Sept. 12, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (seminoles.com) - The 16th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team split its first day at the Texas A&M Invitational, defeating Siena, 3-0 (25-18, 25-9, 25-17), before falling to host Texas A&M, 3-0 (25-27, 25-27, 22-25), on Thursday evening at Reed Arena.
The Seminoles (5-3) were powered by a standout performance from freshman right-side hitter Izzy Carmona in their win over Siena. Carmona delivered her first double-digit kill match as a Seminole, finishing with 10 kills, a .375 hitting percentage and three blocks. Sophomore Mara Green added six kills and a .545 hitting percentage, while senior Ashley Neff totaled seven kills and seven blocks.
Versus Texas A&M, Florida State had its offense out of rhythm as it mustered a .194 hitting clip. Sophomore Nicole Walch led the Seminoles with 14 kills while senior Olivera Medic produced 11 kills, 15 digs and a .290 hitting percentage. Junior Sarah Wickstrom recorded 25 assists and 11 digs. Both Wickstrom and Medic notched double-doubles on the evening, the third time it has happened this season for the Seminoles.
With 21 digs in the nightcap versus the Aggies (7-1), redshirt junior libero Katie Mosher now has 1,216 digs to move into fourth in school history. The Fort Myers, Fla. native is already the school's single-season record holder for digs in a season, recording 604 in Florida State's 2011 NCAA National Semifinal run.
Neff also made some personal history, reaching her 478th career block to move past Aisha Thornton (1996-99) for seventh in school history. The Kennesaw, Ga. native also has 411 block assists, sitting fourth in program history.
Against the Aggies, the Seminoles fell in a competitive first set by a 27-25 score. Florida State got behind late and trailed 24-21, but fought back with kills by Nicole Walch and Green to cut the deficit to 24-23. Nicole Walch then delivered another kill to tie the set at 24-24, then one more to make it 25-25. However, a block by Texas A&M's Jazzmin Babers and Emily Hardesty ended the set to give the Aggies an early 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Florida State, it was déjà vu in the second set as it fell once again 27-25. This time, the Seminoles had a set point opportunity at 25-24 but could not convert, allowing a kill by Jazzmin Babers to tie the set, then surrendering consecutive kills to Sierra Patrick to fall in the second frame. Through two sets, Nicole Walch led Florida State with 10 kills while Katie Mosher had racked up 15 digs. The momentum for the Aggies carried over into the third frame as they finished the sweep of the Noles.
Florida State ran out to an early 11-4 lead over Siena in the first set in its first match, but had to sustain a comeback by the Saints (1-7) as they eventually cut their deficit to 17-15 off a kill from Meghann Wright. Following an FSU attack error that made it 17-16, Neff sparked a three-point run with a kill and a block to help the Seminoles to a 20-16 advantage. Neff later delivered another kill for a set point at 24-18, and Green finished the job with a kill of her own to give Florida State the first set.
Carmona helped shoulder the offensive load in the second set, driving home four kills as Florida State won thoroughly, 25-9. The nine points allowed to Siena were the lowest points surrendered to the opposition in a regular set since winning the opening set at Clemson on Oct. 21, 2012 by the same score. The key to the set was a dominant 9-0 run midway through, highlighted by a kill from Texas native Leah Mikesky to put the Noles ahead 21-6. Nicole Walch ended the frame with an emphatic kill to put Florida State closer to its third 3-0 sweep of the season.
Florida State took the third set handily, defeating Siena 25-18. Carmona paced the offense once again with three kills and added two blocks in the frame, while Wickstrom recorded seven assists. Green completed the 3-0 sweep with a kill to end the match.
The Seminoles finish the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14 against No. 7 Michigan at noon ET at Reed Arena. Florida State is going for its highest-ranked win in school history, having beaten an eighth-ranked team four times in the school's history.
The match will be closed to the public due to traffic involved with the Alabama-Texas A&M football game in College Station.
Follow Florida State indoor volleyball on Seminoles.com as well as on the team's official Twitter (@FSU_Volleyball) and Facebook pages (Facebook.com/FSUVolleyball).