Sept. 29, 2006
ATLANTA, Ga. –
GAME SCORES: Florida State 2, Georgia Tech 2 (30-23, 32-30, 15-30, 27-30, 15-9)
Down 7-4 in game five, the Florida State University volleyball team was on the brink of losing at Georgia Tech after winning the first two games. However, this year’s Seminole squad has the heart and determination that teams in the past didn’t and they closed out the match with an 11-2 run that gave FSU the 3-2 victory (30-23, 32-30, 15-30, 27-30, 15-9) on Friday (September 29) at O’Keefe Gym.
Florida State moved a game closer to matching its best start in ACC at 4-0 to go along with a 10-3 mark overall. The victory marked the first time the Seminoles have won back-to-back match at Georgia Tech and is only FSU’s third win here. The Yellow Jackets are still winless in the ACC at 0-3, 8-5 overall.
“We were down 7-4, I didn’t want to take an early time out,” FSU head coach Todd Kress said of game five. “In years past I may have taken an earlier timeout, but this team has continued to find ways to get it done, fight through adversity and tonight down 7-4 to make the switch up 8-7 I thought was a huge turning point in game five then we rode it out from there. We served aggressively, kept them out of system and Jackie (BonSalle) did a great job offensively and really pulled us through.”
Recording her seventh double-digit kill performance in a row was outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) as she led all players with 18 kills. Four Seminoles were in double figures as Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) was next at 12 while outside hitter Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M.) had eight kills in the last two games for a personal-best 11 winners and middle blocker Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) added ten.
Tying her career-high with 57 assists was setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) while libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) had a team-best 14 digs and middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) chipped in a dozen to go along with a team-best six blocks.
A slight defensive advantage was the difference for the Seminoles as they out-blocked Georgia Tech 13-10 and held a 52-49 margin in digs. GT held the edge .279 (65-22-154) to .250 (70-3-160) in hitting percentage.
Neither team would win back-to-back points to start game one until the Seminoles rattled off five in a row with a pair Wessel aces and a ball handling error giving FSU an 8-4 advantage. The Yellow Jackets would pull to within two (15-13), but the Seminoles went on a 5-1 run that was helped by a pair of GT errors for a 20-14 lead. The margin would grow to as many as eight points for the first time at 26-18 before FSU went on to the 30-2 win on a Yellow Jacket service error.
Pacing the way was Tomic and Barry as they each had four kills and a pair of blocks. Tomic hit .667 (4-0-6) while Barry added a .429 (4-1-7) rate. Skower was next with three winners. Florida State out-dug GT 8-5 and had a 3-1 advantage in blocks as well as a .286 (14-6-28) to .226 (12-5-31) edge in hitting percentage.
The sound execution from game one was absent at the start of game two as the Yellow Jackets got out to a 9-4 lead. Yellow Jackets would hold the lead at four for the majority of the match until Florida State made a late run. Back-to-back kills by Thompson tied the match at 27-27, but a kill and block gave GT a 29-27 lead. The junior responded with three more kills to tie it back up at 29-29 and 30-30. Florida State got its first lead (31-30) on a block by Griffin and Skower then the senior duo added another stuff to give FSU the 32-30 victory.
Four of Thompson’s game-high six kills came in the last nine points while Barry had five more. Wessel and Griffin had three each. Florida State’s defense late in the game was the difference as the out-blocked GT 5-2 in the second game with a .348 (22-6-41) to .282 (18-7-39) advantage in hitting as the Yellow Jackets got 12 of their points from FSU errors.
“Huge emotional swings in this match, Kress added. “We’re down big in game two and we come back to win 32-30. I think going into the locker room our kids couldn’t sustain their emotions. We talk about emotional management and we couldn’t sustain it. We came out flat in game and that was to be expected. We can talk all we want as coaches and tell them there needs to be a sense of urgency when we’re up 2-0 because you give Georgia Tech any sort of life they’re going to take advantage of it. This team proved a lot to me tonight about how much heart and how resilient they truly are.”
In almost an instant replay of game two, the Seminoles allowed Georgia Tech to get out to a hot start in the third stanza. A Thompson kill cut the lead to 9-6, but the Yellow Jackets went on an 8-2 run that gave them a 17-8 advantage that would grow to as many as 15 as Georgia Tech went on to win 30-15. Thompson was the only Seminole will more than one kill as she had a trio of winners. Florida State hit -.111 (6-10-36) and was out-dug 18-11 while giving GT 18 of its 30 points.
Game four was a back and fourth contests with Georgia Tech keeping FSU in the match thanks to five serving errors. Back-to-back kills by Thompson gave FSU a 12-9 advantage then a block by Skower and Griffin opened up a 14-11 lead. The Yellow Jackets battled back and used three consecutive aces to take a 19-17 advantage. The rest of the way the Seminoles could only win more than one point in a row as the Yellow Jackets hung on for the 30-27 victory. Thompson had five more kills while freshman Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M.) chipped in with five as well.
The Seminoles grabbed a quick 2-1 lead to start game five, but the Yellow Jackets stormed back with three in a row for a 4-2 margin. Down 7-4 Florida State went on a 6-0 run to claim a 10-7 advantage. After a pair of Georgia Tech errors, Thompson had a kill then Griffin and Skower added a block for an 8-7 FSU lead. Skower came back with a kill then Thompson followed with one for the 10-7 lead. The Seminoles ran off three-straight points on back-to-back Griffin kills and another by Skower for the 13-8 edge. BonSalle sandwiched a pair of kills around one by the Yellow Jackets, including the game winner as FSU prevailed 15-9.
Florida State continues its road trip Saturday with a 4 p.m. match at Clemson.