Sept. 1, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Lady Seminoles opened the 2000 season, 2-0, as they took down the Florida Atlantic Owls in three sets in front of 414 fans in Tully Gymnasium. The Noles won the first two games handily, 15-7, 15-1, but had to battle back to win the third game, 15-12.
The second test of the day for Florida State turned out to be a talented FAU team. The Owls opened the day with a solid performance in a three-set win over Charleston Southern to open the tournament. The Owls again came out strong, going up 5-0 on the Lady Noles, and the lead which FSU built in Game One of their previous match, now belonged to the other team. With the Tully crowd behind them, the Noles fought back. After tying the match at six, the Lady Seminoles began pulling away, broadening the gap to 12-7. With the ball in their court, the Garnet and Gold took full advantage. FSU pulled away with several impressive shots to win Game One of the three-game set, 15-7. FSU continued to finish off its kills well, ending the first game with a .308 hitting percentage.
“We started things off today with a talented Southern Miss. team, before going up against Florida Atlantic,” FSU head coach Cecile Reynaud said. “One of our goals is to win two of three tournaments this season. We come into the CSU game tomorrow 2-0, but we have to stay focused. I am happy with the way our team got behind a couple of times today, but continued to battle back.”
Florida State came out strong in the second game, opening things up right from the start with a 4-0 lead before they ever surrendered the ball. FSU continued to pour it on, as the starting six extended their lead to 10, with equally as many unanswered points. Alex Sevillano again proved valuable over the scoreless stretch, as the sophomore outside hitter was dominant approaching the net. Norisha Campbell added a number of kills to put FSU ahead to stay. The duo combined for a block for the Garnet and Gold’s 14th-point, before the Lady Seminoles pulled away putting down the Owls in Game Two, 15-1. Campbell and Sevillano combined for a total of 13 kills through the first two games, with Campbell coming out on top with seven.
In the third game, FSU again fell behind early. The Owls jumped out, scoring the first point of the game. The Lady Seminoles again responded, this time putting three unanswered points on the board, to bring the score to 3-1. FAU came back, attempting to stay alive in the third game, and took the score to 8-3, with seven unanswered points. Campbell followed through on a blocked shot to get the Lady Noles’ first point since 3-1, as the team started to claw back. With the help of the able right arm of Sevillano, the Tribe drew even at 10-10. With the game swaying the Noles’ way, senior Jennifer Werrick stepped up and contributed with a vicious kill to put the game at 11-10, FSU. Werrick, appropriately, finished the game off for FSU with a service ace, to put away the Owls for good, 15-12.
The FSU-FAU match-up saw the contributions of many players, including two freshman, Jennifer Anderson and Cerina Pele. While Anderson continues to show her skills in setting up her teammates (26 assists), Pele showed her strength on the floor, as she collected 10 digs on the night.
“This was the first Friday night game for some of these girls, and the first night playing in front of a bigger crowd,” Reynaud said. “I think these athletes are here to play, work hard and be successful.”
FSU will return to Tully at noon on Saturday to play in the team’s third game of the weekend. Reynaud enters the noon match with Charleston Southern with 599 wins. CSU is currently 0-2 in tournament play with losses to Illinois and Florida Atlantic, dropping both matches 3-0.