Oct. 25, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 18 Florida State indoor volleyball team tried to re-write its troubled past when playing at Duke, but was unable to reverse the trend as it fell at the No. 23 Blue Devils, 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 9-15), on Friday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Entering Friday's match, the Seminoles (14-6, 7-2) carried just a 4-17 record in Durham, N.C., but had won two of its last three visits. However, a key 5-0 run by the nationally-ranked Blue Devils (17-3, 8-1) in the fifth set helped them give FSU its first five-set loss of the year.
The `Noles got a career-best performance from redshirt freshman Sarah Burrington, who posted a unique double-double with a career-high 13 kills and 10 blocks. She is the first Seminole to post a double-double with kills and blocks since teammate Ashley Neff recorded 16 kills and 11 blocks at Georgia Tech on Oct. 19, 2012.
Senior Olivera Medic produced a season-high 14 kills, including a few that came at big moments. She added 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Freshman right-side hitter Izzy Carmona continued her streak of good play with 12 kills and a .379 hitting percentage.
"Sarah Burrington, Oli and Izzy played well for us offensively," head coach Chris Poole said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get much offense from anyone else and that was the big difference. It's hard to beat a team like Duke on the road when your top scorers aren't scoring. We'll have to re-group and work to come back Saturday with a win over Wake Forest."
Freshman setter Hailey Luke also got into the double-double mix, recording 17 assists and 10 digs for her second of the season. Junior setter Sarah Wickstrom added 29 assists. Redshirt junior libero Katie Mosher led Florida State with 18 digs and added six assists, just one assist shy of her career high of seven set against Purdue in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in 2011.
Florida State owned five-set wins over Michigan, Long Beach State, Auburn and Clemson as it prepared for a long battle with Duke. In that fifth set, FSU was dealt a blow on a slew of attack and ball-handling errors that extended its deficit from 4-3 to 9-3. Duke's Elizabeth Campbell, who finished with a match-high 16 kills, ended the match on a put-down.
A late 4-0 run in the first set helped Duke get past Florida State in the opening frame. Tied at 17-17, Duke used a kill by Jordan Tucker as well as a block by Tucker and Campbell to take a 20-17 advantage. Following a timeout by the `Noles, the Blue Devils got another point on a kill by Tucker, and ultimately a set-ending kill by Emily Sklar allowed them to take a 1-0 lead.
Florida State came back in set two. Carmona and Medic led the `Noles with .400 hitting percentages going into the break, while Burrington came up with a kill off a long rally to end the second set at 25-22. Playing another close set with several lead changes and tied scores, a 3-0 run went in the favor of Florida State as it broke an 18-18 tie with a service ace by Mosher, a kill by Medic and a setting error by Duke. Carmona then created space to make it 22-20 off a kill, and Burrington and Medic combined for a big block to expand the lead to 23-20 before Burrington's final kill.
The `Noles fell in set three after making a late run. A slow start damaged Florida State's hopes as a block by Duke's Campbell put the Blue Devils ahead 11-4. A few small runs allowed FSU to creep back into the match, but it was forced to use a timeout as Duke built a smaller 18-13 lead following a couple points in a row. Trailing 24-20, FSU fought back with a block by Ashley Neff and Carmona to trail just 24-22. However, a ball-handling error by FSU ended the third set to give Duke a 2-1 edge.
Medic came up big in the fourth set, as FSU clung to a 24-23. The Subotica, Serbia, native ended the frame on a kill. As the set progressed, both teams began trading points from 19-19 to 23-23. Medic's back-to-back kills powered the Seminoles to a fifth-setter.
FSU is now 14-35 against Duke all-time, with the two teams playing each other as AVCA Top 25 opponents for the first time. The loss was just FSU's second defeat in its past 25 October matches stemming back to the 2011 season.
The `Noles look to salvage their road trip with a match at Wake Forest on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The match will be video streamed on Wakeforestsports.com.
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).