Silvi Uattara rebounds from Friday performance to help lead Syracuse to win over Clemson

first_imgSilvi Uattara stood on the sideline, watching as her team lasted five sets against Georgia Tech on Friday night. Wearing a zipped-up warmup jacket, she was idle for over two hours as her teammates won a bounce-back conference game.Uattara, a senior, was far from her best on Friday, spending most of the game on the bench.The outside hitter mustered just three kills, zero blocks, and .091 hitting percentage. Her only in-game action was in the first set.“If you’re going to look at (her) numbers, the numbers weren’t really good,” SU head coach Leonid Yelin said Friday night after the game.He likened volleyball to a test. Players have the ability to prepare, but if they aren’t ready for the test, they shouldn’t take it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Friday, Uattara wasn’t ready for the test, he said. She said she was mentally out of the game, and couldn’t find her play through the first set.Averaging 2.8 kills per set and a .233 hitting percentage thus far in the 2015 season, Friday’s game was her worst of the season in terms of both.Sunday’s game against Clemson (5-19, 0-12 Atlantic Coast ) was different.Uattara led the Orange (17-6, 8-4 ACC) with 17 kills, posting her 11th double-digit kill performance of the season. The senior powered the Orange to a 3-1 rout of the Tigers at the SU Women’s Building on Sunday afternoon, a complete juxtaposition to the game Friday night.“On Friday, I wasn’t as mentally ready as I was today,” Uattara said after Sunday’s game, “(Being mentally ready) doesn’t seem like a lot, but it actually is.”After playing just one set Friday night, the senior saw action in each of the four sets Sunday afternoon. Her resounding kills echoed throughout the gymnasium, and cheerful embraces from her teammates followed every point.“(Uattara) was more confident (today), and her hits were so much more powerful,” freshman middle blocker Santita Ebangwese said, “She was placing them really nicely; she was just fantastic.”In the fourth set, after a Tiger comeback in the third that could have turned the tide of the game, Uattara settled in, assisting on two blocks and contributing three kills. Syracuse ended the set and won the match.Though her back is still bothering her, the senior was in her usual form on Sunday. She called for sets on almost every play, and found gaps in Clemson’s blocking line, recording a .452 hitting percentage.Uattara has been a valuable asset to the SU side all season. She is third on the team in kills with 241, and with the postseason quickly approaching, SU’s success often hinges on hers.“She’s a crazy athlete,” Yelin said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 1, 2015 at 5:02 pm Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edulast_img

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