Oct. 30, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 19th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team had another fine performance at Tully Gym as it swept Virginia, 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-14), on Sunday afternoon in its “Paint it Pink” match.
The victory puts the Seminoles (19-4, 13-0) at a 13-match winning streak while staying undefeated in conference play with a 13-0 record. FSU is also 10-0 at home, and has never gone undefeated in Tully Gym during the regular season since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1991. It will have an opportunity to do so next weekend when it faces North Carolina State on Friday and North Carolina on Sunday in senior weekend.
“The team was able to play pretty well. We were a little sluggish but it’s hard to stay on top of your game all the time and we understand that,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We are trying to get them to really raise their level up throughout the match with each set and win each rally instead of getting those valleys and peaks that we have at times. Overall, I’m pretty proud of them and most of them played well today. We had a lot of contributions from a lot of people and that’s very important for us because as we go further into the season, you never know when someone is going to have an off game.”
FSU was able to take advantage of its consistent hitting as it posted a .371 attack percentage, its second-highest in conference play. FSU only hit better against Clemson in a three-set victory on Oct. 16, hitting .389. The Seminoles have also played nine-three set matches in conference play, winning them all.
The outside hitters were effective once again for FSU, as senior Jekaterina Stepanova produced 12 kills and a .409 hitting percentage. Fellow senior Visnja Djurdjevic had 11 kills in 17 attacks and posted a .529 attack percentage while adding seven digs.
FSU limited the Cavaliers (8-15, 2-11) to a .167 attack percentage, while holding one of the most versatile players in the ACC in Simone Asque to a .214 clip with six kills. The Seminoles took advantage of their size up front, out-blocking Virginia 10-2. Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Neff, the nation’s leading blocker, recorded eight blocks and added six kills.
Duygu Duzceler led FSU with 23 assists.
Sophomore right-side hitter Elise Walch aided FSU’s offense with five kills in 10 attacks with just one error, equating to a .400 attack percentage. Redshirt freshman libero Katie Mosher led all players with 12 digs.
Neff started off well and sparked FSU in the first set, recording five kills in five attacks as the Seminoles hit .424 in the set. In the second frame, Virginia was much more consistent and hit .297 while trading points with the Seminoles early on. The turning point in the set came late as FSU clung to a 17-16 lead but used a 4-0 run that was highlighted by a service ace from Duzceler. Stepanova later produced a kill that ended the set.
Getting off to a good start was important for FSU after the intermission, as it burst to a 5-2 lead in the third set on a kill by Walch. Virginia fought back but the Seminoles responded with a 6-0 run midway through the set which included two blocks and two kills by Rachael Morgan.
FSU returns home on Friday, Nov. 4, for a 7 p.m. contest against North Carolina State. It then plays second-place North Carolina on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in its final regular-season home match of the year.