Injuries and formation changes allow success for all 3 Syracuse setters this season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm Contact David: [email protected] Since the beginning of Atlantic Coast Conference play, Syracuse changed its formation. The shakeup led to an uptick in production for its setters.Last season for Syracuse, Jalissa Trotter was the main starter, averaging 6.58 assists per set. Her two backups, Annie Bozzo and Dana Valelly, averaged 2.72 and 1.64 assists per set, respectively. In 2017, Trotter has seen nearly an assist per set increase (7.47) while Valelly has seen over a half-assist per set increase (now 2.19) for the Orange (17-8, 9-3 ACC). When Trotter sat out due to injury earlier in the season, Bozzo stepped in as the primary setter. In an eight-game span, she totaled 8.94 assists per set.“Coach expects us to know everything,” Valelly said. “The plays, timing and what is going on at all times.”It’s atypical for three setters to post such high numbers under a Yelin-coached team. Since he became Syracuse’s head coach in 2012, each of his teams have had one or two setters play regularly. This year, Trotter’s injury and several formation changes have given all three SU setters a chance to contribute.It didn’t take long for Trotter, Valelly and Bozzo to be thrown into the mix. All three were given playing time in the Orange’s first game of the season against Siena on Aug. 25.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTrotter started the game by assisting on four of Syracuse’s first five points before being subbed out for Bozzo. Over SU’s next 11 points, Bozzo provided the assist for eight of them. In the third set, Valelly made her season debut and helped lock up a straight-set win with four assists, her last coming on a Christina Oyawale kill that ended the game.Since, the Orange has experimented with two different formations: 5-1 and 6-2.“We like to play two different systems” Yelin said.In a 5-1 formation, only one player assumes the role of setter, staying in the back row while three hitters make up the front line. But recently, Syracuse has run the 6-2 formation, where two setters are on the court at once. In the 6-2, all six players on the team can come forward and act as hitters, allowing for a balanced attack with a variety of players recording kills, just as SU has done as of late.“Our hitters are always getting a ball from a setter, which really helps with their connection with us,” Bozzo said of having two setters on the floor at once.When Trotter suffered an injury against Kansas State on Sept. 1, Bozzo served as the only setter in Syracuse’s 5-1 formation for eight games. The Orange lost just two in that span. When Trotter returned, the Orange switched back to a 6-2, moving Bozzo back to the bench in favor of Trotter and Valelly.Despite Bozzo’s relegation to third string since Trotter’s return, all three Syracuse setters have contributed to the Orange’s best-ever start in ACC play.“We all play a different style game,” Bozzo said. “It keeps the opponent on its toes.” Commentslast_img