In its first ACC home game of the year, the Boston College volleyball team beat Syracuse in three straight sets. Despite having 25 assisted blocks to BC’s two, the Orange couldn’t stop the powerful hitting trio of junior Katty Workman, sophomore Julia Topor, and freshman Sol Cavete, who combined for 42 kills.
In the first set, Syracuse’s blockers were unable to prevent Topor from tallying four kills during the Eagles’ first 10 points, but the Orange was able to hang on thanks to a stretch of three straight BC errors. Leading 10-8, the Eagles then made a 8-4 run, with four kills from freshman Sol Cavete this time.
With a comfortable 18-12 lead, the Eagles cruised to a first set victory.
The second set was much more tightly contested. The Eagles jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, again thanks to Topor’s kills. Syracuse then rallied off four straight points, but BC matched its comeback with its own four -point run. The back and forth set continued, and another string of errors for BC allowed Syracuse back into the game yet again, which tied the game at 10. From here up until the final point, neither team was able to gain more than a two-point lead, as big blocks by the Orange were continuously negated by thunderous kills from Workman and company.
With the set tied at 22, the Eagles took the lead on yet another kill by Topor, who had a game-high 15. Defensive specialist Lauren Fields then came on to serve—a frequent theme throughout the game—and she was able to force two attacking errors off of good serves to finish off the set.
“All match it was our serving that really helped us, and we got them out of system a lot,” said head coach Chris Campbell. “Syracuse is a good team, and they are especially dangerous when they are in system, so that was one of our gameplans.”
Syracuse started quickly in the third set, jumping out to a 8-4 lead with big kills from sophomore Valeriya Shaipova and freshman Lucie Guttakovskaia. Utilizing its strong net presence, the Orange took control of the third set with a 19-15 lead. The Eagles were never out of the game, however. Freshman Britanny Pavich played tremendously as the Eagles battled back to tie the set at 20, contributing two big kills during the stretch. From then on, the Orange and the Eagles traded points. BC had the match point, up 24-22 after another Pavich kill, but a costly service error gave Syracuse a lifeline. Barnum continued to assist Workman, Topor, and sophomore Anna Skold, but these kills were all negated by BC attacking errors.
With the game tied at 28, and the energy on the court palpable on both ends, libero Courtney Castle came up with a clutch service ace.
On the next point, Workman, who has been BC’s best offensive player this year, won the match for the Eagles on a kill, floating the ball over two blockers and avoiding the outstretched arms of a Syracuse player.
“A lot of players stepped up to the service line, and that helped right up through the end,” Campbell said. “Their ability to stay focused in a pretty tense environment and still execute is great.”
Featured Image by Graham Beck / Heights Senior Staff