Oct. 9, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. – In one of the wildest matches of the season, the 24th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team persevered against a motivated N.C. State squad and won a thrilling five-setter, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 17-25, 15-13), on Sunday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum.
The Seminoles (13-4, 7-0) countered their season-low hitting percentage of .131 by producing a season-high 26 blocks, the most by any Atlantic Coast Conference team this season. Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Neff was tremendous with a career-best 14 blocks, leaving the weekend with 26 blocks in two matches. Junior Sareea Freeman added nine blocks, while Rachael Morgan and Elise Walch poured in six apiece.
In today’s match, FSU and the Wolfpack (14-6, 2-5) tangled with 25 lead changes and 49 different tie scores. The final set saw the Seminoles rack up seven blocks at the net, which included the match-ending block by Neff. She added 10 kills to record a double-double.
Freeman had a great performance overall, recording 12 kills on 19 attacks for a team-leading .579 hitting percentage. She came up in big in several moments by hitting through the N.C. State defense and putting up a tremendous front against the Wolfpack offense.
FSU lost the first set for the third straight match, as an attack error that fell just outside gave the Wolfpack the opening frame. Seven lead changes and nine tied scores occurred as both teams traded points throughout. Freeman recorded four kills while Sarah Wickstrom came in and produced some tremendous sets for the middle blocker. N.C. State was very effective with the block, recording 3.5 and holding the Seminoles to a .163 hitting percentage in the set.
The second set proved to be even wilder as 13 lead changes and 21 ties were recorded. FSU ended the frame on a 7-1 run and used an attack error by Dariyan Hopper to win 25-22. One of several key plays was made when Morgan’s kill put the Seminoles on top 23-22. Morgan then combined with Neff for a crucial block before winning the set.
A tremendous block by Freeman and Marija Milosavljevic closed out another dramatic set in third frame, as FSU got past N.C. State 26-24. FSU only hit .077 in the set but relied on eight crucial blocks to create tougher alleys for N.C. State’s attackers to hit through.
FSU wasn’t able to find much offensive rhythm in set No. 4, hitting .054 while N.C. State performed adequately with a .231 mark. The Seminoles could not start off right yet again, facing bigger deficits and being unable to climb out of them. FSU changed its play in the final frame with a .500 hitting percentage to provide a boost in the victory.
The Seminoles come back to Tallahassee for consecutive home matches next weekend. FSU begins with a 7 p.m. tilt against Georgia Tech, followed by a Sunday contest versus Clemson at 1 p.m. at Tully Gym.