November 6, 2016 - by
Ambrose Drives Home 15 Kills in Setback to Tar Heels
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Christina Ambrose recorded her second career double-double (15 kills, 11 digs), but it was not enough to offset a 26-kill, 13-dig outing by North Carolina’s Taylor Leath as the No. 12 Tar Heels (21-3, 13-1 ACC) downed the 10th-ranked Seminoles (18-5, 11-3 ACC) by scores of 25-13, 25-21, 11-25, 22-25, 13-15 in Sunday afternoon Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball action at Tully Gym.
Ambrose, who reached double figures in kills for the 10th time this season, also led the way for the Seminoles in hitting percentage (.303) by virtue of 15 strikes on 33 swings. She was effective on defense for Florida State with 11 digs and five assisted blocks as she recorded her second double-double in the last four contests.
Also coming through with a double-double for the Seminoles was senior Katie Horton, tallying her 20th as she finished off the match with 13 digs, 10 kills. Combining for 26 digs in a pair of weekend matches, Horton is now 55 away from recording 1,000 digs in her collegiate career.
Milica Kubura capped off her 13th double figure kill performance of the season by contributing three assisted blocks. She was one of five Seminoles with multiple blocks along with Melanie Keil (seven total blocks), Mara Green (five), Natasha Calkins (two) and the aforementioned Ambrose.
The Seminole back row was anchored by libero Cecile Woie (23 digs), who topped 20 digs for the third time this season and second time in the last three matches. Florida State’s Hailey Luke topped double figures in assists (28) as the team tallied 56 kills and a .208 attack percentage.
Florida State seemingly turned the momentum back in its favor after breaking a four-all tie with kills by Green and Kubura as it took a 9-5 lead in the fifth set. Solid defense from Kubura and Keil up front, along with strikes by Horton and Ambrose eventually put the Seminoles in front 13-10 as North Carolina called its first timeout.
Leath accepted the challenge by the Seminoles, driving home a pair of kills to cut the lead to one before teammate Beth Nordhorn penetrated the FSU defense with a strike to knot the set at 13-all. Leading by one, the Tar Heels closed out the victory on an assisted block by Leath and Nordhorn.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, Leath opened the fourth set with three kills as the Tar Heels established a 9-4 lead. Horton and Green answered with strikes for the Seminoles, trimming the deficit to three before Luke took over in serve. The Florida State lineup rallied behind its senior captain, using three assisted blocks from Keil and two by Calkins to grab a 17-15 advantage.
North Carolina rallied, scoring six of the next 10 points, to draw even at 21. Leath and Taylor Treacy recorded consecutive kills to give the Tar Heels a two-point edge before a block by Taylor Fricano and Taylor Borup sent the match to a decisive fifth set.
Facing an uphill battle entering the third set, North Carolina streaked out to a 12-6 lead behind two kills each from Leath and Julia Scoles as well as a pair of assisted blocks by Fricano and Beth Nordhorn.
“Heartbreaking match for the team today,” said head coach Chris Poole. “North Carolina showed why they have been so good this year with wins over Penn State and Wisconsin. They didn’t give up after the second set and we failed to maintain the same aggressiveness coming out in the third set.

“We need to do a better job of being consistent and learning to step up late in these sets and matches,” added Poole. Our coaching staff is committed to helping our team improve and in making this year’s team stronger on the court.”

A Seminole timeout was not enough to derail North Carolina, which used three kills by Scoles and two by Borup to establish a 22-8 lead. Kills by Brianne Burkert and Calkins were unable to kick-start the Florida State offense as the Tar Heels cruised to victory in the third set.
North Carolina bounced back from a difficult opening set with four kills from Leath as it established a 12-9 lead in the second, forcing a Seminole timeout. Florida State regained its previous offensive rhythm with six kills among the next 11 points, including three kills from Kubura, to forge in front 17-16.
The inspired Seminoles eventually stretched their lead to four, 20-16, following an assisted block by Green, Kubura and Ambrose. Timely strikes by the combination of Ambrose, Green and Horton down the stretch gave Florida State a 2-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
Six kills inside the first 13 points of the opening frame, including two each from Kubura and Ambrose, helped the Seminoles establish an 8-4 advantage. North Carolina briefly narrowed the margin to three, but two kills by Green and a pair of unforced errors by the Tar Heels allowed Florida State to stretch its lead to six, 15-9.
Luke handed out assists to the trio of Keil, Horton and Green as the Seminole lead grew to 21-13. With Horton in serve, Florida State received a strike from Green and back-to-back kills by Kubura to complete the 12-point win.
Florida State returns to the court on Friday evening when the Seminoles begin a four-match road swing against Boston College (Nov. 11) at 7:30 p.m. Two days later Florida State concludes the weekend with a match against Syracuse (Nov. 13) at 1 p.m.
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