VB : Syracuse cruises to 3 weekend wins in Big Orange Tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Down two sets to one against an upstart Youngstown State team, sophomore outside hitter Lindsay McCabe provided Syracuse with the spark it needed.The Orange, in danger of losing for the first time in 2011, trailed deep into the fourth set when McCabe blocked YSU outside hitter Missy Hundelt’s spike attempt. The block set off a celebration as Orange players screamed in excitement, coming together around McCabe on the floor.‘It’s always a game changer when you can get points and amp your teammates up,’ McCabe said. ‘I’m just glad I got my teammates riled up.’The newfound energy keyed a comeback in SU’s second game of the 2011 Big Orange Tournament over the weekend. With victories over Sacred Heart, YSU and Siena at the Women’s Building, the Orange (3-0, 0-0 Big East) extended its nonconference winning streak to 21 straight matches and captured its home tournament.The team started fast and looked dominating in three-set sweeps of Sacred Heart — an NCAA tournament team in 2010 (25-14, 28-26, 25-22) — and Siena (25-15, 25-17, 25-19).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the opener Friday, SU fought off late runs by Sacred Heart in the second and third sets. But the Pioneers couldn’t match the presence of junior middle blocker Samantha Hinz, who tallied seven blocks in the match.Senior outside hitter Noemie Lefebvre had a game-high 16 kills to go with nine digs and three blocks, and junior setter Laura Homann recorded 31 assists in the win.Hinz said finally playing a game was a welcome change from summer practices. And Homann said it was a relief to win the first matchup.‘Great to get the first win out of the way, especially against a team as skilled as they (Sacred Heart) are,’ Homann said.But the greatest weekend test for the Orange didn’t come from a tournament-tested opponent. SU fell behind against YSU Saturday, losing the first two sets by a combined four points.SU looked frustrated as it struggled to land serves and volleys in bounds. Homann said the team’s struggles were due to poor hitting.‘We had some things to smooth out (against Youngstown State) before we could win, that’s for sure,’ Homann said. ‘I kept telling everyone to keep their shots down — it seemed like all our hits were going out of bounds.’Despite the poor hitting, assistant coach Kelly Morrisroe wasn’t worried about an upset.‘We knew that if we played our game, settled down and placed our shots, we could still win,’ Morrisroe said. ‘What we were doing was self-inflicted.’Morrisroe was right. The Orange fixed their problems, and McCabe’s momentum-shifting block started a streak of wins in six straight sets over the final two matches en route to the tournament title.In SU’s final game against Siena, freshman outside hitter Ying Shen provided a similar spark to McCabe, recording 17 digs and 14 kills. Behind Shen’s complete performance, the Orange never trailed in the first two sets and easily won the match.McCabe said winning its first three games is a good start. She was a part of the team last year that opened the season with an 18-game winning streak but missed the NCAA tournament.‘We started fast last season, but it’s a great feeling to start fast this season,’ McCabe said.After the fast start this season, McCabe thinks her team is ready to take on more challenges, starting with the Utah State Tournament this weekend. Despite being young and inexperienced, the sophomore is confident the Orange will build on that start moving forward.‘I like the way our team looks,’ said McCabe. ‘If we play at the high level we know we can play at, we’ll be fine.’[email protected]center_img Published on August 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nicktoneytweetslast_img

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