DURHAM, N.C. – Katie Horton recorded her fourth straight double-double (18 kills / 19 digs), Hailey Luke added 27 assists and Melanie Keil emerged with nine total blocks as 17th-ranked Florida State earned four-set victory at Duke by scores of 20-25, 25-16, 25-23 and 25-20 in ACC volleyball action on Friday evening. The win moves Florida State (21-5, 14-3 ACC) into second place in the ACC standings behind North Carolina.
Horton enjoyed her 11th double-double of the season and 23rd of her career as she moved to within 11 digs of reaching 1,000 in her career. She was joined among offensive leaders by Mara Green, Natasha Calkins and Milica Kubura, all who finished with eight strikes. Florida State finished off its 10th road win of the season with 55 team kills.
Keil led the way for a front row that tallied 18 assisted blocks as Florida State held the Blue Devils (20-7, 14-3 ACC) to a .168 attack percentage. She was joined up front with multiple blocks by Kubura (five), Calkins (two) and Horton (two).
The back row combination of Cecilie Woie and Madison Sullivan, who finished with 29 and 14 digs, respectively, also played a key role in limiting the Duke offense. Both Woie and Sullivan enjoyed career-highs in digs and along with Horton’s 18, the Seminoles finished with an 88-86 advantage.
Three kills by Horton allowed Florida State to grab a 9-3 lead in the fourth set. However, Duke charged back with Jordan Tucker in serve and three kills from Leah Meyer to pull even at 10.
Horton drove home four kills with Sullivan in serve to push the Seminoles in front 16-12. The lead remained at four until a series of strikes by Meyer, Cindy Marina and Jessi Bartholomew pulled Duke to within one, 21-20. Florida State responded, under the direction of Luke, with kills from Green and Brianne Burkert to wrap up the win.
Kubura was one of seven Seminoles to record a kill in the first 22 points of the third set as the two teams battled to an 11-all deadlock following a slam by Stasa Miljevic. Florida State scored seven of the next nine points, highlighted by two kills by Calkins, to move in front 18-13.
The Blue Devils used an 8-3 rally, highlighted by strikes from Jordan Tucker and Leah Meyer, to eventually pull even at 21. Three points from Horton, including two kills and an assisted block along with Green, helped Florida State grab the third set 25-23.
“It was a great win tonight,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We overcame a lot of adversity and I am super proud of the team. We had a lot of different players step up and that was the difference in the match. Duke is a very good team and they run a great offense. We need to take this win and learn from it as we prepare for Sunday.”
Consecutive kills by Green, Horton, Keil and Burkert got the offense in sync as the Seminoles jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the second frame. Green and Kubura combined for one kill and an assisted block to help Florida State stretch its lead to 16-7, after a service ace by Luke.
Luke was instrumental in adding to the Seminole lead as she assisted on kills by Green and Keil to make for a 21-11 contest. Two kills from Duke’s Jordan Tucker were offset by strikes by Green and Kubura as Florida State completed the nine-point win.
Behind the service game of Chloe DiPasquale the Blue Devils established a 7-1 advantage in the opening set. An assisted block by the combination of Kubura and Keil ignited Florida State, who went on an 8-2 run to pull within one, 10-9.
Duke stretched the lead to five, 17-12, following kills from Bartholomew and Meyer, forcing the second Seminole timeout. Horton drove home two kills while Kubura, Calkins and Green added one each, but Florida State fell short as Duke posted the five-point win.
The Seminoles remain in North Carolina and will head to Winston-Salem to clash with Wake Forest at 1 p.m. for the 40th time in program history. With a 32-7 advantage in the series, Florida State has emerged victorious in nine of its last 10 head-to-meetings against the Demon Deacons.
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