Facebook Twitter Google+ Down 16-11 to North Carolina State in the second set, Amber Witherspoon and Jalissa Trotter jumped up with outstretched arms and blocked a Teni Sopitan kill onto the Wolfpack side of the net. The two turned around and yelled with smiles on their faces.As Witherspoon was subbed out, she high-fived each coach, and head coach Leonid Yelin motioned her towards him. With a surprised look on her face, Witherspoon sat down next to Yelin.The play before her block, a North Carolina State kill grazed off of her fingertips and bounced off Kendra Lukacs’ hands and out of bounds. Witherspoon threw up her hands in response to her teammates’ miss. It was one of the last things she did on the court Sunday.Midway through the second set, Witherspoon put her navy blue and orange Syracuse hoodie and remained on the bench after lacking energy and support early in Syracuse’s (12-6, 8-2 Atlantic Coast) 3-1 win over North Carolina State (10-10, 4-6) Sunday. Witherspoon’s move to the bench forced Christina Oyawale and Yuliia Yastrub to step up and fill the redshirt senior’s vacant role at the net.Yelin’s frustration wasn’t noticeable throughout the entire game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring warmups, Yelin wasn’t in his usual spot in the fifth chair from the right on the Syracuse bench. He walked around the court with a smile on his face. He laughed with freshman Elena Karakasi as she received sets from Dana Valelly, returned them to assistant coach Derryk Williams and spent time working with Ella Saada on her serve.Yelin resisted calling timeouts when the Wolfpack went on early runs. Yelin said the Wolfpack “played afraid” and made constant errors. The Orange had started the set with the energy and jumped on the Wolfpack 6-0.When SU took their foot off the gas in the second set, however, Yelin’s mood changed. And Witherspoon’s lack of energy and aggressiveness stood out to him most.“I said [to Amber] it’s gotta be lesson for you too,” Yelin said. “Because in some other matches, it would cost us the match, we would lose.”After the game, while the rest of her teammates unwrapped the legs and ankles and talked with fans on the court, Witherspoon met with Yelin and two of his assistants in the Alumni Conference Room in the Women’s Building for 18 minutes. While Yelin drank coffee and Witherspoon ate the fruit from her post-game meal, they exchanged comments about the benching and why it happened.“It wasn’t because Christina necessarily played better,” Yelin said he told Witherspoon after the game. “It was because you played well below our expectations of yourself. Way below the way you can play. Comments Published on October 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm Contact Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org | @CraneAndrew With Witherspoon out, the Orange asked of Oyawale and Yastrub to step up. After subbing in for Santita Ebangwese, who Witherspoon usually switches with, Oyawale immediately eyed and defended a Wolfpack kill. Her and Yastrub sent the ball to the ground on the North Carolina State side, giving the Orange a 2-0 lead.Two plays later, the two teamed up again, giving the Orange a 5-0 led and leading to “Let’s go Orange” chants from the fans. The play after that, Oyawale’s diving dig kept alive a play that ended in a Polina Shemanova kill.“Christina’s been a middle since she’s gotten here,” Ebangwese said. “It just fell right in, she’s used to doing this, she knew she needed to close blocks and be a defensive presence up there.”Yastrub led Syracuse with three aces and was third on the team with 16 total attacks. She helped SU’s net play click along with Oyawale, and the two were able to help the Orange rebound from losing the second set and tame Yelin’s disgust.The ability SU has to substitute out one of its senior leaders and still compete speaks to their depth, Trotter said.“I think it’s really tough when you have to make change or adjust,” Trotter said. “But I think that’s what makes you a good team, being able to make that adjustment and knowing your teammates, and being able to have that chemistry no matter who it is on the court.”
Ghana midfielder Rahim Ayew has denied making any financial demands in his purported move to Asante Kotoko.The champions have gone cold on the move to sign the 25-year-old weeks after he took a medical with the club.News emerged Kotoko’s dire financial state is preventing the deal from happening as they would have to honour enormous financial commitment to the Ghanainternational.But the first son of Ghana legend Abedi Pele says he made no financial demands and that registration technicalities are the only thing hindering his move.“It is not true that Kotoko will have to pay me a lot of money before I play,” Ayew told GHANAsoccernet.com.“I didn’t ask for anything in return to play for Kotoko. I only want to play to get on with my career. “The problem is that with the registration closed, I cannot play for Kotoko now until January.“So I will continue to train and keep myself in shape until the time I am able to play.”Ayew remains a free agent after parting ways with Belgian club Lierse at the end of the last European season.