Sept. 13, 2003
IRVINE, Calif. – The Seminole volleyball team (5-3) won the final three games to defeat Houston (2-6) 3-1 (23-30, 30-24, 30-20, 30-21) on Saturday afternoon at the UC Irvine Sunset Classic. Freshman Cassie McLaughlin had a double-double, recording 12 kills and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Aisha Carr also had a double-double with 11 blocks and 11 kills. Amanda Santos set a career-high mark with 14 kills for the Seminole offense.
Florida State ran out of the gates at the beginning of game one with two quick points and an early lead. Houston answered with three straight points of their own, but the Seminoles didn’t let the lead last long as FSU took a 5-4 lead. Both teams traded points and found themselves tied at 15-15 at the midpoint of the opening game. The Cougars broke a 20-20 tie with six unanswered points to take their biggest lead of the game at 26-20 and the Seminoles couldn’t recover as they fell 23-30.
FSU and Houston continued a tight match at the beginning of game two with the Seminoles holding a slight 6-4 lead. With Florida State leading only by one at 8-7, the Seminoles rattled off a 4-0 run to take a five point lead at 12-7. The Cougars cut the FSU lead to one at 18-17 before the Seminoles went on a 5-2 run to take a 23-19 advantage. Florida State maintained their lead and took game 30-24 and tied that match at a game apiece. The Seminoles hit .400 as a team in game two and held the Cougars to just .061 as Santos and Carr each had five kills in the game.
The Seminoles took a 3-1 lead at the start of game three and increased their lead to 7-3 behind the blocking of Carr and Santos at the net. Houston cut the Seminole lead to 11-7 and FSU would hold their four point lead despite a late surge by the Cougar offense. Florida State increased their lead to 22-16 behind a pair of Nikki Anthony kills and a 4-0 run. The Seminoles closed out game three on a 12-4 scoring spree and won the game 30-20 to take a 2-1 advantage in the match. Anthony recorded six kills, while Carr added four blocks on defense. FSU continued to hit the ball well as they had a hitting percentage of .395 in game three.
Houston looked determined to force a game five early on with a 4-2 lead, but the Seminoles answered with a 4-2 run of their own to tie the game at six apiece. After the game remained tied at 9-9, Florida State took the lead 17-11 behind an 8-2 run and Carr’s dominance at the net. FSU increased its’ lead to 24-15 before the Cougars came storming back and made the score 24-20.
The Seminoles were led offensively by Santos’ 14 kills, while McLaughlin had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Anthony (10) and Carr (11) also had double-digit kills as four Seminoles had double-digit kills in the win. Carr also blocked 11 Cougar shots for the Seminole defense and California native Cerina Pele recorded a team-high 11 digs.
Florida State will return home next weekend for the FSU Classic September 19-20 at Lucy McDaniel Arena in Tully Gymnasium. The Seminoles will host Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville and Miami in the two day tournament. FSU will play Jacksonville on Friday, September 19th at 12:00 p.m. and Miami at 8:00 p.m. The match with Miami will be televised live on Sunshine. Florida State will conclude the tournament against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, September 20 at 12:00 p.m.