Oct. 10, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 20th-ranked Florida State University volleyball team had its 10-match conference winning streak at home snapped by Georgia Tech, falling 3-0 (24-26, 11-25, 17-25) on Sunday afternoon at Tully Gym.
FSU registered a season-low .072 hitting percentage, while the Yellow Jackets (11-7, 4-3) continued their hot play by posting a .319 attack percentage. Atlantic Coast Conference kills leader Monique Mead paced Georgia Tech with a match-high 17 kills, six digs and six blocks, as FSU found no answer for the talented right-side hitter.
The Seminoles (13-4, 5-2) were held to just five blocks in today’s contest, while Georgia Tech doubled their total with 10. Senior setter Mary Ashley Tippins gave her teammates great opportunities at the net throughout the match, posting a double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs.
FSU got off to an auspicious beginning in the first set, building a 13-6 lead after junior right-side hitter Rachael Morgan’s kill. The Yellow Jackets bounced right back by winning five of the next six points to trim their deficit to 14-11, but a kill by Jekaterina Stepanova later in the set gave FSU some distance with a 20-16 lead.
“We started off really well again in the match, up 13-6 and seemed to be very focused,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We started to make a few mistakes and it is as if it shakes us up mentally in the match. We have seen this a lot this year, but normally we will re-group and pull back out of it. Today we did not.”
Georgia Tech continued to battle, and despite FSU serving for the set with a 24-22 lead, the Yellow Jackets won the next four points to take the set as outside hitter Bailey Hunter capped the comeback with a kill.
The Yellow Jacket offense stayed consistent in the second set, finishing with 15 kills compared to just three attack errors for a .500 hitting percentage. FSU fell behind early before facing double-digit deficits through the middle and latter parts of the set. Senior middle blocker Lauren Young did her best to keep the Seminoles afloat, recording one kill and three blocks in the second frame.
Using a new mix of players in the third set, FSU improved offensively but fell victim to the Yellow Jackets’ athleticism. Georgia Tech’s Asia Stawicka recorded five kills in the set, while FSU sophomore middle blocker Sareea Freeman had two kills and one block. The Seminoles looked to fight back from an early 10-5 hole, but the Yellow Jackets followed with seven unanswered points. Consecutive kills by Stawicka later in the frame ended the match and improved Georgia Tech’s series record against FSU to 29-11.
“We will keep working hard and this team will get better,” Poole added. “We have the talent to turn it back around. We just have to get them relaxed and playing with confidence consistently.”
Visnja Djurdjevic led the Seminoles with seven kills and recorded five digs and two blocks. Young tallied a team-high four blocks.
The Seminoles look to regroup next week as they face a two-match road trip at Boston College and Maryland. FSU’s contest against B.C. is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. The Seminoles faced Maryland on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m.