Syracuse falls to ACC leader Louisville, loses second straight 3-0 loss

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After a powerful spike from Louisville, the ball ricocheted off the Syracuse front line and headed out of bounds from the back of the field. But Syracuse libero Lauren Hogan followed the ball and threw it behind his back, which was enough for the Orange to recover it from the Cardinals side. Louisville responded with another manual setup and a huge spike for a kill, giving the Cardinals their first lead of the game.

Syracuse (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) failed to hand conference leader Louisville (16-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast) their first loss of the season, falling 3-0 to at the Cardinals. SU recorded 28 errors in total throughout the game, including 12 in the first set. The Cardinals have now beaten their last seven opponents in straight sets. This is the Orange’s second consecutive defeat in the ACC after falling to Notre-Dame on Friday in straight sets as well.

Orange took a 10-5 lead in the opening set, as outside striker Polina Shemanova recorded four of six kills this period. But Louisville came back strong to tie the set at 19-19. After that, the teams fought and none took more than a three-point lead for the remainder of the set. Unfortunately for the Orange, the seven offensive faults of outside hitter Viktoriia Lokhmanchuk, including three consecutive late in the game, were committed. Syracuse lost the set 26-24.

The Cardinals started the second set 10-4 as Syracuse made four service errors and nine attacking errors. Then the Orange hitters got in the groove and Marina Markova, Shemanova and Lokhmanhcuk put together eight kills. The set remained tight until the end, but mistakes made Syracuse drag out again. The Orange had seven in the last 19 games of the second set, as Shemanova hit a ball just too far to the right and out of bounds to close Louisville 26-24.

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The third set was the Orange’s worst start to the game, as Louisville fled with a 7-1 lead and never looked back. This time around, however, the Cardinals’ avalanche of victories came at a greater cost than the Syracuse misadventures. Louisville had 13 kills in the third set, neutralizing Hogan’s seven digs in the set. Syracuse remained within seven points for the set, but Louisville continued to respond and won 25-18 to end the day.

Syracuse finished with more wins than Louisville in the game, registering 39 compared to Louisville’s 36. But the Orange had a 0.101 hitting percentage due to the multitude of attack errors. The Orange, with 28 errors, actually overtook the Cardinals in that category. The positives were Hogan’s defensive value and Shemanova’s typical 17 kills. Additionally, passer Elena Karakasi fed her hitters for 30 assists.

The loss puts Syracuse at 0.500 in the ACC, but the team look forward to four straight home games in conference, starting with North Carolina State on Oct. 15.

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