TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – (Seminoles.com) – The seventh-ranked Florida State (6-0) indoor volleyball team returned home to Tully Gym in dominating fashion with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-13) sweep of Samford (3-5) in its first match of the Four Points by Sheraton Seminole Invitational.
“We worked really hard this week on our blocking,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “It was lacking last week. Part of it is players playing next to each other that haven’t played next to each other before. We’re still trying to get the new players used to the returning ones.”
The Seminoles were a force at the net, putting up a total of 13.5 total team blocks while holding Samford to a negative hitting percentage. FSU was led by redshirt sophomore Sarah Burrington, who contributed seven block assists. The Ruskin, Fla. native added seven kills, while delivering three aces. She also registered a dig.
“We knew we were going to play hard,” Burrington said. “We knew that we needed to clean up the errors, so we focused on that and we went hard for every ball.”
Junior outside hitter Nicole Walch led the attack with 13 kills while hitting .522 percent. Walch was big on the block with four assists and she was under five digs.
Also instrumental with the block was junior Kiara Wright and sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton, who contributed five block assists each.
Senior setter Sarah Wickstrom dished 18 assists while sophomore setter Hailey Luke tallied nine. Both setters contributed an ace.
Redshirt senior Katie Mosher registered seven digs and two assists while accounting for an ace.
Florida State jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first set, but then surrendered a 7-1 run to Samford before Coach Poole called timeout up 15-13. The Seminoles outscored the Bulldogs 10-6 down the stretch in order to take the 1-0 lead 25-19.
“We’ve only won one of our first sets this season,” Walch said. “We really wanted to come out and win the first set. We came out a little sloppy but we took care of business.”
Burrington helped on the block with four block assists in the first, contributing to a team total of five.
“Blocking is my favorite thing,” Burrington said. “It’s great to know that we can stop the other team before they get it to our side of the net.”
Early in the second, the Seminoles went on a 9-0 charge to go up 12-4. FSU would outscore Samford 25-9 to take the 2-0 lead.
The Seminoles kept the foot on the gas in the third, dominating from start to finish closing out the match 25-13.
“This season we seem to play down that first set,” Poole said. “Then we try and rise up in sets two and three I thought they did that tonight. We finished very strong and that was encouraging.”
Florida State will play a double header tomorrow, first taking on Central Arkansas (3-5) at 11 a.m. The Sugarbears defeated the Bulldogs and LSU (1-3) on Friday.
The Seminoles will play LSU at 7 p.m. in a match that can be seen on NolesTV. The match has been tabbed as a “Blackout” and fans are encouraged to wear black to the event. The first 300 fans will receive a black t-shirt.
For more information on FSU volleyball, check Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.