first_imgOf the 61 matches Syracuse has played this season, 55 of the players that won the first set also won the match. The Orange is no stranger to long matches, but has done everything it can to try and win its contests in the most efficient way possible. Nicole Mitchell said that the mental effects of such matches depends on the outcome, and that the physical effects are felt on the body.“… you’re definitely tired. You take the next day off, you do lots of stretching because it is pretty hard on the body,” Mitchell said, “but then you just get right back into it.”Syracuse (6-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast) has played mentally and physically intense matches so far this season, including six matches since Feb. 14 that went beyond two sets. And the players understand the challenges that come as a result, especially when considering the fact that they often need to play matches just two days apart in the ACC schedule, which will continue when the Orange faces No. 1 North Carolina (17-0, 5-0) on Friday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“And it’s very important to keep reminding ourselves about the little details and taking care of the little details like stretching and taking care of our bodies,” head coach Younes Limam said.Senior Breanna Bachini pushes herself to be well prepared between matches by staying hydrated, eating properly and getting sufficient sleep.She also believes that exercise is key to maintaining a strong physical condition and ensuring a quick turnaround after physically grueling matches.“… If you’re not in shape and you don’t put enough time into the gym, it’s going to be a struggle when you’re coming back,” Bachini said.The team said it’s important to win the first set if it wants to get in and out of its matches with relative ease.Mitchell said it provides a boost and therefore an advantage at the start of the next set.“You’re hitting all your shots,” Mitchell said. “You’re opponent’s kind of beaten down, especially if it’s a close first set.”Some players — Limam specifically noted Valeria Salazar as one — have certain abilities in their game that allow them to play quick points during their matches, which can be an advantage when trying to earn an efficient victory.Of Salazar’s five match wins in singles play this season, three of them were in two sets, neither of which went to a tiebreaker.“I think what they do well is they really recognize their strengths,” said Limam. “And they play to their strengths and they try to hide and minimize their weaknesses, and they recognize what their opponent is doing quick enough.”While he said that some players do have the ability to play more efficient matches, Limam also noted the difficulty of coaching something like that.Said Limam, with a laugh: “I mean, sometimes it’s out of your hand.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 19, 2015 at 9:32 am Contact Kevin: [email protected]last_img

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