All-around performance from freshman Ella Saada pushes Syracuse past Georgia Tech, 3-0

first_img Published on October 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm Contact David: ddschnei@syr.edu Georgia Tech was one point away from topping Syracuse in the second set to tie the match when Jalissa Trotter popped the ball high in the air toward Ella Saada. Saada cocked back, ready to power the ball straight into the Yellow Jacket’s side of the court.But, rather than crushing the ball, Saada provided a deft touch, lifting the ball over the top of two GT blockers. The ball hung in the air before dropping to the hardwood past the outstretched arms of a Yellow Jacket defender. The clever shot evened the score at 24, and Syracuse went on to take the set 27-25.“I’m always trying to be smart,” Saada said. “Always trying to put the ball in the right place.”Saada’s all-around performance of 16 kills, 11 digs and two blocks drove Syracuse (13-6, 5-1 Atlantic Coast) over Georgia Tech (7-10, 2-4), 3-0, in straight sets, 25-18, 27-25, 25-19, Friday afternoon at the Women’s Building.Saada left a mark early, recording three kills and a block in the game’s first 10 points. She showed off her defensive ability soon after, laying out flat on her stomach to keep the ball alive, ultimately leading to a kill by Anastasiya Gorelina. Offensively, Saada co-led the team in kills with 16, boasting a hitting percentage of .371.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn three of her past four games, the Kfar Masaryk, Israel native has tallied 13 or more kills. Her offensive contributions have been a big part of SU’s four-game winning streak.“Teams from the ACC watch a lot of film,” Santita Ebangwese said. “They realize who our heavy hitters are, so they can’t leave someone or cheat on the block. They have to respect each person. Because of that, it gives (Saada) a lot of holes and areas to put the ball away.”Through the final two sets, Saada continued to fill up the stat sheet, finishing with 11 digs, the second-most on the team behind Belle Sand (16). When the Yellow Jackets pressed hard to dig into the Orange’s third set lead, Saada and Sand stayed composed, keeping balls alive, eventually leading to GT attack errors or Syracuse kills. Three of SU’s final five points of the match were from Saada, including two kills and a service ace.“It provides stability for the team” head coach Leonid Yelin said of Saada’s all-around play. “It’s the reason why last week she was the freshman of the week in the conference.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img