Syracuse prepares to open ACC slate in Carrier Dome

first_imgThe Carrier Dome isn’t an unfamiliar place to play for Syracuse — the Orange played a handful of games in the storied stadium last season. But for a young team, the change of scenery is still jarring.SU (5-7) returns to the Dome this weekend for a pair of games that marks its first matches in the Atlantic Coast Conference after leaving the Big East.In its first ACC game, the team will face Florida State (7-4) on Sept. 28, followed by a matchup against Miami (Fla.) (7-3) the following day.The Orange heads into these important matchups having played in a large dome that it has had little practice in this season, although they will practice there this week. This will be the first time it plays a match there this season.“It’s a huge difference of feeling the ball,” outside hitter Silvi Uattara said. “The atmosphere is a little different.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHead coach Leonid Yelin believes that to take full advantage of playing inside the Dome, the team needs to have two things: a much stronger familiarity with the court and a large crowd cheering it on.Yelin worries that due to his team’s unfamiliarity with the Dome and its usually underwhelming crowd size, it is underutilizing an advantage it could have.“We’re not playing in a gym where we’re practicing all the time and we don’t have a huge crowd,” Yelin said. “That’s why playing in the Dome is not a huge advantage.”Yelin added that the reason they choose to play at a location in which they have little experience is for recruiting purposes, although it does not always help.“Its basically for recruiting,” Yelin said. “I know it probably even hurts us. We want to change the perception of volleyball at Syracuse and show the commitment to volleyball from administration. Everyone in the nation knows the Dome, so it’s something.”Yelin’s players, however, feel that playing in the Dome is something of an advantage.Uattara sees the positives, and her reasoning sheds light on the recruiting benefits of playing in the Dome.“There are so many games in the Dome,” Uattara said. “All our football games and basketball games are going there. For me, and I don’t know about for all other players, but for me, it’s like, I really want to play in the Dome.”Junior captain Nicolette Serratore is also among those that see the weekend in the Dome as a good thing.“We played a couple games last year, so we know how the ball moves a little bit differently in there,” Serratore said. “We can definitely have a home-court advantage with it because it is a just little bit different. We’re having a few practices in there so it’s definitely good.”The two teams the Orange will be hosting in the Dome this weekend, Florida State and Miami, present strong challenges for a team that has been struggling.The Orange is coming off of a disappointing 1-2 record in the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge, while Florida State comes in having won two of its last three and Miami three of its last four.Serratore believes it will be important for Syracuse to start off its ACC season on the right note against such talented opponents.“I think that would be a huge difference,” Serratore said, “especially since our preseason didn’t go off as well as we were hoping it would.“Starting off the ACC on the right foot could really be that momentum that we need for the rest of the season.” Comments Published on September 26, 2013 at 12:45 am Contact Ryan: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img