VB : SU prepares for Binghamton following coaching change

first_imgWhen Syracuse heads to Binghamton on Wednesday for a match with the Bearcats, the Orange will be doing so without Jing Pu at the helm for the first time since 1994.Pu, the longtime SU head coach, was relieved of his duties Monday after leading the Orange to 15 winning seasons in 16 years. But Kelly Morrisroe, who takes over as interim head coach, expects little to change for the team.‘My style won’t change,’ Morrisroe said. ‘We’re focusing on the team and not there to be a distraction. I think it’ll be a smooth transition with the girls. They’ve adjusted well to (interim associate head coach) Matt (Soderstrom) and I, and we’re looking forward to the next nine matches we have left.’Morrisroe will lead Syracuse for the remainder of the season as it aims to reach the Big East tournament. She starts her tenure in nonconference play when the Orange (13-8, 3-3 Big East) plays Binghamton (10-13, 2-4 America East) on Wednesday.The quick turnaround from the coaching change on Monday to the team’s game on Wednesday will leave little room for distractions. But Syracuse will prepare for that game as it has all season, expecting to earn a victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It’s a little bit of a benefit for us just to get one match out of the way and just kind of see the new adjustments for the team,’ Morrisroe said. ‘We’re going to go down there at Binghamton — there’s some things that we’re going to talk to our girls today as far as game plan, and we’re going to accomplish that goal.’Still, Morrisroe insists there won’t be too many adjustments that have to be made. The interim head coach may have a different coaching style than the passive approach of the former head coach, but Morrisroe has been with the team since last spring and believes that will ease the transition.Though the obvious goal is avoiding distraction, players are still left with some obvious questions as to how things will change.Morrisroe hopes to keep things similar to how they were for the first 21 games of the season, but it was Pu, not Morrisroe, making the lineup decisions prior to every game.Senior Noemie Lefebvre knows that the personnel could have a new look Wednesday night.‘If different players are going to step on the court it’s always good to adjust when you’re playing a nonconference team,’ Lefebvre said. ‘It’s still important, but we’re going to be able to make more adjustments.’Morrisroe also gets the benefit of making her debut against a 10-13 team.The Bearcats have posted a .500 record against Big East teams so far this year and beat Providence two weeks ago. But the Orange does believe this is a game it should win.‘We’re still stronger than the team we’re going to be facing, so hopefully an easy win in three and just come back home,’ Lefebvre said.Under Pu, Syracuse always emphasized beating the New York state teams, and the Orange is in the middle of a double-digit winning streak against Binghamton. That emphasis is one thing Lefebvre said definitely won’t change with Pu’s departure.In addition to Wednesday’s match representing the transition from one coaching staff to another, it gives SU one last chance to prepare before the final stretch of Big East matches.‘It is nonconference, so we can adjust as a team and as a coaching staff, and I think it will just be good prep for this weekend,’ senior defensive specialist Ashley Williams said.Even with the turmoil, the goal for Syracuse remains qualifying for the Big East tournament. The match Wednesday won’t affect the team’s ability to do that based on the standings, but the adjustments that the Orange must make will be important to carry through when Big East play resumes Friday against Rutgers.For Morrisroe, having her team prepared for each match is her main goal as she takes over the program.‘My biggest focus now is to make sure the girls are playing at their peak every time we step on the court,’ Morrisroe said. ‘When we go into matches we’ve got to be playing at our best, especially when we get into Big East matches here.’dbwilson@syr.edu Published on October 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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