WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Behind the combination of Milica Kubura (13 kills / .393 attack percentage), Brianne Burkert (24 assists / nine kills) and Melanie Keil (nine total blocks / six kills) the 17th-ranked Florida State volleyball earned a four-set victory over Wake Forest on Sunday afternoon by scores of 25-18, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-21. The victory extended the Seminoles’ winning streak to four, all coming on the road, heading into the final week of play.
Kubura, one of four Seminoles with at least eight strikes on the afternoon, topped double figure kills for the 16th time this season. She was joined among the offensive leaders by Burkert, Katie Horton (nine kills) and Mara Green (eight). Kubura was also one of the most effective hitters in the Florida State (22-5, 15-3 ACC) lineup, converting 13 kills in 28 attempts, committing only two miscues en route to a .393 attack percentage. She was joined by Green (.400 attack percentage), who had 15 swings, and Keil (.385), who finished six kills in 13 attempts.
Keil’s presence at the net provided the Seminoles with a 28-10 advantage in total blocks, including 26 assisted blocks. She was joined in multiple blocks by Green (five), Kubura (five), Horton (four) and Burkert (three). Horton was also instrumental in the back row for the Seminoles with 13 digs as she became the 20th player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. Horton shared her match-high in digs with Hailey Luke, who topped off her 13th career double-double with 18 assists and 13 digs.
Using two Kubura kills and blocks by the tandem of Green and Burkert, Florida State streaked out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth set. Two Wake Forest timeouts and four Seminole kills later, Florida State enjoyed a 19-10 lead as it looked to close out the fourth.
Wake Forest made one final push, using the service game of Hanna Lee and three kills from Caitlyn Della to pull within three, 21-18. However three unforced errors and a kill by Kubura allowed Florida State to earn its 11th road win of the season.
Wake Forest carried over the offensive momentum it established in the second set into the third to force seven ties in the first 18 points, resulting in a nine-all deadlock. The Demon Deacons eventually moved in front by two, but a series of kills by Burkert and Kubura pulled Florida State even at 12.
With the Seminoles facing a two-point deficit deep in waning stages of the frame, Keil stepped up with a clutch kill and Horton added a service ace to make for a 20-20 tie. Keil and Kubura teamed for a pair of assisted blocks, while Horton and Calkins added a service ace and kill, respectively, to give Florida State the five-point win.
Early kills by Green and Kubura allowed Florida State to grab a 6-4 lead in the second set, but the Demon Deacons fought back to force a seven-all tie on a series of kills by Kylie Long. The two teams battled through 10 ties with neither able to establish more than a two-point advantage as the set reach at 20-all deadlock.
A service error coupled with a block from the tandem of Lee and Caroline Rassenfoss provided Wake Forest with the two-point advantage. Kubura responded with a kill following a Florida State timeout, but strikes by Lee and Long helped the Deacons grab the three-point victory.
“It wasn’t always pretty today, but we found a way to win,” said head coach Chris Poole. “I give Wake Forest credit for playing hard and continuing to push back. We played with a completely different lineup this weekend due to injuries that we haven’t had time to practice. We need to get back into the gym and work out some kinks. We’ve been on the road four of the last five weekends, so it will be nice to be back home this week.”
Burkert recorded three kills in the first nine points as Florida State quickly established a 7-2 advantage, forcing the first Demon Deacon timeout. Strikes by Green and Calkins, along with three unforced errors by Wake Forest, allowed Florida State to maintain its five-point edge, 13-8.
Leading by four after a kill by Horton, Burkert’s service game resulted two unforced errors and a service ace as the Seminoles moved in front 18-11. Kubura penetrated the Wake Forest defense on three occasions and assisted Keil and Green with blocks as Florida State scored seven of the next 14 points to grab the opening set by seven points.
The Seminoles close out the regular season this week when they host Clemson (Nov. 23) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 25) in a pair of 1 p.m. home matches at Tully Gym.