Oct. 28, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - With the team donning their "Paint it Pink" jerseys to promote breast cancer awareness, the 12th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team defeated Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19), in front of 803 fans at Tully Gymnasium.
The Seminoles (21-2, 12-1) stayed tied for first place in the conference with a tremendous defensive effort. Florida State's attack got things going in the third set, but throughout the match it relied on a strong blocking presence up front as it recorded 10 team blocks in just three sets of action.
"I think it was real important for us to try and stay consistent today in order to beat a team like Virginia Tech," head coach Chris Poole said. "We had some runs in the middle of some sets but then we'd let them back in but find a way to close it off at the end. It was a little bit of a roller coaster, but thank goodness we were good enough in the first and were able to finish it out in the end."
Florida State now holds a 15-match win streak, having not lost since Sept. 14 against then-No. 18 Pepperdine in Houston. The Seminoles stretched their win streak at Tully Gym to 23 matches. The victory on Sunday over a relentless Virginia Tech team was also the Seminoles' fourth consecutive three-set sweep and their fifth consecutive at home.
Junior middle blocker Ashley Neff improved as the match went on, posting a team-high 10 kills in 17 attacks while finishing with a .471 hitting percentage. The Kennesaw, Ga. native picked up seven blocks, including a couple important ones in the first set that helped the Seminoles break away from the Hokies (13-10, 6-7).
Neff continues to lead the team and stay near the top of the country in blocks per set, showing 1.61 for the season. With Florida State clinging to a 22-21 lead in the first set, Neff teamed with junior Olivera Medic to earn a big block and make it 23-21. She followed with an impressive solo block that set up set point for the Seminoles.
In the third set, Neff helped Florida State to a .536 hitting percentage in the frame with six kills, dominating the last set and helping Florida State close out the match.
Medic enjoyed a superb all-around day for the Seminoles, compiling eight kills, a .316 hitting percentage, one service ace, seven digs and three blocks. The Subotica, Serbia native was stellar once again passing the ball, and Florida State relied on her swing in the second set as she hammered five kills and added a block to give the Seminoles a 25-20 win in the frame.
Senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman put down seven kills in 10 attacks and had a .600 hitting percentage. The Fresno, Calif. native had two blocks. Freeman leads Florida State with a .455 hitting percentage.
Because of a strong-hitting third set, Florida State was able to finish with a .266 attack percentage while holding the Hokies to a .179 clip. Sophomore setter Sarah Wickstrom led Florida State with 20 assists while senior Duygu Duzceler added 14 assists and three well-placed service aces. Freshman right-side Mara Green contributed with five kills, a .286 hitting percentage, two digs and two blocks.
"I think the key right now is for us to understand we're not going to be perfect with every play," Poole said. "There's going to be a time when a team is doing something that is going to hurt us early in a set or in a match. The key for us to be successful is to learn from the mistakes that we're making and learn from what the other team is doing so we can make those adjustments and play better."
Virginia Tech's Victoria Hamsher had a successful attacking performance, recording 10 kills in 14 attacks and only two hitting errors. The Hokies were hurt by seven service errors.
Redshirt sophomore libero Katie Mosher got under several Virginia Tech attacks on Sunday, posting 16 digs in only three sets.
Florida State goes on the road for the next two weekends, starting with a road trip at NC State and North Carolina on Nov. 2-3, respectively. Fans can watch both matches on ESPN3.com.