BATON ROUGE, La. – Melanie Keil posted a match-high eight blocks and recorded six kills while teammate Milica Kubura contributed a team-high eight kills and added four digs to lead 13th-ranked Florida State to its fourth sweep of the season by scores of 26-24, 25-20 and 25-18 at LSU on Sunday afternoon.
Keil, who finished with at least five blocks for the fifth time this season, highlighted a Florida State (7-2) front row that finished with 21 blocks. Joining her with multiple blocks was Natasha Calkins (six), Katie Horton (two) and Mara Green (two). Junior Cecilie Woie, who finished with 12 digs, anchored the Seminoles’ back row.
Kubura, the primary source of offense for Florida State, posted a .438 attack percentage after committing only one miscue in 16 attacks. She was joined up front by Horton (six kills), Keil and Green (five).
LSU (5-6) scored six of the first eight points of the third set, before three kills and an assisted block by Keil sparked an 8-4 run by the Seminoles that brought the game to a 10-all tie. It was at that point, with Brianne Burkert in serve, that Florida State had a 7-0 run that included a service ace, four unforced errors as they assumed a 17-10 lead.
Kubura and Keil continued to pose problems for LSU as Kubura drove home two kills and Keil added a kill and a block to provide FSU with a 23-15 edge. The Tigers trimmed the deficit to six before a series of kills by Horton gave the Seminoles their third win over an SEC program this season.
“After one set we could judge where they were going to set,” said Keil. “Blocking is one segment of the game where you read what the setter is going to do because that is the main job of the middle blocker—
figuring out the setter and communicating to the other blockers. By the end of the game that’s what happened. Additionally we were more disciplined tonight, so that was another advantage.”
The Seminoles used a Hailey Luke service ace and four unforced errors to battle back from an early 7-2 lead by LSU in the second set as they forced an eight-all tie. The two teams traded points, forcing six ties, before kills by Keil and Luke gave Florida State an 18-15 edge.
A timeout by LSU briefly pulled the Tigers within two, but a pair of unforced errors along with a service ace by Christina Ambrose and a kill from Keil provided the Noles a 22-18 advantage. Florida State completed the five-point win with a kill from Horton, who penetrated the defense with her second strike of the frame.
Three kills off the hand of Kubura in the first 24 points of the opening set kept Florida State in stride with the host Tigers as the two teams reached a 12-all deadlock. The Seminoles capitalized on two service aces by Luke, establishing a 16-13 advantage, but LSU quickly retaliated with a kills by Toni Rodriguez and Anna Zwiebel to pull even at 16.
The combination of Kubura, Horton and Green on offense kept the Seminoles’ offense in stride as the opening frame reached a climatic 24-24 tie. Luke used her senior expertise to find holes in the LSU offense, forcing a pair of attack errors by Rodriguez to complete the two-point victory.
The Seminoles now turn their attention to a Atlantic Coast Conference play where they host the first of four matches at Tully Gym against archrival Miami (Sept. 23) at 7 p.m. and follow with a meeting against Louisville (Sept. 25) at 1 p.m.
For more information visit Facebook (Florida State Seminoles Volleyball), Twitter (FSU_Volleyball) and Instagram (FSUvolleyball).