October 16, 2016 - by

Four-Set Win Over Panthers Gives No. 15 FSU Weekend Sweep

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three Seminoles topped double figures in kills, including Milica Kubura (14), Katie Horton (11) and Christina Ambrose (10) as 15th-ranked Florida State emerged with a four-set victory over visiting Pittsburgh by scores of 25-22, 24-26, 25-20 and 25-23 in Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball action on Sunday afternoon. Kubura led the Seminoles (14-3, 7-1 ACC) to 46 team kills by virtue of hitting 14 strikes in 28 total attacks (.500 hitting percentage).
It marks the fifth time that Kubura has topped the .500 hitting percentage plateau this season and third occasion she reached the mark against an ACC opponent.
Horton, who also contributed nine digs, finished with 11 kills. She was a solid defender on the front row with three assisted blocks. Ambrose enjoyed one of her best matches of the season as she emerged with 10 kills, seven blocks (six assisted blocks) and four digs.
Melanie Keil anchored the Florida State front row with 11 total blocks, including eight assisted, as the Seminoles held a 34-9 edge in total blocks. Joining Ambrose with six assisted blocks was Mara Green, who added one solo deflection to end with seven total.
Cecilie Woie led the way with 13 digs and while Horton contributed nine teammate Brianne Burkert added seven to go along with her team-high 22 assists.
Florida State used a kill by Keil and a block by Ambrose to break a 10-all tie in the fourth set as it briefly moved in front by two. However, a Pittsburgh (14-6, 5-3 ACC) rally that included three consecutive kills by Mariah Bell and a slam from Kelsey O’Neill gave the Panthers an 18-16 advantage.
The Seminoles converted a kill from Ambrose and blocks by Green and Natasha Calkins to eventually force a 23-23 tie before spending the first of its two timeouts. It was there that captain Hailey Luke came through in the clutch as she delivered a block and kill in back-to-back possessions to complete the two-point victory.
Luke and Horton came through with two service aces and Keil added a block as Florida State jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the third set. Pittsburgh followed with three unanswered points as the two units went back-and-forth, with neither able to take more than a three-point advantage, as the set eventually reached a 17-all tie.
Six points later and deadlocked a 20, following strikes from Horton and Ambrose, a pair of kills by Kubura put the Seminoles in front by two. Ambrose emerged again as she provided the final three points down the stretch, teaming with Keil on two blocks, and driving home the decisive kill as FSU posted the five-point victory.
Freshman Bozena Culo, who contributed a kill and a service ace, was instrumental in providing Florida State with an early 9-5 lead in the second set. The Seminoles followed with service aces by Horton and Burkert, along with a kill off the hand of Kubura, establishing a 15-11 lead that forced Pittsburgh to burn its second timeout.
The Panthers fought back to knot the set at 17-all before taking the lead with Maria Genitsaridi in serve. Facing set point and a 24-20 deficit, Florida State received two assisted blocks from Green and a kill by Horton to pull even at 24. Pittsburgh answered with a series of strikes by Mariah Bell and Jenna Potts to complete the two-point win.
A Horton kill along with two blocks by Keil allowed Florida State to establish a 7-3 lead in the opening stages of the first set. The Panthers regrouped after their first timeout, scoring seven of the next 10 points to knot the set a 10-all.
Strikes from the combination of Horton, Ambrose and Kubura kept the set close as the two teams reached a 16-16 deadlock, forcing a Florida State timeout. The Seminoles regained their lead 21-19 behind the service game of Burkert and kills from Horton and Kubura. Kubura drove home two kills and Ambrose added one down the stretch to complete the three-point win.
The Seminoles return to the road this week when they head to Miami for a midweek clash with the ACC rival Hurricanes on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The match is featured as part of the ACC Network Extra package with Bob Rathbun and Lyndsey Rowley providing the commentary.
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