Sept. 4, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s volleyball team played its first match since taking the FSU Tournament crown, on Labor Day in front of 323 fans in Tully Gymnasium. The Noles, having not lost a single game through their 4-0 start, hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide also came into the match with an undefeated record, posting a 2-0 record over their opening two games. FSU posted an incredible, five-match win over the Tide to move to 5-0 on the season.
“They really hung there tonight,” FSU head coach Cecile Reynaud said. “We started out so flat, they look really tired out there. I think that we showed some good signs of staying focused in the later games. I do give Alabama a lot of credit, they had a lot of good hitters.”
FSU attacked the Tide early, coming out to a 4-0 lead right away. Just as it seemed like FSU would run away with another victory, Bama struck back. The Crimson Tide hammered five points to go on a 5-0 run. Faced with the possibility of losing their first game this season, Florida State battled back in what became a fierce battle at the net. Both teams were finishing hard, but their opponents kept the ball in play with equally impressive digs. With the Tide rolling out to a 10-4 lead, FSU started crawling back, with a crucial kill by Jennifer Werrick, as well as a big block by Norisha Campbell. The two squad’s split side outs, until Alabama began pulling away, despite several diving attempts by setter Jennifer Anderson. With Michelle Green serving for Alabama, the Noles couldn’t withstand the Crimson Tide surge. By a final score of 15-6, the Lady Noles lost their first game of this young season.
The Tide jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Game Two, but the Noles followed, tying it up. From there both teams continued to put the ball down, trading points until the game was tied at 3-3. Following a number of hard kills by Kristin Frye and Alex Sevillano, the Lady Noles began to build a lead of their own, at 10-4. With the Lady Seminoles apparently running away with the game, to draw things even, Alabama went on a scoring streak. Following a time out, the Tide went on a 7-1 streak which put the game even at 11. With height in the middle of immediate urgency, coach Reynaud went to her bench, and came up with Dawn Hough. Hough had an immediate impact, collecting a kill and an ace right away to bring the game to 13-11. Hough served the score to 14-11, but couldn’t finish off the Tide, as Alabama again came back, eventually tying the game at 14. Alabama came up with a couple of digs, and managed to finish off their kills to end the game at 16-14.
Game Three opened up much the same way game No. 2 ended, with both teams trading points. With the game at 2-1, Jen Anderson served, and put together a pair of aces with a kill by Sevillano that put the game at 5-1. Two back-to-back aces by Frye brought the score to 8-1, Seminoles. With the score at 8-3, a great rally, courtesy in part to an incredible dig by Sevillano, resulted in another Tide-point. With an impressive service game and a lack of errors, FSU pieced together an impressive third-game victory, setting down the Tide 15-5. The Garnet and Gold managed to avoid the surge that lost them Game Two, with hard kills and great digs.
The Tide came out strong in Game Four, clearing trying to avoid going to a pivotal Game Five with FSU. Alabama opened up a 6-1 lead over the Lady Noles, but FSU did not let the game get out of reach, battling back to 5-6. Both teams continued to fight until a kill by Frye brought the game to 10-9, Seminoles. Both teams went back-and-forth, pushing the score to 11-11, before FSU finally gained the advantage at 14-12. With Anderson serving for the game, Elizabeth Pound had a clutch block to end the game, and draw the match even at 2-2.
Although Alabama opened the game serving, the Noles took full advantage of fifth-game rally scoring. The Lady Seminoles punched one back to go up 1-0, and gain the serve. FSU capitalized again, getting a point off the serve to go up 2-0. The Tide bounced back coming up with four points of their own, and the score stood at 4-3. Both teams kept the game close, as the score progressed to 6-5, Alabama, before Frye tied things up at seven. Pound served up a ball that Bama couldn’t handle, and heading into a Crimson Tide time out, the Noles were up 10-8. A service error gave the Noles a 13-12 lead, before Reynaud called a time out to collect her team heading into the final points. Sevillano had a kill following a great dig by Werrick, to put the score at 14-13, before Elizabeth Pound came up with a timely block to put the Noles on top for good, 15-13. FSU took home their fifth straight win to remain undefeated.
FSU will have the week off until Friday, when they travel to Muncie, Ind., for the Ball State Tournament. Florida State will take on South East Missouri State, UTEP and Ball State in that tourney.