Nov. 3, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In what turned out to be one of the most exciting volleyball matches of the season, the Florida State Lady Seminoles came back strong to win a five-game match over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The `Noles won game one, but faltered in the following two games only to return to full strength in the final two games. The Seminoles walked out of Tully Gymnasium with their 19th win of the season, following a 15-8, 1-15, 8-15, 15-7, 18-16 win, to move to 19-9 (7-6 ACC).
“We try to put our players in situations like this in practice,” FSU head volleyball coach Cecile Reynaud said. “We try to prepare them for this.”
What would clearly develop over the five-game match was impressive coaching coupled with an intense desire to win. With only two home games left in the season, the Lady `Noles entered tonight’s match-up with a must-win attitude. FSU showed off that attitude in game one, as they went on to defeat Wake Forest, 15-8. The early win came on the heels of a strong performance by Norisha Campbell and impressive setting by Jennifer Anderson. Senior Jen Werrick was also in the mix, adding a number of impressive kills. The `Noles opened the first game with a solid .444 percentage, putting down 20 kills with four errors.
With game one behind them, FSU proved that the key to success was hitting well. With a .400+ percentage in game one, the Lady `Noles walked away with a solid victory, outplaying their opponents from North Carolina. Game two proved to be a completely different story. The Lady Seminoles came out somewhat flat, and couldn’t hold down the Deacon attack ending the game with a -.150 percentage. Wake Forest jumped out to a commanding lead, at one point extending their lead to an incredible 13-0. The `Noles managed to put a point on the board before Wake Forest closed out the game with a 15-1 victory. With the games all tied up, the Tribe failed to come out and put Wake Forest away early. With the Demon Deacons just coming off a dominating win, the Old Gold and Black continued to pour it on, as Florida State simply looked outmatched. The Deacons went on to knock out the `Noles in game three, 15-8, following a furious effort at a comeback after FSU again fell behind 12-0.
The glimpse of the competitive spirit that has defined this Lady Seminole team all season may have come out late in game three, however, by that point it was too late to capitalize. FSU continued its will to win in game four, as FSU proved it was down but not out. The ‘Noles fought back to knock out Wake Forest, 15-7. Kristin Frye got into the action, as the sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind., had a number of big kills including putting away a floater to put the game at 11-5. Werrick and Campbell continued to put the pressure on WFU at the net, while sophomore Dawn Hough added a couple of blocks to shut down the Wake Forest offense.
With the match tied at two games apiece, and the momentum clearly favoring FSU, the Lady Seminoles jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the rally-scoring fifth game. That lead disappeared just as quickly as it was created, as the Demon Deacons tied the game at 2-2. Both teams went back and forth, diving for balls and coming up with clutch digs. The teams stayed even in the exciting final game until Alex Sevillano served at 17-16. The FSU front line came up with a game-ending block to walk out of a loud Tully Gymnasium with the team’s 19th win of the season.
“Sometimes this kind of lopsided play, with the way we were in games two and three versus one, four and five, is just part of volleyball,” Reynaud said. “We just needed to stay psychologically focused. We really just concentrated on the basics, defense and they simply played their hearts out. They went for every ball out there.”
FSU ended the conference game with three players in double digits in kills. Kristin Frye, Norisha Campbell and Jen Werrick hit 11, 14 and 14, respectively. Jen Anderson poured in 50 assists and 20 digs to lead FSU in both categories.
The Lady `Noles will now end their home season with a match against ACC rival Duke on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in Tully Gymnasium.