March 20, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State University indoor volleyball team had a good showing at last weekend's scrimmages versus Florida and LSU at Tully Gym, defeating LSU in two separate matches and splitting with the Gators.
In a best of three sets format, the Seminoles defeated LSU in the morning wave 2-0 (29-27, 25-22) and also won against the Tigers in the afternoon wave by another 2-0 margin (25-21, 25-23).
In its second match of the morning, FSU fell to UF 0-2 (23-25, 23-25) in what was a closely-fought contest. However, the Seminoles turned things around in the afternoon wave by defeating the Gators in the third and final set, winning 2-1 (13-25, 25-23, 15-12).
"Overall, I think it was a very productive day for all teams," head coach Chris Poole said. "Each of us were dealing with injuries and playing young players, but that is the great thing about spring matches. It gives coaches a chance to see how young players or non-starters will react under the pressure of playing an opponent. There were a lot of close sets in all the matches played and so it made for an entertaining day."
Leading FSU's hitting attack was freshman outside Nicole Walch, who totaled 29 kills, hit at a 39 percent clip and also finished with nine blocks and 12 digs. Her sister, sophomore Elise Walch, finished with 24 kills, a .360 hitting percentage and four blocks.
"Our youngest player, Nicole Walch, who graduated from high school in December to join us this spring, has made a big leap the last few weeks offensively and blocking," Poole added. "The spring matches are a great opportunity for her to gain experience at the college level before having to play in the fall. Nicole responded with 15 kills, a 34 percent hitting percentage in the two matches against LSU and 14 kills and a 46 percent hitting percentage in the two matches against Florida."
Junior Fatma Yildirim recorded 19 kills and 26 digs on the day, while junior middle blocker Sareea Freeman added 15 kills and seven blocks. Sophomore Ashley Neff, who returned to action, had nine kills and 11 blocks while Marija Milosavljevic added 13 kills and five blocks.
"We had some good individual performances," Poole said. "We do not have 12 players in practice this spring, so we do not get to work on team formations. I'm pleased overall with the effort and how hard they fought all day. We are looking for leaders on this team - players that can step up and take charge when the game is on the line."
FSU returns to spring play with the UCF Volleyball Spring Fling on Saturday, March 24, at the Venue at UCF. FSU will face Miami at 9 a.m. on court one, Florida at 10 a.m. on court two, UCF at 11 a.m. on court two and will wrap up the tournament by facing FIU at 1:30 p.m. on court three.