first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 11, 2017 at 1:39 am Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu It would be easy to overlook Jalissa Trotter. The junior setter stands only 5-foot-7 alongside a starting frontline that is 6-foot, 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4. Yet, when the ball flies over the net to Syracuse’s side, after the dig, all eyes are on her.Trotter receives the first pass from the backline nearly every time the ball comes over the net. She then reads opposing blockers and decides which hitter to set the ball up for. The choice needs to be made in a matter of one or two seconds.“A setter is almost like a quarterback,” SU head coach Leonid Yelin said. “If you have a good quarterback, you will be scoring more points. In volleyball, you have to assist a lot.”On the court, Trotter engineers a much-improved Syracuse offense that has the team rolling with four consecutive wins. The Orange (13-6, 5-1 Atlantic Coast) is playing its best volleyball of the season, winning seven of its last nine. As the catalyst between libero Belle Sand and outside hitters Anastasiya Gorelina and Ella Saada, Trotter’s position requires leadership and control.Trotter has been a natural leader since her high school days, where she was a four-year varsity player at Texas High School, a three-year captain and a two-time district most valuable player. The Texarkana, Texas, native was also a four-time academic all-district, and led her team to a 4A District Championship.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Coming from a school that is a really good winning program, she’s used to winning,” Yelin said. “The nature of her position, you have to be a leader, every single time you’re touching the ball, making decisions on who you’re going to set.”In early September, after Trotter missed two weeks with an injury, Yelin reinserted her in the lineup midway through the third set in a tight battle against Boston College. Since that game, which the Orange won, 3-1, Trotter has started every game.Syracuse has won five of six since Trotter’s full-time return, and she has surpassed multiple milestones in the process. She eclipsed 1,000 assists against Wake Forest, and then posted a season-high 43 assists in a 3-1 win at Duke.Trotter’s improvement has contributed to Syracuse’s increase in hitting percentage from .176 last season to .238 this season. By consistently setting away from the opposing block, the outside and middle hitters have less pressure on them to beat a double block.“(Jalissa) is a really great teammate,” teammate Kendra Lukacs said. “She brings a calmness to the team, but she’s always working hard and that’s something we all notice and we can take from her.”In the last four games, Trotter’s numbers have elevated across the board. In addition to her over 32 assists per game, she has averaged two blocks, 8.5 digs and 3.5 kills per game during SU’s four-game winning streak.Trotter’s teammates eased her transition back into the lineup to do what she does best: assist.“Before the injury we were still trying to figure out what it was we needed to fit together,” Trotter said. “When I came back, our team already knew what we needed, and I could just ease right back in.”No matter where her team needs her, she’s willing to step up and do it.“I benefit my team where I am needed,” Trotter said. “If my team needs a kill, set me up. I’m ready.” Commentslast_img