Nov. 10, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball ends a perfect weekend with the win against Maryland 3-2 (16-30, 30-25, 35-33, 28-30, 15-12) on Lucy McDaniel Court. The Seminoles, who swept Boston College last night, improve to 11-7 in the ACC and 14-12 overall this season.
“I like the streak we’re on,” head coach Todd Kress said. “We won eight of our last nine and any team in the country would take eight of nine at this part of the season. I’m really proud of our kids to go from where we were to where we are at now.
“I don’t think we were firing on all cylinders this weekend, but we found a way to win and that is what’s important.”
Maryland (8-10 ACC, 16-11), coming off a sweep at Miami on Friday, entered tonight’s match with the intention to repeat its October 12 victory against the Seminoles in College Park, Md., but the Terps faced a significantly different Florida State squad in Tallahassee.
Florida State got to a sluggish start in game one as the Terps dominated the court, allowing the Seminoles only 16 points at the end of the game. The Terps ran away with a .519 team attack percentage to FSU’s meager .147.
But game two showcased a more alert Seminole team as they held the Terps to a .095 team attack percentage and kept Jade Brown, Maryland’s top player, from recording any kills.
Senior Makini Thompson once again led Florida State with 19 kills and 21 points, putting down five kills in game two.
With the score tied at one apiece, the third game turned into an all-out battle with 20 tied scores and the lead changing eight times. Neither team would give an inch, as Maryland put 23 points up, FSU answered with 23, when FSU got to 25, Maryland got there too. The teams would go on to tie the score until point 34 was on the line and Seminole sophomore Brianna Barry shot down a nice kill, followed closely by one from Thompson to win the game at 35-33.
Game four started with Florida State on a six-point streak with junior Mira Djuric capturing two back-to-back service aces early on. Djuric leads the ACC in service aces and is ranked in the top five in the NCAA for that category. The Belgrade, Serbia, native also recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs against Maryland.
The Seminoles weren’t able to hold off the Terps as they came back to win game four and force FSU into a fifth game.
The final game of the evening was once again up for grabs as Florida State got off to a slight lead, only to be caught by a determined Maryland squad. The Seminoles were able to shake off the Terps and maintained the advantage throughout the remainder of the match. A kill by Thompson sealed the deal for FSU, 15-12.
Freshman Lauren Richardson topped her season in kills, total attempts and points against Maryland. One of four Seminoles with double-digit kills with 16 on 47 attempts, the outside hitter also put 17 points on the board as well as a solo block.
Rounding out the top-four for kills this evening was Barry with 15 on 34 attempts for a .294 attack percentage. Barry also led in the blocking category with two solos and three assisted.
Earning a season-high in assists tonight was freshman Lauren Rosenthal with 62. The setter from Colorado Springs, Colo., also contributed five kills, 11 digs, three block assists and six points.
The victory tonight was a special gift to Kress who celebrated his birthday tonight. The Seminoles played last season on November 10 which ended in a loss, marking this as the first time in at least eight years he has won on his birthday.
“I don’t really get caught up in the fact that we played on my birthday,” Kress said. “I’m just happy for the team tonight. I’m just an old guy trying to coach volleyball and I’m just happy for the girls and what they’ve been able to accomplish down the stretch.”
With two home wins under their belt, the Seminoles hit the road one last time to rematch Georgia Tech and Clemson. Florida State defeated the Yellow Jackets 3-1, but were swept by the Tigers in the first meetings this season.
“Going on the road this next weekend we have two matches that are going to be very difficult and very competitive,” Kress said. “Clemson and Georgia Tech are two teams we respect. We just want to continue to play hard, get better and gut some victories down the stretch for our seniors and for our younger kids who are learning what it takes to play this double round-robin.”
The next match will be Friday, Nov. 16 against Clemson in South Carolina at 7:00 p.m.