TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (Seminoles.com) In front of a full house filled with program-changing alumni, the third-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team (24-0, 12-0) outlasted Virginia (15-10, 8-4), 3-1 (25-17, 25-15, 20-25) on Friday night.
“We always enjoy playing in front of our fans,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “The main thing was we came out strong in the first two sets and played very well. I was a little disappointed with the third set, but again this team shows a lot of character by the way they step back up when they do let down.”
Freshman right side hitter Milica Kubura led the attack for the Seminoles, amassing 13 kills hitting for .632 percent.
“We couldn’t wait to play at home,” Kubura said. “We get energy from this crowd and it was amazing.”
Junior Nicole Walch put up her third-straight double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs, while sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton produced 10 kills.
The Seminoles tallied 12 total team blocks, with redshirt sophomore Sarah Burrington leading the way with nine block assists and one solo stop. Horton had her best blocking performance of the season, contributing seven assists.
Senior setter Sarah Wickstrom tallied 25 assists and an ace while sophomore setter Hailey Luke put up 17 assists on top of an ace.
Redshirt senior libero Katie Mosher was under 21 digs.
The Seminoles were firing early in the first, jumping out to an 8-2 lead – a run that was equipped with three aces including back-to-back strikes from Horton, before Virginia called a timeout.
The Cavaliers settled in and put up a 3-1 stretch, cutting the lead to 9-5. With a jump-server on serve, Poole called a timeout to arrange the defense after mishandling her first try.
Out of the break, FSU sided out and eventually extended the lead to seven, 17-10 before the Cavaliers used their final timeout.
Once again, the Cavaliers put up a 3-1 stretch and Poole spent his final timeout planning for UVa’s jump-server. After, her attempt hit the net for an error stopping the streak putting the Seminoles up 18-13.
Florida State kept Virginia out of the set and finished with the 1-0 lead, 25-16.
In the second, Virginia played in front after producing from the left side of the court for the 11-9 lead however the Seminoles answered a 4-0 stretch, jumping in front 13-11 forcing the Cavaliers to call timeout.
Out of the break, the Seminoles kept the streak alive extending to a 12-0 barrage with Horton on serve before the Cavaliers sided out with a kill, 20-12.
The Seminoles poured it on down the stretch, closing out the set for the 2-0 advantage, 25-15.
In the third, Florida State fell into a five-point hole (5-10) after a stretch that included three errors forcing Poole to call a timeout.
Off the break, Virginia continued to extend its lead, 12-6 before the Seminoles answered with back-to-back kills, but again the Cavaliers expanded the lead back to five, 14-9.
The Seminoles picked it up, outscoring the Cavilers 5-2 before a pair of errors gave the Cavs the 18-14 lead.
Still chipping at the lead, Horton produced back-to-back kills from the left side, but Virginia answered with a 4-0 run, for the 23-17 lead. Poole called his final timeout of the set.
Out of the break, the Seminoles set Burrington for an easy side out, but they gave it right back to Virginia for set point, however a service error kept the Noles alive, 24-19.
On the next play, Virginia sent a chance wide and followed the mistake with a timeout up 24-20.
Out of the break, Laura Dadowski subbed in and put a clean serve in play, however Horton’s chance was called for a back row attacking violation, cutting the lead to 2-1 after Virginia took the third, 25-20.
Early in the fourth, the Seminoles started sluggish in a 3-6 hole and Poole called timeout.
Out of the break, Virginia committed three straight errors for the 6-6 tie. Virginia earned the side out, but the Seminoles answered with three-straight points to take the 9-7 edge forcing the Cavaliers to call a timeout.
After, FSU extended its lead to 13-8 before a questionable call upset Virginia’s head coach Dennis Hohenshelt. He argued with the officials enough to be issued a yellow before a red card, giving the Noles the 14-8 lead.
Following digression, the Cavaliers answered with a 7-3 run, cutting the FSU lead to 16-15 forcing Poole to call timeout.
Off the break, the teams traded service errors before Walch put down a kill. The Cavaliers refused to quit and answered with three points to take the 19-18 lead, but were called with a blocking error tying the set at 19.
The fourth was tied at 20, 21 before Virginia took the 22-21 lead with a kill from the left side but Kubura responded with a strike from the right for another stalemate. On the next play, Virginia sent a try long giving the Seminoles a 23-22 edge and Virginia called its final timeout.
Out of the break, Burrington stood tough at the net for a block setting up match point, 24-22. Kubura’s heavy swing put the match away on the next rally, 25-22, for the 3-1 match victory.
“It was a very good fourth game,” Poole said. “I felt that both teams were battling and trying to hang in there. We did a great job of keeping it close to be able to take advantage of some things and play well at the end of it.”
Florida State travels to Tobacco Road for a contest with No. 25 Duke on Thursday at 6:30 before taking on No. 8 North Carolina on Friday at 6 p.m. For more information on FSU volleyball, visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.