Sept. 13, 2009
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Junior outside hitter Stephanie Neville recorded a career-high 15 kills and the No. 22 Florida State volleyball team swept Albany NY (25-21, 25-20, 25-21) Sunday afternoon at the FIU/Miami Invitational.
For the Seminoles (8-1), the outcome against Albany NY (4-6) marks the team’s fifth-straight win since the team nearly upset then-No. 5 Florida on Aug. 31 and moves FSU to a perfect 3-0 in regular-season tournaments this year.
“It was a great weekend all the way around,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “Albany was a very scrappy team and kept forcing us to make plays, which was great for our mentality. It was not a great game on our part, but we kept finding ways to win, which is a positive.
“Everyone played and contributed today and it allowed us to give valuable playing time to some of the young players.”
While Neville’s new career-high for kills and hitting percentage (.528) guided the ‘Noles, senior outside hitter Mira Djuric was also strong on the offensive attack with 12 kills. Senior Brianna Barry had seven from the middle blocker position and Rachael Morgan and Fatma Yildirim combined for 12 kills.
Yildirim was also a presence defensively as the true freshman from Istanbul, Turkey earned a new career-best for digs with a team-high 16. She also contributed two aces.
For their efforts all weekend, Barry and Djuric were named to the FIU/Miami Invitational All-Tournament Team.
“I am proud of Mira and Bri for being named to the all-tournament team,” Poole said. “We won another tournament crown sweeping all three tournament championships this fall. All of our hitters had their moments this weekend and our offense continues to improve.
“Fatma was incredible on defense through the weekend.”
The conclusion of the tournament means the Seminoles can now turn their attention to the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play.
FSU will welcome Miami to Tallahassee on Friday and will then play Notre Dame on Sunday as part of the Seminole Tri-Tournament before the ACC slate truly begins on Sept. 25 with a two-match home-stand against Virginia Tech and Virginia.
The matchup against the Hurricanes will take place at 6 p.m. and the game against the Fighting Irish is at 1 p.m. Both matches will take place at Tully Gym.
“We still have things we can work on and need to make improvement with some of our consistency during the match,” Poole said. “However, I’m really proud of how far the girls have come in only one season and we are looking forward to playing home the next three weekends.
“We want to encourage the fans to come support us and be that seventh person on the court during our games.”