Sept. 11, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. –
During the last three matches, the Florida State University volleyball team has seen little resistance as it has established early leads and distanced itself from the competition. For the first time this season the Seminoles were tested in a tight match and they were able to keep their unblemished record as they prevailed 3-0 over Eastern Michigan University on Saturday (Sept. 11).
Florida State remained a perfect 5-0 on the season as it won its second match at the Michigan/Pepsi Challenge by scores of 30-22, 28-22, 33-31. The Seminoles have won 15-straight games, dating back to the third game of the season opener against Sam Houston State. The Eagles drop to 3-2 with the loss.
As the case has been recently, game one started with the Seminoles hopping out to an early six-point lead at 9-3 which held at 13-7 before expanding by one point to a 17-10 margin. EMU battle back, taking ten of the next 16 points to pull within three at 23-20. Florida State regain its composure and went on a run of its own, thanks to several Eagle attacking errors with a kill by Kristen Rust (Cincinnati, Ohio) ending the game at 30-22
The second game started with Seminole grabbing an early lead, but Eastern Michigan would get its first lead of the match at 5-4 and push its margin to 17-11 thanks to seven FSU errors. The Seminoles bounced back with an 8-2 run as five different players recorded a kill to tie the match at 19 apiece before FSU regain the lead at 24-23. A pair of Tribe errors gave EMU the lead again, but kills from Aisha Carr (Dallas, Texas) and Rust put the second game away 30-28.
Again Florida State found itself playing catch-up in the third game as a 1-1 tie quickly turned into a 10-4 Eastern Michigan advantage after six FSU errors and a pair of Eagle kills. The Tribe battled back to within two at 13-11 and gained their first lead of the game at 16-14 after a kill from Carr and an Eastern Michigan error.
After a 17-17 tie, a block from Amanda Santos (Minas Gerais, Brazil) and Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) plus a pair of kills from Rust and one from Renee Hill (Spring, Texas) gave FSU a 22-18 lead. The advantage would be short-lived as the Eagles produced four-straight points for a stalemate at 22.
From the tie at 22, neither team got more than one point ahead until the end of the match as there were nine ties and a trio of lead changes. Eastern Michigan found itself a point away from taking the third game after a ball-handling error by Skower made it 29-28 in favor of EMU. A kill by Rust and an EMU attacking errors swung the lead back on FSU’s side at 30-29. The Eagles would tie the game at 30 and 31 before Nikki Anthony (Pickens, S.C.) and Cassie McLaughlin (Cary, Ill.) recorded back-to-back kills to give FSU the victory.
Three Seminoles posted double digits in the kill column, with Carr notching a season-high 11 winners to go with ten more from Rust and Anthony. Santos added eight kills and six blocks, while McLaughlin contributed seven kills and 13 digs. Freshman libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) added 13 digs as the Seminoles recorded a season-high 65 digs.
The best all-around match came from the setter Skower. The 6-foot-1 sophomore notched 50 assists, but also contributed with five kills and a .625 hitting percentage, plus a team-high seven blocks and five digs.
Florida State returns to the court at 7 p.m. on Saturday to face the Wolverines who are also undefeated in the tournament.