Mackenzie Weaver’s versatility an asset for Syracuse volleyball

first_imgMackenzie Weaver was frustrated. The freshman outside hitter had just seen her team give away the third set of the match against Siena and Syracuse, who had been up 2-0 was staring at a 3-1 deficit in the fourth. The Orange was still winless on the season and Weaver didn’t want to continue that trend. She turned to the rest of her team and yelled, “Urgency! Let’s go!” She proceeded to pick up three of her six kills in that final set, which took SU five match points to claim, in what ended up being the team’s first and only win thus far.“We realized either we were going to come away and we were going to five and push our luck or we were going to fold up,” she said after the game. After the departure of Nicolette Serratore, Silvi Uattara and Monika Salkute, Syracuse had a gaping hole at outside hitter. Although just a freshman Weaver has started filling that role, playing in all seven games and starting in five. The versatile freshman figures to be a key contributor for the Orange (1-6) when it takes on Northwestern (5-4) on Friday at 8 p.m. in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Weaver played at four different positions — outside and opposite hitter, middle blocker and setter — throughout her four years of high school. Libero Belle Sand credits that with her quick learning curve. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Having players that can play front row and back row, all-around players is exactly what you want on the court,” Sand said. “… She knows the angles that she can work.”With vocal leader and middle blocker Santita Ebangwese out due to illness against Siena and Penn State, the team struggled to stay consistent on defense. In her place, Weaver was the one directing the team, shouting “ball’s up” or letting the team know where a pass or shot was coming from.However, offense is Weaver’s strong suit and she stated that her role for the foreseeable future is on the offensive end, a consistent weakness for this year’s team, especially against larger more experienced programs.“She has definitely become one of our go-to players,” Sand said. “I know that when we are struggling with someone putting away a ball you go and count on Kenzie to go and put that away for you. She knows her shot and has a fast arm swing.”Weaver has also said that she wants to become a leader for the team, including its upperclassman, and use her experience from all around the court to establish herself as a presence on the court.After the Siena match, Weaver shone against one of the top teams in the country against then-No. 17 Penn State. Facing arguably the best team that SU played, Weaver led the team in kills with nine, despite playing with an injured thumb. While Syracuse eventually fell to Penn State, a glimpse of what Weaver could bring to the team both on and off the court emerged as Syracuse heads to the Midwest for the second time in less than a month.“We expect her to be this type of player (and) she has much more potential,” Yelin said. “With time she is going to be only better.” Comments Published on September 14, 2016 at 11:25 pm Contact Jake: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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