Sept. 14, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas (seminoles.com) - The 11th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team shook off its opening-match loss to No. 18 Pepperdine by defeating Houston, 3-0, (25-14, 25-15, 25-19), on the first day of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup at the Athletics/Alumni Center on the University of Houston Campus.
The Seminoles (7-2) were powered by good attacking in their second match of the day against the Cougars (1-7), with junior Olivera Medic leading the way with a season-high .588 hitting percentage on 11 kills. Overall, Florida State was much more efficient offensively, showing a .290 hitting percentage.
Senior Fatma Yildirim, who performed extremely well against Pepperdine, had 11 kills against Houston. Sareea Freeman posted six kills and four blocks, and Ashley Neff added four blocks. Redshirt sophomore Katie Mosher had 18 digs, while Duygu Duzceler led with 20 assists.
The victory improves the Seminoles to 47-13 against non-conference opponents since 2008.
Florida State played well in the first set against Houston, taking command early with strong attacking from Medic. The Subotica, Serbia, native garnered five kills in her first six swings and finished with six in the set. Freeman and Yildirim added three kills apiece in the opening set.
Elise Walch broke through in the second frame to pace the Seminoles, hitting some high-velocity shots that continued to roll past Houston's defense. The Stuart, Fla., native had five kills and one block in the frame, while sophomore setter Sarah Wickstrom put forth eight assists and worked well with Freeman to aid FSU's attack in frame two. Medic contributed with four more kills in the second set, as FSU won convincingly in the third set.
Florida State's first-match loss to Pepperdine dropped it to an 0-6 all-time mark against the Waves (7-3), whom recorded an opponent season-high .310 hitting percentage in the match. Pepperdine is the first opponent this year to hit above .300 against Florida State.
Playing well in the loss was Yildirim, who produced her second double-double of the year with 14 kills and 10 digs. The Istanbul, Turkey, native connected on nearly half of her 29 swings, compiling a .448 hitting clip as she was comfortable all afternoon putting balls down.
Neff contributed with four kills in eight attacks and added six blocks versus Pepperdine.
Pepperdine's Jazmine Orozco led the team with 12 kills and 10 digs, while Victoria Adelhelm posted five blocks. Both teams had nine-block efforts in the match.
Despite falling in the first set, Florida State made a valiant effort for a comeback bid in the frame by playing better late. Down 22-15 on a kill by Kelly Larsen, the Seminoles won five of the next six rallies as Mara Green, Yildirim and Neff recorded kills in the span while Neff and Green combined for a block. The Seminoles recorded a .205 hitting percentage and were led by Yildirim's five kills in 11 swings, but fell in the set following a kill by Pepperdine's Adelhelm.
Florida State battled hard in set two and rallied from a 22-16 deficit to being down 24-23 on consecutive service aces by Wickstrom. However, a long rally by both teams went against the Seminoles as an attack sailed long to give Pepperdine the second set at 25-23. FSU was neck and neck in the beginning portion, but five consecutive points by the Waves created crucial point in the frame.
Yildirim continued to swing well through two sets, hitting .500 with 11 kills on 20 swings. Pepperdine out-hit Florida State in set two, .316 to .267, while both teams showed seven team blocks apiece going into the intermission.
Florida State was kept at bay by the Waves in the third set, as Pepperdine turned a 5-5 tie into a commanding 14-5 lead. The Seminoles allowed Pepperdine to hit at a .323 clip as it fell in its first three-set match of the year.
Florida State finishes the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Saturday afternoon with a match against No. 21 Ohio State at 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT.