Syracuse volleyball sweeps Wake Forest at home, 3-0

SU volleyball sweeps WF 3-0

Ella Saada recorded a season-high 14 kills in her second-to-last home match.
Published: March 26, 2021
Syracuse Volleyball wins 3-0 against Wake Forest.
Syracuse volleyball celebrates in their 3-0 win against Wake Forest on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Syracuse volleyball swept Wake Forest 3-0 at the Women’s Building on Friday. In the last match before Syracuse’s Senior Day, senior Ella Saada reached a season-high 14 kills in the win.

The starting lineup for the Orange consisted of setter Elena Karakasi, libero Lauren Hogan, right side hitter Naomi Franco, outside hitters Saada and Yuliia Yastrub and middle blockers Abby Casiano and Izzy Plummer.

In the first set, Yastrub started on the service line and opened the scoring game with an ace followed by a kill from Saada. After a killing error, the Demon Deacons called the first timeout of the game with the score at 7-2, Syracuse.

Double substitutions from ‘Cuse brought sophomores Viktoriia Lokhmanchuk and Lauren Woodford to the court. After a three-point rally from Wake Forest, a kill from Yastrub brought the ball back to Syracuse and the Orange regained momentum.

Another kill from Yastrub pushed the Deacons to call their second timeout of the set with SU up 22-14. An overpass from Wake Forest and a dump from Plummer kept Syracuse’s lead and a kill from Saada lifted the Orange to win the set, 25-16.

The second set started with a service error from the Demon Deacons and Syracuse grabbed the first kill from Franco. The Orange switched up setters as Woodford started the game instead of Karakasi.

The beginning of the match was pretty back-and-forth until Hogan grabbed the game lead for Syracuse, 6-4, with two aces. A change of speed and a block from Saada incited Wake Forest to call their first timeout of the set down by four. But the Demon Deacons switched up the name of the game after landing several aces, forcing the Orange to call their first timeout of the set.

However, a kill from Yastrub helped SU’s scoring game as Syracuse soared ahead, 17-13. Saada’s kill resulted in Wake Forest using their last timeout of the set, which was followed by their first challenge of the game, as the score was still in the Orange’s favor, 21-15. Kills from Casiano, Saada and Franco finished out the set with Syracuse on top, 25-18, and ‘Cuse was leading the game up two sets to zero.

Syracuse Volleyball wins 3-0 against Wake Forest.
Wake Forest prepares to defend against Syracuse in the Orange win against the Demon Deacons on Friday.

Wake Forest started the third set off strong with an early kill but soon after, the Orange reignited their scoring game with a kill from Yastrub. A tough call from the referees pushed Syracuse head coach Leonid Yelin to call ‘Cuse’s first challenge of the game.

A dump from Woodford tied the match at three, but a killing error from Syracuse and two blocks from the Demon Deacons left SU trailing behind, 6-3. Following a kill from Casiano, Wake Forest responded with an ace of their own, forcing Syracuse’s first timeout of the set.

A kill from Franco tied the game at 16 a piece, but it was Yastrub that helped the Orange take the lead once again. After a block from Saada, the Deacons called their first timeout of the match down by two. But not long after that, Wake Forest used their last timeout of the set following a kill from Casiano.

Even though the Deacons were trailing, they kept fighting and kept the score within four. Finally, a killing error by Wake Forest awarded the winning point to SU, 25-20, and ultimately finished the game as the Orange picked up the third and final set.

Saada, Yastrub and Casiano led ‘Cuse in the win. Saada had 14 kills, eight digs and four blocks, while Yastrub had eight kills, six digs and two aces. Casiano had eight kills, five blocks and one ace. Even though Karakasi didn’t set the whole game due to a right hand injury, she had 20 assists. Hogan had 16 digs, five assists and three aces.

Due to Karakasi’s injury, Woodford had to step up, finishing the game with 11 assists, three digs and one block-assist.

“She did a good job considering she hasn’t played for a long time and she stepped in to really help us today,” said Yelin.

Going into her second to last game of her career for the Orange, Saada said that Sunday’s game is going to be very emotional.

“It’s definitely not how I wanted my senior year to look like, but I’m happy that at least I’m going to have a game and I’m going to play my last game here,” said Saada. “I’ve been playing here for four years and it’s very emotional, but I also hope that we do well and finish strong here in my last game.”

Saada will be recognized prior to Syracuse’s match against the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday, March 28 at noon.