Oct. 7, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
GAME SCORES: Florida Sate 3, NC State 0 (30-5, 30-20, 30-21)
With a pair of tough ACC road matches on the horizon, it was important that the Florida State University volleyball team regained the momentum it had at the start of the conference season. After sweeping their second match in as many nights, the Seminoles appear to have found that energy as they beat NC State 3-0 (30-5, 30-20, 30-21) on Saturday (October 7) at Lucy McDaniel Court. The five points scored by the Wolfpack in game is the lowest by an FSU opponent since rally scoring was introduce in 2001.
Florida State remained undefeated at home during league action (4-0) while improving to 12-4 overall, 6-1 in the conference as it moved up to second place. It’s the earliest FSU has been to six ACC wins ever and last year FSU’s 12th win of the season didn’t come until November 20.
“Tonight was a reversal of last night,” FSU head coach Todd Kress said. “We came out of the gate very strong, we were serving well, we were passing well and we defended well in game one. We played a very clean game; we didn’t make too many errors. All in all it was a good team effort and everyone contributed to the win.”
Topping the Seminoles with a dozen kills was freshman middle blocker Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.). Junior outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) was the only other player in double figures with 10 while middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) was next at eight and outside hitter Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) was one back of her.
“Bri (Barry) played very well,” Kress added. “She hit the shots she needed to hit and she was very aggressive tonight in her approach. She played on a sprained ankle so I really appreciate her effort that she suited up and was out there the entire weekend.”
Libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) produced 17 digs to up her career total to 1,140, putting her just ten back of Nancy Gaspadarek for fourth in school history. Setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) came through with 32 assists.
For the sixth time this season, Florida State hit over .400 as it held a .472 (50-8-89) to -.011 (21-22-89) advantage over the Wolfpack. Paced by Weissing, the Seminoles out-dug NC State 41-29. Freshman Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) had four of FSU’s 12 aces as the Seminoles fell one short of their season high.
“We’ve told Summer to take half the court on defense so she’s not as restrictive where as in the past she thought she was restricted,” Kress said. “She basically freelances back there and anything on half the court is her’s so we’ve given her a lot more room to play defense and she’s gone at it with a more aggressive mindset and I think that’s helped her.”
The Seminoles wasted no time in taking control of game one as they ran out to a 9-2 lead before the Wolfpack called a time out. Barry had a trio of kills during the run while Wessl added a pair of aces. NC State’s only two points came off FSU errors. The lead reach double digits for the first time at 13-3 on a Tomic kill and got to 20 as Alex Plummer (Woodbury, Minn.) served 11 points in a row as part of an 18-1 run. FSU closed out the game on a 6-1 run for the 30-5 victory.
Leading the way with four kills was Thompson and Griffin, while Barry and Skower were one back. Tomic had nine assists and Weissing added six digs. Florida State hit an astronomical .714 (16-1-21) to the Wolfpack’s -227 (2-7-22). The Seminoles also held a 12-3 lead in digs.
Florida State kept NC State in the early part of game two as the visitors got six of their first eight points off FSU errors, but the Seminoles still held a 10-8 advantage. The Seminoles opened a 14-10 lead but let NC State hang around with a trio of errors until a 9-2 run, keyed by seven points off Wessel and Plummer’s serve, provided a 26-16 margin before the 30-20 final.
Tying Thompson for the game-high with four kills was Wessel to go along with a trio from Barry and Tomic. Skower had half of FSU’s six service aces and FSU held a 13-9 advantage in digs. The Seminoles bettered the Wolfpack .412 (19-5-34) to .111 (7-4-27) in hitting percentage.
“In games two and three I was a little disappointed with the number of unforced errors,” Kress noted. “NC State, when they are playing their best, is an aggressive team and they are going to force you into some errors, but I thought we made too many unforced errors. I was a little disappointed in the way we finished the match after the way we started.”
Griffin assured FSU of a fast start to game three as she served six-straight points to stake FSU to a 6-0 lead that was aided by three NC State attacking errors. Just like game two, the Seminole kept NC State in the set as three-straight errors allowed the Wolfpack to tie the match up at 7-7 and they would take the lead 10-9. Back-to-back aces gave NC State a two-point advantage (14-12) it would hold until 19-17. From there, Florida State went on a 5-0 run to nab a 22-19 lead that was helped by a trio of Wolfpack errors. The lead would grow to six (27-21) on a Barry kill before the Seminoles closed out the match 30-21.
Nearly half of Barry’s kills came in game three as she hit a perfect 5-for-5 while fellow rookie Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M.) was the only other player with more than two as she chipped in three. The game came down to hitting percentage as FSU hit .382 (15-2-34), but the Seminoles got 11 points off NC State attack errors as it hit .025 (12-11-40).
The Seminoles go back on the road next week when they travel to Virginia Tech (October 13) and Virginia (October 14) for a pair of ACC contests.