Sept. 2, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State freshmen Marrita Royster-Crockett and Gabrielle Rivera jumpstarted their collegiate careers with an impressive debut Friday afternoon on Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym as they combined for 26 kills and hit over .400 percent. The Seminoles (1-0) rolled to a 3-0 victory against Mercer (1-1) in match two of the 2005 FSU Invitational. Earlier Friday, South Carolina (1-0) upset Pittsburgh (2-2), 3-1.
“The freshmen came out and did a great job,” head coach Todd Kress said. “Marrita lit it up offensively and Gabrielle really got into the flow of games two and three. They did a real nice job and I’m proud of both of them.”
Seventeen year-old Royster-Crockett, the daughter of associate head coach Rita Buck-Crockett, logged her first double-double as she recorded 16 kills and 10 digs for 17.0 points. She also hit an impressive .481 percent and registered one block solo. Rivera had 10 kills off of 16 attempts for a .438 clip. She added one ace and four blocks (1-3) for 13.5 points.
Game scores were 30-24, 30-14, and 30-23.
As a team, Florida State hit .312 and held the Bears to a low .029 mark. The Seminole out-killed the opponent 55-25 and outscored them 69.0-37.0.
“We came out of the gate very slow,” said Kress, who started his fourth season at FSU today. “We’re out of system a little more than my liking, but we worked things out and played much more efficient volleyball in games two and three. We were able to open up the offense and play better defense. You never know what the first match is going to be like…but once we settled down we played much better volleyball.”
Florida State’s victory was slightly overshadowed by the fact that Preseason All-ACC member Andreza Santos was injured in the third game after slamming down nine kills and three total blocks (1-3). She was carried off the court with an undisclosed injury and her status is unknown.
Sophomore libero Summer Weissing paced the defense with 13 digs while setters Jessica Skower and Zrinka Tomic totaled 22 and 18 set assists, respectively. Senior Kristen Rust had 11.0 points thanks to seven kills, one ace, and three total blocks (1-3). She also reached for nine digs.
The Seminoles hit .282 in game one, .481 in the second contest, and .239 in their final outing.
Julie Darty carried the Bear’s offensive attack with 10 kills.
FSU will return to the court tonight for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against South Carolina. Free audio and Gametracker are available.
“When we face South Carolina,” Kress said, “we have to play our best volleyball. When I watched them in the first match of the day, they were much better than I expected. They did a great job across the board. South Carolina will be a tough test for us tonight.”