Aug. 25, 2006
MACON, Ga. –
GAME SCORES: FSU 3, MVSU 0 (30-13, 30-10, 30-18)
With three weeks of seeing the same faces in the gym, the Florida State University volleyball team was ready to play an opponent in a different uniform. The Seminoles kicked off the 2006 campaign by taking a 3-0 decision (30-13, 30-10, 30-18) over Mississippi Valley State on Friday (August 25) at the University Center on the campus of Mercer University.
Florida State starts the season at 1-0 as it won its fourth-straight season-opening match. The Devilettes begin with an 0-1 mark.
“It was a good start, everyone got a chance to play and get their feet wet,” FSU head coach Todd Kress said. “I thought it was an aggressive start. The ball handling was decent, we passed well, played some okay defense and we blocked well. There are a lot of things we need to work on, but it was a good start and I was glad we got everyone in there.”
The Seminoles got out to a quick 4-1 lead in game one after kills from middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) and outside hitter Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.). The senior Griffin extended FSU’s lead to 8-1 as she served four-straight points. Another four-point run off the serve of Lauren Walker (Missouri City, Texas) extended the lead and an ace by Alex Plummer (Woodbury, Texas) gave FSU its first 10-point margin at 19-9.
The lead would get to as many as 16 points on two occasions off Griffin kills to give FSU 24-8 and 25-9 advantages. The Seminoles closed the game on a 5-2 run, thanks to a pair of kills by rookie outside hitter Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio), to take the opener 30-13. Florida State hit .556 as a team – and limited MVSU to -.053 – with Skower topping all attackers with four kills while four other players added three.
Just like the opening frame, Florida State got out to a quick advantage thanks to a 5-0 run that featured a pair of Skower kills. The Devilettes crept back to 10-6, but Plummer rattled off four points on her serve to give FSU a 16-6 advantage then setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) came through with four more to push the lead to 21-7. During that stretch, Griffin was in on three blocks and had a pair of kills.
Weissing scored four points of her own and Griffin served out the match with four more points for the 30-10 win in game two. Florida State hit better and played better defense in game two with a .571 attack percentage while MVSU hit -.208. The Seminoles had five total blocks during the second stanza.
“Jess played well, she just needs to play with an aggressive mentality,” Kress noted of Skower, who switched from setter to outside hitter this season.” The more aggressive she is the better she is and that’s what we need fro her.”
In a replay of the first two games, Florida State got out to a quick lead as Thompson rattled off five-straight points before Mississippi Valley State even got on the board. The Devilettes responded with a 7-4 run to get within a point at 9-8. However, the MVSU rally was short lived as Thompson recorded three-straight kills during a 5-0 run during Nikki Baker’s (Findlay, Ohio) serve to make it 15-8.
“The first one is always the hardest one,” Kress added. “Now we need to fine tune everything throughout the season leading up to the ACC. It’s a good foundation to start and hopefully we’ll be better tonight.”
Four players tied – Griffin, Skower, Thompson and Wessel — for the match high with nine kills. Griffin was also tops on the squad with six blocking assists. Middle blocker Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) was next with six kills during her collegiate debut while Thompson followed with 13 and Wessel chipped in with 12. debut while Thompson followed with 13 and Wessel chipped in with 12. Weissing and Tomic led the digging effort with seven each while Tomic added a team-high 25 assists.
“Brianna, Malorie and Nikki all played well in their first match,” Kress added. “Malorie and Brianna are going to learn that at this level it’s a lot harder to score so they are going to need to continue to raise their game. I couldn’t be happier for our freshmen, getting out there and getting some things done for their first match.”
The Seminoles return to the University Center Friday night at 6 p.m. to take on host Mercer.