DURHAM, N.C. – (Seminoles.com) The third-ranked Florida State (24-1, 12-1) indoor volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday, dropping a tough 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21) match to Duke (19-6, 11-3) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“Duke played great,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “Their ball control was very good and we didn’t have an answer and we just made too many unforced errors on our end.”
Sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton led the attack with her fifth double-double of the year, contributing 12 kills and 13 digs.
The Seminoles tallied 13 total team blocks on the night, with junior middle blocker Kiara Wright accounting for five assists and one solo stop. She also contributed 10 kills, hitting her .444 percent. Redshirt sophomore Sarah Burrington tallied four block assists, while Horton contributed three assists.
Freshman right side hitter Milica Kubura was credited with nine kills, while registering two solo blocks and two block assists.
“Our block had to be important for a team like this,” Poole said. “I felt like we set the block pretty well and we got some block at times. But we didn’t always dig the ball around the block very well. That was the difference was their first touches were better than ours on the ball.”
Senior setter Sarah Wickstrom scored her fifth double-double of 2014, tallying 27 assists and 10 digs while sophomore setter Hailey Luke put up 17 assists.
Redshirt senior libero Katie Mosher was under 14 digs.
Florida State started off firing in the first set, jumping out to a five-point lead 13-8 behind kills from Kubura, junior outside hitter Nicole Walch, Horton and Wright on top of a pair of blocks, however Duke settled and answered with a 5-0 stretch tying it at 13.
After three more ties, The Blue Devils committed an attacking error and Walch followed with an ace, putting the Seminoles up 19-17. Duke would spend its first timeout.
Off the break, Florida State continued its run outscoring Duke, 5-2 teeing up set point, 24-19. Duke answered with a kill for the side out, but sent a service wide for an error, sealing the first set for the Seminoles 25-20 for the 1-0 advantage.
In the second, the Seminoles fell into a four-point hole early after a few mishaps on defense and the attack, forcing Poole to use a timeout down 8-4.
Duke extended its lead to six and Poole would burn his final timeout of the set trailing 12-6.
Florida State chipped at the lead, getting production from Wright on the block, but another 4-0 charge from the Blue Devils extended their lead 17-10.
The Seminoles tightened up the block with Walch registering one on her own before Wright and Horton teamed up for an assist. An attacking error from Duke put the Noles back in it, forcing a timeout down 17-13.
Out of the break, Duke got back its lead but a 3-0 rally from the Seminoles forced Duke into another timeout at 20-17. Once again, Duke answered and closed out the set outscoring FSU 5-3, tying the match 1-1 after claiming the second 25-20.
After nine ties to start the third set, Duke went up by four after a 4-0 stretch, causing Poole to call timeout down 16-12.
Off the break, Duke committed a service error before the Seminoles put up back-to-back blocks. On the next play, the Blue Devils sent a shot wide for an error, knotting the set at 16 and Duke would call a timeout after surrendering four quick points.
After trading side outs twice, Burrington sent a chance wide giving Duke the 19-17 lead and Poole would spend his final timeout of the set.
Off the break, Burrington was set up perfectly for the kill before the Blue Devils were called for back-to-back blocking errors, giving the Noles the 20-19 lead.
Duke answered by forcing the Noles out of sync, capitalizing with four kills on a 5-1 run for the 2-1, 25-21 third set.
Florida State got out to a slow start trailing 6-2 before Poole called timeout in the fourth. Out of the break, the Seminoles could not build any momentum, falling into a 6-12 hole before Poole spent his final timeout.
Chipping away at the lead, the Seminoles pulled within three after a 3-0 charge that was fueled by a pair of Duke errors and a kill from Kubura. Duke would call a timeout with the 16-13 lead.
Duke rallied and extended the lead to five before another 3-0 charge pulled FSU within three, 20-17. Once again, Duke looked to pull away stretching its lead to five but Horton put down a perfect set before contributing on defense on the next play, which would be put away by Kubura, cutting the lead to four, 23-19.
Junior defensive specialist Laura Dadowski subbed in to serve delivering an ace forcing Duke to call another timeout, 23-20. Out of the timeout, Dadowski sent a serve long, giving the Blue Devils match point. 24-20.
Horton put down another kill, but Duke was able to side out of the 25-21 fourth set.
Florida State will have less than 24 hours before stepping on the court with No. 8 North Carolina for the second time this season.
“It’s tough playing these matches back-to-back,” Poole said, “It’s the only time this season we do that. We’re going to have to rebound, knowing that each of us have one conference loss going into tomorrow.”
Friday’s showdown will start at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on GoHeels TV.
Paint It Pink Auction
Jerseys from the ‘Paint it Pink’ match against NC State on Oct. 12 are now available for auction on Seminoles.com. Bidding will be open for two weeks, closing on Nov. 17.
Mosher Senior Class
Redshirt senior Katie Mosher was named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Fans can vote once per day until Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. The winner will be chosen at the Final Four in December. She currently holds the second highest tally of votes behind Liz McMahon from Illinois.
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