Nov. 19, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After defeating North Carolina twice this season, the Florida State volleyball team knew it be a tough task to beat the Tar Heels three times in one season. That notion proved true Friday afternoon as fifth-seeded UNC upset fourth-seeded FSU, 3-0, in the second round of the ACC Championship at Memorial Gym on the campus of the University of Virginia. Game scores were: 30-17, 33-31, and 30-24.
It was the second upset of the day as undefeated (ACC) and top-seeded Georgia Tech fell to ninth-seeded Clemson, 3-1. This season marks the eighth straight time that the top-seed will not win the ACC Tournament.
Senior middle blockers Aisha Carr and Amanda Santos led the Seminoles. Carr (Dallas, Texas/Skyline HS) paced her team with 11 kills and two block assists for a team-high 12 points. Amanda Santos (Minas Gerais, Brazil/College of Southern Idaho) registered seven kills, four digs, and eight block assists for 11.0 points. Junior outside hitter Kristen Rust (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley HS) posted nine kills and a team-best 12 digs, while freshman libero Summer Weissing totaled 11 digs, respectively.
Sophomore setter Jessica Skower (Naples, Fl./Naples HS) had 43 set assists, one ace, eight digs, and two block assists. Sophomore Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas/Hereford HS) contributed seven kills on 15 swings for a .333 mark. She added five digs for 7.0 total points. Junior Andreza Santos (Minas Gerais, Brazil/College of Southern Idaho) recorded six kills, Lauren Scott had five, and sophomore Nikki Anthony (Pickens, S.C./Pickens HS) tallied four, respectively. Senior Renee Hill (Spring, Texas/Iowa) pitched in seven digs and Rust added four block assists.
Florida State hit .187 while North Carolina totaled a .259 clip.
The Tribe started out slow in game one and head coach Todd Kress was forced to go deep in his bench to find a much-needed spark in order to get things going, but that time never came. With the score 6-6, the Tar Heels broke free on an 8-2 run that put the Seminoles down 14-8 and the Tribe would never get any closer than three points (14-11) as North Carolina defeated FSU, 30-17.
Florida State hit a low .073 and had 16 errors. The Tar Heels recorded a .270 clip and out-blocked the Seminoles 5.0-2.5, respectively. Carr and Amanda Santos tallied eight of the team’s 13 total kills.
The second battle found the Seminoles up 7-4 before smart ball placement by the Tar Heels evened the score up at 7-all. The Tribe would take the point on the next play (8-7) and extend the lead to 17-13 midway through the contest. Florida State led by as much as four points late, 25-21, but UNC went on a 3-0 run from that point to come within one (25-24) until Scott answered back with a kill for the 26-24 gain. Both teams traded points until a block error on FSU tied the score at 27-all and UNC took the 28-27 lead the very next play with a kill. An Anthony slam tied it back up at 28-28 but the Tar Heels took the gain on the next possession with a block at the net (28-29). Back-to-back Florida State kills gave the Tribe a one point lead, 30-29, but another kill by UNC tied it up 30-all. Rust came through for the final FSU lead and point, 31-30, but a UNC kill followed by two FSU attack errors allowed the Tar Heels to take game two with a 33-31 victory.
Statistically, the Seminoles won the game on paper. FSU out-hit UNC .245 – .228, out-blocked the opponent 5.0 – 3.0 and outscored it 27.0 – 26.0 points. However, late-game errors proved costly for the Tribe and the Tar Heels were able to capitalize on FSU’s mistakes.
The Tar Heels owned the early advantage through the third go-around and led by three points, 17-14, until FSU went on a 5-0 run and took a 19-17 gain. However, that would be the final time the Seminoles would score for six possessions as the Tar Heels took advantage of their own 6-0 run to take the 23-19 lead. The Garnet and Gold would never get back in the game and North Carolina advanced to the semi-finals of the ACC Championship with a 30-24 win.
Molly Pyles paced the Tar Heels with 17 kills and 11 digs.
Florida State will have to wait until Sunday, November 28, to see if the NCAA finds it worthy of moving on to post season play. Selection Sunday will be live on ESPNews at 6:45 p.m.
No. 5 UNC advanced to the semi-finals and will play No. 9 Clemson at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.