September 20, 1998
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Junior middle hitter Aisha Thornton led the Lady Seminole volleyball team to a split of a pair of matches Saturday on the final day of the UCSB/Judy Bellomo Classic in Santa Barbara, California. #19 Florida State (8-3) recovered from a morning loss to Pepperdine (5-3) 13-15, 8-15, 15-11, 11-15, to down Santa Clara (6-4) in three-game sweep 15-2, 15-9, 17-15.
Against Pepperdine, Florida State scored the match’s first seven points behind strong blocking from middles Susan Hawks and Thornton, outside LaToya Washington, and setter Fiona Bolten. However, FSU’s scoring stalled at 13 as the Waves rallied to take the first game 15-13. With the momentum, Pepperdine cruised past the Lady Seminoles in game two 15-8. Four kills from Thornton and three from Jennifer Werrick along with three FSU service aces helped Florida State rebound in game three for a 15-11 victory. Control seesawed in a tough fourth game, but with the score tied at 10, the Waves broke away with aggressive net play to finish off FSU 15-11.
Individually for the Lady Seminoles against Pepperdine, Thornton tallied a season-high 22 kills and picked up 3 blocks. Washington added 12 kills and 5 blocks while Hawks posted 7 kills and a team-high 7 blocks.
In Florida State’s evening victory over Santa Clara, the Lady Seminoles once again gained control early, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. However, FSU did not falter against the Broncos. The Tribe committed just one hitting error in posting a .556 hitting percentage in the game to roll to a 15-2 victory.
Santa Clara took charge to start the second game with a 4-0 advantage, but Florida State battled back capitalizing on 16 hitting errors by the Broncos in the game. Tied at 8-8, the Lady Seminoles mustered four unanswered points and did not turn back to take the second game 15-9.
The Broncos took advantage of a relaxed FSU team to vault to a 10-point lead in game three, but Florida State would not be denied. Down 13-6, the Lady Seminoles used an impressive team effort at the net with powerful kills and a series of blocks to rally and tie the game at 14-14. Thornton pushed FSU into the lead at 16-15 with a pair of smashes down the middle then teamed with Schneider to block the final Bronco attack for the final point of a 17-15 Florida State victory.
“This is a very big win for us,” said head coach Cecile Reynaud following the Santa Clara match. “It helps offset some of the troubles we had experienced earlier this tournament. I’m proud that we were able to focus and pull out the win at the end. This has been a very tough tournament, both physically and mentally, but we expect to gain a great deal from playing in it.”
For the Lady Seminoles against Santa Clara, Thornton led the team again with 20 kills and 8 blocks. Schneider and Werrick each posted double-doubles.
Florida State next travels to Gainesville to face rival Florida this Wednesday at 7:00 pm in the O’Connell Center.