Nov. 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 11th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team took care of business on Sunday afternoon by defeating Boston College, 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-22), at Tully Gym for its seventh consecutive three-set sweep at home.
The win by the Seminoles (26-3, 17-2) sets up the most important match of the season, a regular-season finale against rival Miami on Friday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. at Tully Gym. With the Hurricanes (25-4, 17-2) defeating Maryland on Sunday and holding the same conference record as Florida State, the winner of Friday's match will be crowned ACC champion.
It took plenty of effort to defeat Boston College on Sunday, as the Eagles (10-21, 4-15) forced the Seminoles into a low hitting percentage in the first set before Florida State developed some consistency on offense. All season, senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman has been the persistent force for the Seminoles and once again she came through with 13 kills, a .524 hitting percentage and three blocks.
"I think the girls were just getting to the end of the year where they are feeling a lot of pressure and stress in trying to play well and performing at a high level every single time," head coach Chris Poole said. "I'm proud of the way they are finding the big points and finding ways to win those. It's always important knowing that you can't always play at a high level, but you've still got to find a way to make the big play when it counts to win. That's the key that this team has mostly been able to do this year."
Freeman continues her reign as the nation's leader in hitting percentage, increasing her number to .451 for the season. With Boston College making several hard charges and cutting into Florida State leads, Freeman was always there for an important put-down that gave the Seminoles some breathing room in the match.
Sophomore setter Sarah Wickstrom, who has paired so well with Freeman the last two seasons, led Florida State with 26 assists and contributed to the team's .298 hitting percentage. Senior setter Duygu Duzceler played in her 131st career match on Sunday and delivered her 129th service ace to move into a tie for ninth in school history.
Stepping up with some big points was freshman outside hitter Nicole Walch, who started her fifth match of the season. The Stuart, Fla. native recorded eight kills in 23 attacks, a .261 hitting percentage, four digs and a block.
The Seminoles kept their win streak at home going, having won 25 straight matches dating back to the start of the 2011 NCAA National Semifinal season. Currently, Florida State has won 23 straight sets at home, although Boston College put that streak in danger.
Florida State has now won 10 straight matches against Boston College. Should the Seminoles earn a victory on Friday over Miami and win their fourth ACC title, they would finish 18-2 in the ACC for the second consecutive season.
Since the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1991, the possibility of a 36-4 record over a two-year stretch would be among the best by any ACC team in conference history. The record would equal a .900 winning percentage that would only be surpassed in a two-year stretch by Maryland (32-0 in 1996 and 1997), Georgia Tech (31-1 in 2003 and 2004) and Duke (40-4 in 2006 and 2007).
In Sunday's match against Boston College, the first set featured 15 tied scores and five lead changes, as Florida State used a late 3-0 run to create some separation at 20-17. B.C. would not quit, as consecutive blocks by the Eagles tied the set at 21-21. Fatma Yildirim, who fell one kill shy of a double-double, responded with a kill, but BC's Katty Workman came back with one of her own to tie the set at 22-22.
Another 3-0 run sealed the first frame for Florida State, as kills by Freeman and Yildirim and a set-ending service ace by Duzceler swung the momentum in Florida State's favor.
The Seminoles took control of the second set early, winning seven of 10 points early on. Florida State hit .441 in the set and got a service ace by freshman Caroline Dadowski to head into the intermission ahead 2-0.
The third set became a struggle after the Seminoles let up an early lead and found themselves trailing 17-16 on a service ace from Kellie Barnum. Freeman came back with consecutive kills and an attack error by BC propelled the Seminoles to their final lead of the match at 19-17. An attack error by BC's Courtney Castle would later seal Florida State's seventh straight 3-0 sweep at Tully Gym.
Friday's pivotal matchup against Miami, which is the day following Thanksgiving, will be video streamed on ESPN3.com and can be seen by downloading the WatchESPN app on your iPhone or iPad.
Fans are encouraged to arrival earlier than usual as four Seminole seniors in Duygu Duzceler, Sareea Freeman, Marija Milosavljevic and Fatma Yildirim will be honored as one of the most vital senior classes in school history that helped the team to its first NCAA Regional final and National Semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2011. The four seniors will be honored approximately 10 minutes before the 1 p.m. match