Sept. 10, 2011
DAYTON, Ohio (seminoles.com) – After picking up its second Top-25 victory of the season on Friday, the 24th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team couldn’t sustain any momentum as it fell to Pepperdine, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25), on Saturday evening at the Frericks Center as part of the Dayton Marriott Flyer Classic.
Despite out-blocking the Waves (6-3) by nearly twice as much, the Seminoles (6-4) were hurt by the three-player attack of Victoria Adelhelm (11 kills, .474 hitting percentage), Kim Hill (19 kills, .378 hitting percentage) and Samantha Cash (10 kills, .381 hitting percentage). The Seminoles (6-4) faced a difficult opponent that came off a recent win over a Top-10 opponent.
“We played very well in spots against Pepperdine but made some critical mistakes late in the games,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We have to learn to be more consistent and make the big play.
“Pepperdine just knocked off eighth-ranked UCLA last week and they are a good team,” Poole added. “All three matches this weekend were against legitimate Top 25 teams. The competition will make us better.”
Redshirt freshman libero Katie Mosher had her work cut out for her, registering a career-high 28 digs in just four sets. Mosher was later named to the All-Tournament Team for her outstanding play. Senior outside hitter Jekaterina Stepanova added another double-double, her team-leading fifth of the season, with 12 kills and 11 digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Neff continued to bolster the Seminoles up front with seven blocks, giving her 55 this season as she averages 1.57 per set. She also picked up six kills in 12 attacks for a .333 hitting percentage. Also contributing was junior Marija Milosavljevic, who had nine kills and four blocks.
FSU started off well in the first set, taking an 11-8 lead on kill by Visnja Djurdjevic. However, a late surge by the Waves ended any chance of the Seminoles getting the early edge, including three consecutive points after holding a 22-21 lead to end the set.
The Seminoles bounced back in set No. 2. Rachael Morgan’s kill brought them to within 16-15 and ignited a five-point rally to take a 19-16 lead. Stepanova added two late kills and a Pepperdine service error closed out the set to tie the match overall at 1-1.
After Pepperdine took a 9-8 lead in the third frame, FSU was unable to mount any comeback as the Waves scored a flurry of points on the hitting of its attacking trio. The Seminoles had a chance late in the last set after taking an 18-15 lead on an attack error on Pepperdine’s Hill, but let the Waves get back in before ensuing in back-and-forth points. The match ended on a kill by Hill, giving FSU a 1-2 mark for the weekend.
The Seminoles return home for one of their most highly anticipated matches of the season. FSU faces conference rival Miami on Wednesday, Sept. 14, for an ESPNU televised match at Tully Gym that begins at 8 p.m. As always, FSU’s home events throughout the regular season are free of charge.