Sept. 2, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After storming out strong in the first match of its season against Mercer, Florida State stumbled, 3-1, against a tough South Carolina squad during day one of the FSU Invitational on Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym. Game scores were 21-30, 30-22, 17-30, and 30-23.
With the loss, the Seminoles evened their record to 1-1 while the Gamecocks improved to 2-0.
“We need to play better volleyball,” head coach Todd Kress said. “We need to play every area of the sport at a higher level. So, I’m a little disappointed in our effort and hopefully we’ll put on a better show tomorrow night.”
The Seminoles, who hit an impressive .312 percent in their season opener, managed a low .112 hitting percentage against USC. Behind Shonda Cole’s 14 kills, South Carolina recorded a respectable .261 clip.
Florida State senior Kristen Rust led the Tribe with 17.0 points off of 15 kills, five digs and four block assists. She hit .333 for the night to lead the offense. Three Seminoles logged double-digit digs beginning with freshman Marrita Royster-Crockett who had 14. Junior Sarah Griffin and sophomore Summer Weissing added 12 and 11, respectively. Freshman Gabrielle Rivera totaled two aces and junior Zrinka Tomic contributed 25 set assists towards the offensive attack.
The Seminoles quickly fell behind 20-7 in game one before cutting the gap to eight points, 29-21. However, an attack error gave the Gamecocks their final point as they rolled to a 30-21 victory.
Game two was FSU’s top outing of the evening as it won 30-22. Despite getting down 1-4 early on, the Tribe tied the game up at 4-4 in the second contest before taking the permanent lead.
After the break between games two and three, the Seminoles struggled from the start.
“We came out of the locker room not ready to go,” Kress said. “We’ve got to work on that. We have to find out why that happened because they did everything in our favor at that point and we were unable to capitalize on it.”
Florida State managed a match-low 10 kills and hit .086 in the third outing, while South Carolina soured by hitting .400 with 16 kills on 35 attempts. The final score of 30-17 was the biggest margin of defeat for the Seminoles on the day.
In the fourth and final game, FSU attempted a late comeback and crept within two points (18-20). However, three attack errors allowed South Carolina to extend the lead and they walked away with a 30-23 win for the match.
The FSU Invitational will conclude Saturday with Mercer and South Carolina battling at 3:30 p.m. followed by a Florida State-Pittsburgh match at 6:00 p.m.