Oct. 14, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 21 Florida State University indoor volleyball team extended its Atlantic Coast Conference record to 8-0 as it got past visiting Georgia Tech, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-21), on Friday evening at Tully Gym.
The combination of 25 Georgia Tech attack errors, as well as seven service errors, and an important momentum-changing comeback in the second set helped put away the opposition as the Seminoles (14-4, 8-0) stretched their home record to 7-0 on the season. The Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-5) were unable to develop a consistent offensive attack as they finished with a .098 hitting percentage.
Georgia Tech is now the third opponent that has hit under .100 against the Seminoles this season. The other two include Virginia Tech (.063) and No. 25 Kentucky (-.013).
“The girls struggled at times tonight, but they still stepped up and got the win when we needed to and got the big points when we needed to,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We again had someone come off the bench in Fatma (Yildirim) and give us a lift. You need that kind of depth so when you are in a situation and you have a player that is having an off game; you have someone who can step up. We’re very fortunate we got the win.”
While FSU was efficient in the first set with a .348 hitting percentage, it rallied in the second frame to seize control of the match. The Seminoles trailed 16-12 and never held a lead midway through the second set, but rattled off seven consecutive points which included kills by Elise Walch, Sareea Freeman, Jekaterina Stepanova and Sarah Wickstrom. Georgia Tech continued to hang tough, as a later kill by Ivona Kolak cut FSU’s lead to 23-22. Stepanova’s big kill for the 24th point was followed by an attack error, but set point was clinched on an attack error from Georgia Tech’s Jennifer Percy.
Walch finished with a team-high nine kills on 15 attacks for a .600 hitting percentage. It is the third time this season the Stuart, Fla., native has mustered an attack percentage of .600 or more on at least 10 total attacks. In seven home matches, Walch is hitting .510 with 58 kills and only seven errors in 100 attacks.
Junior outside hitter Yildirim provided a spark in the second and third sets, recording six kills, 11 digs and two blocks. She combined with the NCAA’s leading blocker, Ashley Neff, in batting away an attack by Monique Mead in the third set to win the match. FSU held Mead, one of the nation’s top attackers, to 15 kills on 49 attacks for a .143 hitting percentage.
Overall, the Seminoles were efficient on offense in terms of not giving away points. FSU recorded just 14 attack errors compared to Georgia Tech’s 25, with some coming in big moments that hurt the Yellow Jackets’ rally attempt.
Freeman, a junior middle blocker, added to her stretch of strong play by compiling seven blocks. FSU produced its 11th match of double-digit team blocks, out-blocking Georgia Tech 10-5.
Tonight’s victory means Poole now boasts a winning record against every ACC opponent since taking over the FSU program in 2008. Prior to the matchup this evening, Georgia Tech and FSU were 3-3 in the last three seasons.
FSU finishes its home weekend with a match against Clemson on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Shortly following the match, a free “Paint it Pink” clinic will be held for children five years of age through eighth grade. Interested participants must print off a clinic registration form off the Seminoles.com volleyball page and bring it to the registration table at Tully Gym before or during Sunday’s match.
Donations will be accepted at the match and will go toward the Tallahassee Memorial Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center.