Nov. 2, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (seminoles.com) - The 11th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team used a trio of comebacks in all three sets to overcome minor deficits and get past NC State, 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-21), on Friday evening at the Reynolds Coliseum.
The win gives the Seminoles (22-2, 13-1) sole possession of first place after rival Miami fell on Friday night to North Carolina in three sets. Despite its fifth consecutive three-match sweep, the victory did not come easy for Florida State. The Seminoles were forced to come back from deficits of six points in the first set, a small three-point deficit in set two and a seven-point deficit midway through the third set.
Regardless, the sweep bears plenty of significance for Florida State. The Seminoles have now won 18 straight sets, their longest ever streak in the rally scoring era (2001-present) and their seventh longest overall in program history. The school record is 35 consecutive sets won by the 1981 team.
"The thing that stood out to me was the character of our team in making these comebacks tonight," head coach Chris Poole said. "We didn't play perfect all the time and we gave away some points but we always kept our head in the match. Our team never panicked and altogether I think it was a good team effort tonight."
Florida State also continues its 16-match win streak, which is tied for the fourth longest in school history with the 2011 squad that reached the NCAA National Semifinals. The school record is 21 consecutive wins also held by the 1981 team.
Behind several contributions, the Seminoles stretched their win streak over a much improved Wolfpack (19-6, 9-5) team to 26 consecutive matches. Senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim and junior middle blocker Ashley Neff produced identical stat lines with nine kills apiece in 21 attacks and four blocks.
The Seminoles recorded a .303 hitting percentage, the 11th time this season they have recorded .300 or better. Senior Sareea Freeman had seven kills, a .636 hitting clip and five blocks. Junior Elise Walch provided a noticeable spark with five kills, a .375 hitting percentage and two blocks in two sets of action.
Junior Olivera Medic was strong again defensively for Florida State, picking up 10 digs and seven kills. Redshirt sophomore Katie Mosher led the team with 13 digs, while setters Duygu Duzceler and Sarah Wickstrom combined for 36 assists and led another fine offensive performance.
The Seminoles are now 9-2 against the current Top 50 RPI with Friday's win. NC State entered the match ranked 40th in the latest ratings.
Florida State stole a first-set victory over the Wolfpack after staving off two set points and going on a late 4-0 run. Trailing 24-22, Poole called a much-needed timeout to allow the Seminoles to regroup. Coming out of the break, back-to-back kills by Neff and Yildirim tied the set. The Seminoles then used a couple NC State attack errors that sailed over the end line to come back and win the opening frame. The Wolfpack seemingly dug every ball early in the set and held 6-1 and 12-6 leads, but Florida State battled back and used six blocks to its advantage in the set.
The Seminoles took control of the second set about midway through with a 9-1 run that turned a 13-13 tie into a 22-14 advantage. Wickstrom started the run with a service ace and a timely combination of blocks and well-placed kills allowed Florida State to seize momentum in the frame after NC State took an 11-8 lead. Florida State hit .481 in the set on 17 kills and reached 10 team blocks midway through. Mosher ended the second set with a floated kill to the back left corner. Elise Walch sparked Florida State with five kills in the frame, while Medic added four in five attacks.
Florida State once again dug deep in the third set, trailing 14-7 midway through the set before coming back. The Seminoles put together a 9-2 run to tie the set at 16-16, and after NC State regained the lead at 20-17 Florida State put together a 4-0 run to take a 21-20 lead on an attack error by NC State's Alesha Wilson. A nice kill by Yildirim gave the Seminoles a 22-21 lead and they would not surrender another point as a service ace by Wickstrom and an attack error by Brie Merriwether ended the match.
Florida State finishes its road trip with a match at third-place North Carolina on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C. The match will be streamed on ESPN3.com.