Oct. 23, 2011
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Senior Rachael Morgan’s team-high 13 kills and five blocks led the 19th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team past Boston College, 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-19), on Sunday afternoon at Power Gym.
With FSU senior outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic missing her first full match of the season after bruising her foot in Friday’s match at Maryland, Morgan stepped up mightily with one of her best offensive performances of the season. The Tauranga, New Zealand, native recorded a team-best .522 hitting percentage and added seven digs to elevate the Seminoles (17-4, 11-0) to another conference victory.
Morgan’s kill total is a season high, as well as her attack percentage when she garners 10 or more attacks.
“Rachael stepped up big time today,” head coach Chris Poole said. “Our block again was outstanding and our setters did a good job getting the ball to our hot hitters. We struggled a little the first set in serve and receive but we are used to Visnja being a big part of our serve-receive.”
FSU put together 12 team blocks in what was another fine effort up front. Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Neff was formidable with nine blocks and six kills, while Sareea Freeman added four kills and three blocks. Setter Duygu Duzceler had a good performance with 23 assists and six digs, while freshman Sarah Wickstrom added nine assists.
Redshirt freshman libero Katie Mosher led the team with 16 digs in three sets to boost FSU’s passing.
The victory over the Golden Eagles (7-15, 3-8) ties Poole with former Northwestern coach Jerry Angle for 24th on the NCAA all-time wins list with 641.
Despite cruising through the second and third sets, FSU once again battled some adversity through an up-and-down first set. The Seminoles bolted to an early 5-0 lead, but later allowed Boston College to tie the set at 13-13 after an attack error. B.C. then took an 18-15 lead on a service ace by Kellie Barnum, and eventually had set point when another FSU attack error gave the Golden Eagles a 24-22 advantage.
Just as they did in the fourth set in their last match against Maryland, the Seminoles battled back as they nearly lost the set. Morgan recorded a kill and Alexandria Trobbe followed with an attack error to tie the set at 24-24. Sophomore right-side hitter Elise Walch then recorded a kill and Jekaterina Stepanova ended the set on a crucial kill, giving FSU four consecutive points.
Morgan was consistent again in set two, recording four kills and two blocks while Neff produced four blocks in the frame to help the Seminoles pull away early. In the third set, Morgan added four more kills and Duzceler led the setters with eight assists to help close out the match.
“We made some adjustments in the second and third sets and did much better,” Poole added. “I’m proud of the girls in that they stepped up and took two more on the road.”
The Seminoles hit .264 overall in the match, while B.C. registered a .098 hitting percentage. FSU has now held four opponents this season to below a .100 attack percentage.
FSU has nine matches left to play in the ACC, which include four consecutive home matches in the next two weekends at Tully Gym. The Seminoles look to extend their unbeaten conference record when they face Virginia Tech on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, Oct. 30, FSU will hold its annual “Paint it Pink” match at 1 p.m. against Virginia. For the second time this season, a free post-match clinic will be held for children five years of age through eighth grade. T-shirts will also be available at the match with a $10 donation going toward the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
Interested participants can fill out a registration form to participate in the post-match clinic on Sunday by logging on to Seminoles.com.