TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (Seminoles.com) The eighth ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team (28-2, 16-2) finished the 2014 regular season at Tully Gym with a 3-0 sweep (25-21, 25-22, 25-18) over Miami (19-8, 14-4) on Friday. The Seminoles closed out year by winning 12-straight sets in order to remain unbeaten at home in conference play since 2010.
“We’ve got our legs back under us after this one,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “Through the beginning of November we struggled because we were fatigued from traveling and fortunately we were able to finish the season at home. I feel like we’re playing well and hopefully we’ll get a good draw and be able to host and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”
Junior outside hitter Nicole Walch led the attack with 13 kills while sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton produced 10, hitting for .600 percent.
“I thought out hitters played well,” Poole said. “They all did very well and I was happy with their performance.”
The Seminoles put up seven total team blocks with junior Kiara Wright accounting for three assists and one solo stop while redshirt sophomore middle blocker Sarah Burrington had two block assists and one solo. Wright added three kills, while Burrington contributed seven.
Freshman right side hitter Milica Kubura added five kills and two block assists.
“Our defense and block was a little off early,” Poole said. “But they both gained some steam as the match went on and we got better and they came through when we needed it.”
Both senior setter Sarah Wickstrom and sophomore setter Hailey Luke produced 17 assists each with Wickstrom contributing 10 digs for her fifth double-double of the year.
Redshirt senior libero Katie Mosher was under four digs and dished three assists.
“Miami is a strong team,” Poole said. “There were some long rallies and it was going to be tough for us. We are continuing to improve as the season progresses. That’s a positive thing.”
After trading side outs in the beginning of the first set, the Seminoles opened up a three point lead at 15-12 before Miami called timeout. Florida State stretched it to 4-0 run following a kill from Kubura.
Miami pulled within two, but a kill from Burrington and back-to-back aces from Horton forced Miami to burn its final timeout, with the 20-15 lead.
Off the break, the Hurricanes scored two quick points with a kill and a block and Poole would use his first timeout of the set.
The Hurricanes added another solo stop before committing an attacking error ending the 3-0 run. After trading side outs, the Seminoles broke open a three-point stretch behind a kill from Walch, a ball handling violation on Miami and an ace from Luke for the 24-19, set point.
Florida State put the first set away following a kill by Walch for the 1-0, 25-21 first set win.
In the second Miami sparked a 5-0 run early to take the 8-5 lead before Poole used a timeout to settle his team.
Off the break, Florida State rallied to pull ahead after a 6-2 stretch, 11-10. The set would remain close, seeing 11 ties and three lead changes as neither squad led by more than two points.
After ties at 21 and 22, Florida State surged to set point behind a Miami service error and a kill from Kubura for the 24-22 lead and the Hurricanes would use their last timeout.
Out of the timeout Miami could not answer the FSU block as the Seminoles took the 2-0 lead after a block from Kubura and Wright for the 25-22 second set victory.
In the third, the Seminoles came out firing to a 7-1 lead before Miami called its first timeout. The Hurricanes chipped at the lead throughout the set, but Florida State outscored Miami 25-18 in the third, as a block by Walch and Wright sealed the 3-0 sweep.
“Rivalry matches are important to the ladies,” Poole said. “Miami was going to try and come in here and take the win from us, but our girls stepped up.”
Florida State will await its NCAA Tournament draw as the field of 64 teams will be announced on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Seminoles are projected to host the first and second rounds on Dec. 4-5, however it will be finalized following Sunday’s selection show.
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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 third highest tally of votes behind Liz McMahon from Illinois and Chaniel Nelson of North Carolina.