Sept. 1, 2006
With a pair of victories under its belt on the road, the Florida State University volleyball returned home with the same result. The host Seminoles began play in the FSU Invitational with a 3-0 (30-20, 30-14, 30-13) victory over Stetson on Friday (September 1) at Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gymnasium.
With the win, Florida State improved to 3-0 on the year. Stetson dropped to 0-4. Florida State has won all five home openers under Todd Kress.
“I liked that we only made eight hitting errors in a three-game match,” Kress said. “We ran the offense efficiently and we dispersed the sets; we had five players with double-digit attacks. We still have a long ways to go, but there were a lot of positives. We’re going to take it one step at a time.”
Leading the Florida State attack was outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass) as she totaled a match-high 17 kills to go along with a .571 hitting percentage. Middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) was next with 10 kills to go along with four aces, seven digs and four blocks. Florida State hit a season-high .511 with seven player hitting .500 or better.
“She put up huge numbers,” Kress said of Thompson. “I would have liked to have seen us use her less to where we were getting our middles a little bit more involved. Probably the one thing we need to work on is getting our middles more involved so we don’t have to use her so much.”
Rookie setter Nikki Baker (Findlay, Ohio) put up and early career-high 28 assists with libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) topped the match with 11 digs. Rookies Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) and Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) added seven and six kills, respectively.
Florida State wasted no time in jumping out to a quick lead in game one as Alex Plummer (Woodbury, Minn.) served five straight points to give Florida State a 9-1 lead. During the run, Thompson picked up three kills.
Stetson would fight back to get within seven points at 20-13, but FSU came back with Plummer and Caitlin Belvin (Winter Park, Fla.) serving up two points a piece to give the Seminoles a 28-17 cushion. Back-to-back kills by Thompson and Griffin closed out the game at 30-20
The Seminoles hit .594 as a team with six player hitting .500 or better, led by Barry’s .600 clip. Thompson led the way with seven kills while setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) had 10 assists and six digs.
“We were all really excited to play at home and we had a good crowd,” Thompson said. “We had a lot more energy tonight because we were excited to play at home and we didn’t have any of the first-game jitters.”
Game two started with another flurry of Florida State points as Baker rattled off six-straight to give FSU a 6-0 lead. The two teams traded points until Belvin notched four points with the help of a pair of kills from Wessel. The lead stayed at 12 points for most of the game until FSU closed on a 6-2 run for the 30-14 victory.
FSU had another outstanding hitting game with a .467 clip. Thompson and Wessel led the way with five kills, while Griffin chipped four. Griffin also had three service aces while Weissing tallied four digs.
The third game was the closest of the three at the start, but the Seminoles pulled away midway through the set. Stetson would cut the margin to four points (9-5) before FSU got nine points off the serve of freshmen Belvin and Brittany Byrd (Orlando, Fla.) that push the margin back to 20-8 in FSU’s favor. A 10-5 run by the Seminoles closed out the match 30-13.
The FSU Invitational concludes on Saturday (Sept. 2) with four matches. Florida State will take on South Alabama – who lost to Eastern Illinois in the opening match – at 10 a.m. then comes back for a 7 p.m. contest versus EIU. Both matches can be heard on the internet by logging on to www.seminoles.com and going to the volleyball schedule page.