TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three Florida State players including Mara Green (11 kills, 11 blocks), Katie Horton (14 kills, 13 digs) and Brianne Burkert (23 assists, 10 digs) recorded a double-double, but it was not enough to push the 10th-ranked Seminoles past an upstart NC State squad who became just the second opponent this season to earn a win at Tully Gym as the Wolfpack came away with a 25-23, 25-21, 17-25, 22-25 and 15-8 victory on Friday evening.
Green capped off her first career double-double by posting a .333 hitting percentage after driving home 11 kills on 24 swings. While Green had the best hitting percentage in the Seminole (19-4, 11-2 ACC) lineup, Horton finished with the team-high in kills, eclipsing the double-digit mark for the 12th time in 2016. Horton was also responsible for 13 digs, her third straight match with double-digit digs, as she emerged with her 19th double-double.
Brianne Burkert dished out a team-high 23 assists and added 10 digs to join Horton and Luke (12 career double-doubles) with most career double-doubles (10) among active players. Cecilie Woie also provided a solid presence on the Florida State back row with 19 digs.
Melanie Keil, who tallied nine assisted blocks in the match, joined Green on a front row that posted 39 total blocks (36 assisted). Four Seminoles enjoyed multi-block performances including Horton (five assisted), Milica Kubura (five total blocks; four assisted), Christina Ambrose (five assisted) and Natasha Calkins (three assisted).
With Keil in serve, Florida State grabbed a 3-0 advantage behind kills by Horton and Calkins. The Wolfpack quickly rallied and following back-to-back kills from Julia Brown grabbed a 4-3 advantage.
NC State’s defense stepped up in the clutch, stretching the lead to 9-5, and despite a series of unforced errors Wolfpack errors Florida State was unable to pull closer than three points.The Wolfpack received consecutive assisted blocks from Teni Sopitan and Kaitlyn Kearney down the stretch to complete the 15-8 win.
Carrying over the momentum from the third set, Florida State scored six of the first eight points, highlighted by kills from Ambrose and Green, to establish a 6-2 lead. The Wolfpack answered with an 8-4 run, as they knotted the game at 10 on a kill by Brown.
The two teams battled through eight ties over the next 16 points, with only NC State able to grab more than a one-point advantage, before a strike by Calkins provided Florida State with a 19-18 lead. Green followed with a kill and assisted a block along with Kubura as the Seminoles moved in front by three. FSU converted kills by Horton, Green and Keil to force a fifth set.
Trailing 2-0 in the match, the Seminoles used two a series of kills by Green and Kubura with Horton in serve to assume a 7-4 lead in the early stages of the third. NC State rallied, converting kills by the trio of Kaitlyn Kearney, Maggie Speaks and Julia Brown to pull even at 10.
Poole called the first Florida State timeout of the third and the Seminoles responded with an 8-4 run, highlighted by three blocks from Keil and two from Ambrose, taking a four-point lead. Two kills from Green combined with four Wolfpack unforced errors proved to be the difference as Florida State captured the third set.
Four Wolfpack kills, including two from Brown, resulted in an early 8-4 advantage in the second set as Florida State was forced to spend its first timeout early. The Seminoles strategic changes resulted in a 7-3 run, highlighted by kills from Horton, Ambrose and Keil along with a service ace by Luke, resulting in a 12-11 contest.
Horton continued to penetrate the NC State defense, driving home three kills over the next 10 points to provide the Seminoles with an 18-15 lead. However, the Wolfpack bounced back and behind the service games of Brown and Emily Harris and six unforced Florida State errors earned a four-point win.
NC State used a 9-4 lead to break a three-all tie, capitalizing on two points from Perry Ramsey and a pair of strikes by Brown, as it assumed a 12-7 advantage. Looking to regroup, the Seminoles burned their first timeout and behind a block from Green and kills by both Keil and Ambrose sliced the deficit to three, 16-13.
Florida State continued its rally by combining timely kills from the trio of Calkins, Kubura and Horton with a block by Green, making for a 21-20 Wolfpack advantage. NC State held off the late charge with two kills from Brown down the stretch as it grabbed the opening set by two.
Tenth-ranked Florida State returns to Tully Gym to face the 12th-ranked Tar Heels (19-3, 11-1 ACC) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. The match will be featured on the ACC Network Extra with commentary from Tom Block and Makini Thompson. The Seminoles will look to improve to 20-1 all-time record at Tully Gym when ranked among the AVCA Top 10.
On Sunday, fans will receive a free fanny pack as part of 80’s Day at Tully Gym.
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