Oct. 7, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida State volleyball team reached .500 in the ACC after beating Georgia Tech 3-1 on Friday, but dropped to Clemson 0-3 (23-30, 28-30, 27-30) for the third straight meeting on Lucy McDaniel Court on Sunday, Oct. 7th. The Seminoles are now 6-9 overall and 3-4 in the ACC while the Tigers remain undefeated in the conference at 6-0 and 13-2 overall.
Clemson was projected to finish fourth in a pre-season ACC poll and so far this season the Tigers sit at No. 2, behind only Duke. The Seminoles, predicted to finish fifth in that poll, came into the weekend at No. 10.
"Clemson is undefeated in the conference for a reason," Florida State head coach Todd Kress said. "They don't make a lot of errors and they play very clean. They force you to make plays throughout the match, and I think they did a nice job today."
The third game of the match looked to belong to the Seminoles as they came out strong and held the lead to 16. A kill by senior Makini Thompson made the score tied at 27 apiece with sophomore Malorie Wessel stepping up to serve. Unfortunately for Florida State, Clemson reacted to the tie with a kill by Meghan Steiner, followed by an error on FSU. A kill from the Tigers' Jeannette Abbott sealed the win at 30-27.
"We had a lot of opportunities today," Kress said. "We were up big in game three, 16 to nine, but we couldn't finish it off. That's unacceptable when you're in your own gym. We needed to finish them off."
Despite the loss, Florida State did control a few categories in Tully Gym with 54 kills, 48 assists, seven service aces, 43 digs and 63 points to Clemson's 46, 41, three, 40 and 54, respectively.
Sophomore Lauren Young had a stellar day with 11 kills and a .381 hitting percentage. Young also led the team with one solo and two assisted blocks, adding 12 points for the Seminoles.
Junior Mira Djuric once again led FSU with a perfect .500 hitting percentage with 14 kills and added two more service aces to her resume, bringing her season total to 44. Thompson and sophomore Brianna Barry each recorded 10 kills and contributed a combined 20 points.
Coach Kress sees blocking as an area this Seminole team needs improving. Against Clemson they had only two team blocks and six solo and assisted blocks.
"Our blocking game has to improve one hundred percent" Kress said. "We need to get a lot better at the net. We're big and physical, but we're not making the right reads right now. We need to become a better blocking team. Defensively we're starting to pick it up and offensively we did a better job today. But if we're going to take it to the next level, we need to pick up our blocking game."
The Seminoles look to improve their blocking as they hit the road for five away matches against Maryland, Boston College, Miami, North Carolina and North Carolina State. The first of which will be at Maryland on Friday, Oct. 12 in College Park. Florida State returns to Lucy McDaniel Court on October 26 to challenge Virginia Tech to a rematch.