October 2, 2016 - by
Defense Dominates BC in Sweep
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The trio of Christina Ambrose, Mara Green and Melanie Keil finished with six assisted blocks each as the Florida State defense limited Boston College to a .028 hitting percentage, helping the 15th-ranked Seminoles remain perfect in Atlantic Coast Conference action with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-15 victory on Sunday afternoon in Tully Gym.
Keil, who finished with seven total blocks (one solo), led the way for the Seminoles’ (11-2, 4-0 ACC) defense unit that tallied 25 assisted blocks. It marks the fourth time this season that Florida State has at least 20 assisted blocks and the seventh time in 2016 that Keil has recorded at least five assisted blocks in a match.
Ambrose tied her career-high in assisted blocks, set earlier this season against Texas A&M on Sept. 1. Green, who led the way for Florida State’s offense with eight kills (.417 attack percentage), extended her consecutive match streak with a block to 25 straight as she helped led the Seminoles to 13.5 total team blocks.
“We are putting a lot of emphasis on our defensive alignment and touches on the ball,” said head coach Chris Poole. “It is still an area we want to keep improving as the season progresses. North Carolina, who we face Friday, is one of the most athletic and explosive teams in the country offensively. We will have to be on top of our game to be successful in that match.”
Joining Green among the offensive leaders were Milica Kubura (seven kills) and Katie Horton, who contributed six kills to go along with her team-high 13 digs. Senior Hailey Luke led Florida State with 17 assists while Brianne Burkert added 11 to help the Seminoles finish with 35 kills.
The combination of two kills each from Ambrose and Kubura along with two service aces from Keil allowed Florida State to grab a 7-3 lead in the third set. Boston College retaliated behind kills from Sol Calvete, Jill Strockis and Sophia West, trimming the deficit to one on two occasions, but it was three unforced errors by the Eagles with Horton in serve that resulted in a 14-9 Seminole advantage.
Trailing by three, 16-13, just over the midway point of the third, Jane Dejarld committed a service error for the Eagles that put Burkert in serve. The sophomore responded by forcing six Boston College errors among the next seven points as the Noles moved to within two points of the win. Florida State completed its seventh sweep of the season on a pair of Eagles service errors.
FSU established its offense early in the second set, capitalizing on a pair of kills by Ambrose to jump in front 6-2 before the Eagles’ first timeout. West jumpstarted the Boston College offense with the first point following the timeout, as the Eagles overcame three unforced errors and two kills by Green to draw the set even at 12-12 with a 10-6 run.
Two kills by Kubura and Green along with a kill and a service ace courtesy of Keil allowed Florida State to establish a 21-16 advantage. The Seminoles closed out the frame on a 4-1 run, highlighted by two kills by Horton, as they took a 2-0 lead into the third set with the eight-point victory.
With the first set knotted at six-all Florida State used a series of offensive strikes by Horton, Keil and Natasha Calkins to spark a 7-3 run as the Seminoles assumed a 13-9 lead. A Boston College timeout, followed by two kills each from Julia Topar and Cat Balido, got the Eagles back on track as they scored nine of the next 15 points to pull even, 19-19.
Kills by Keil and Ambrose provided the Seminoles with a two point lead as Boston College burned its final timeout trailing 21-19. Florida State’s defense allowed just one point down the stretch and used kills by Green and Calkins to complete the five-point win.
Florida State makes its first ACC road trip of the season this coming weekend when the Seminoles head to Tobacco Road to face North Carolina (Oct. 7) and NC State (Oct. 9).
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