “… and (then) I (know I) need to be more aggressive.”Whatever happened inside Syracuse on Wednesday, it translated into the first conference win of the season for the Orange. “It’s a two-part season,” Yelin said. “Hopefully three parts.” He smiled. “It’s the preseason, then there’s the conference. It’s the second part. “Winning today was very important.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34last_img read more

Mourinho meets familiar foes Man Utd as Liverpool resume title hunt

first_imgCity’s victory over Arsenal means Liverpool cannot seal a first league title in 30 years against Everton on Sunday, much to the blue side of Merseyside’s relief.Jurgen Klopp’s men are just two wins away from the historic feat and victory at Goodison Park will allow them the chance to win the league on home soil when Crystal Palace visit Anfield on Wednesday.“You can feel it,” said Klopp of the excitement building around his side’s return. “I feel the intensity everywhere.”The match will take place in Liverpool despite fears over fans congregating outside both stadiums in the city. Goodison and Anfield are separated by less than a mile.Klopp has urged his supporters to be “the best stay at home fans in the world”.The earliest Liverpool could now be crowned champions is on Monday should the Reds win and City lose at home to Burnley.At the other end of the table, Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth sit in the relegation zone, but just three points separate second-bottom Villa from Brighton in 15th.Rock-bottom Norwich can ramp up the pressure on those above them even more should they close to within three points of safety in the first match of the weekend against Southampton.Friday (all times GMT)Norwich v Southampton (1700), Tottenham v Manchester United (1915)SaturdayWatford v Leicester (1130), Brighton v Arsenal (1400), West Ham v Wolves (1630), Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (1845)SundayNewcastle v Sheffield United (1300), Aston Villa v Chelsea (1515), Everton v Liverpool (1800)MondayManchester City v Brighton (1900)Share on: WhatsApp Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho comes up against a former pupil, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, on FridayLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to exact revenge on former employers Manchester United, while Liverpool aim to move within one win of the title as the Premier League’s return kicks up a gear across a four-day weekend of action.The English top flight got its first taste of empty stands and strict hygiene protocols on Wednesday as Aston Villa’s goalless draw with Sheffield United and Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal restarted the campaign.Despite the muted atmosphere, there remains plenty to play for at both ends of the table with the clash between Tottenham and United pivotal in the battle for Champions League qualification.Both sit outside the top four with nine games remaining. However, United’s position in fifth could be good enough to secure a return to the Champions League if Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competition is unsuccessful.Spurs could prove to be the biggest winners of the three-month lockdown.Before the break, Mourinho claimed he could not wait for the season to finish as injuries to Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn appeared to have ended their campaigns.All four are now fit again and victory would lift Tottenham to within one point of the club that sacked Mourinho in December 2018.“The reality is we are now in a better position to where we were before,” said Mourinho.“We got Harry and Sonny back, the players with the best stats in terms of scoring and assists. They give us this kind of attacking power.”United were the form side in the league prior to the lockdown.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are unbeaten in 11 games but also benefited from the break as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba return from long-term injuries.Rashford has made waves for his power off the field with a campaign to provide vulnerable children with food vouchers forcing a British government U-turn.But the England international is desperate to get back on more familiar ground after being sidelined by a back injury since January.“It’s been a long time, but I think I needed it,” Rashford told Sky Sports.“Within my body I definitely feel confident again and ready to play games. The timing has worked out well for me.”Solskjaer said Pogba is “raring to go” after an injury-ravaged season and could be paired with January signing Bruno Fernandes in the United midfield for the first time.– Liverpool excitement building –last_img read more