Oct. 19, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida State volleyball team takes home its first road conference win of the season after downing North Carolina 3-2 (34-32, 25-30, 23-30, 30-24, 16-14) in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday night. FSU is now tied 4-6 in the conference with UNC and moves up to 7-11 overall (UNC is now 8-11).
The win at North Carolina marks the first conference road win of the season for the Seminoles. The last time they won against an ACC opponent away from Tallahassee was against Wake Forest on November 21, 2006. Florida State won that match 3-0 (30-16, 30-28, 30-18).
"Tonight's win was important as a team win," head coach Todd Kress said. "It was a total team effort on the road and obviously this team still has some fight left in the dog.
"We're not even through the first half of ACC play. To get one on the road after being down 2-1 one is big. We didn't play very well going into game three but we came back and pretty much controlled game four. Then we came back in game five after being down a few points and took the match. We put up a good fight."
The Seminoles were on a mission from the minute they stepped into Carmichael Auditorium as they took the first game of the night and set the tone for the rest of the match.
In an intense game one, UNC answered each point from FSU, with the score tied at 30 and again at 32. The garnet and gold's Mira Djuric inched her team closer with a kill which was followed by an attack error by the Tar Heels to secure the victory for the Seminoles.
Games two and three slipped away from Florida State, but that did not break their composure going into the fourth round. The Seminoles regained control in game four, maintaining a .294 hitting percentage and holding North Carolina to .180. Both senior Makini Thompson and freshman Lauren Richardson recorded five kills to contribute to the 19 total.
The most intense round of the evening was also the last for the teams. Game five began as the game that would never end. FSU scored the first point, followed immediately by a kill from UNC's Christine Vaughen. The score would continue to go point-for-point until the Tar Heels took a two-point lead, bringing the score to 9-7 before the Seminoles took a timeout.
Back in action, two attack errors by the Seminoles gave UNC two points and prompted coach Kress to use their final timeout.
"When I called that final timeout the team was composed and under control," Kress said. "They knew what we had to do to execute to finish the match. I didn't really have to say a whole lot because they were so in control and focused."
Following the FSU break, Djuric put down back-to-back kills before forcing UNC to use its last timeout of the match. A service error by Seminole junior Malorie Wessel tied the score at 14 but was quickly chased by two kills from Richardson and Djuric for the win.
"Defensively I think tonight was one of our better efforts," Kress said. "We need to do that again tomorrow night against NC State."
The last time Florida State won on the road this season was against Kansas at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. The Seminoles must now keep the momentum from tonight's victory strong as they travel to Raleigh, N.C., to take on the 3-12 NC State Wolfpack on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m.
"We need to continue to get better with every match," Kress said. "North Carolina State is obviously getting better every single night they're on the court, so it will be another tough ACC match."
Live stats from the match can be found at www.theacc.com.