Sept. 3, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to gain a 3-2 victory over Sam Houston State in the first round of the FSU Volleyball Invitational on Lucy McDaniel Court. The Seminoles not only rallied to win after losing the first two sets of the match but rallied from a pair of one-point deficits in the final set to recover and win 15-12 in the fifth set. After losing the first two sets (30-25 and 30-24), Florida State won the final three (30-25, 30-18 and 15-12) to win the match.
It marked the second consecutive season opening victory for the Seminoles (1-0) and 19th time in the last 20 years Florida State has won its first match of the season. The Seminoles’ only loss in a season opener during that stretch came in 2002. It was also the first match of the season for the Bearkats (1-0).
After winning the fourth set and tying the match a two sets each, the Seminoles jumped to a 7-4 lead in the fifth and deciding set. Sam Houston swung the momentum back its way with five consecutive points to take a 9-7 lead. Florida State won two consecutive points to tie the set at nine and the teams traded points until the score was tied at 12. The Seminoles closed out the match with three consecutive points including a demonstrative spike by senior Amanda Santos which gave Florida State the victory.
“We came out of the gate very sloppy,” said Florida State Head Coach Todd Kress. “We were undisciplined to start and made far too many unforced errors. I thought Sam Houston did a great job in the first couple games to keep the ball off the floor. They dug everything we threw at them. We didn’t pass well, we weren’t defending and we weren’t running the offense the way I like to see it run. And then a light came on. We turned a switch on in games three, four and five. You hate to lose the first two, but to come back and to build their confidence and what that means for them rest of the year – I think that will go a long way to help us out.”
Sam Houston played well in winning the first two sets with hitting percentages of .371 in game one and .250 in game two as compared to .289 and .000 for the Seminoles in the first two games. The roles were completely reversed in the final three sets with the Seminoles hitting a cumulative .341 percent and the Bearkats .074.
Junior Kristin Rust led four Seminoles in double figures with a game-high a game-high 14 kills.
Sophomore Nikki Anthony recorded 11 while Santos and senior Aisha Carr recorded 10 each. Seven of the nine Seminole players who saw action in the match recorded at least seven kills. Sophomore Jessica Skower led the Seminoles with a career and game-high 55 set assists. Sophomore Cassie McLaughlin, the 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year had 12 digs all coming in the final three sets. Freshman Summer Weissing, who was playing in hr first collegiate match, led Florida State with a game-high 14 digs.
Juniors Chrissy Engle and Jennifer Henrichsen led Sam Houston State with 12 kills while senior Karlee Butler topped the Bearkats with 44 set assists. Henrichsen also totaled a game-high tying 14 digs.
Florida State returns to action Friday night at 7:30 in the second of three games in the tournament. The Seminoles are also scheduled to South Alabama Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. In other games, Sam Houston plays South Alabama Friday at 5:30 and Stetson plays Sam Houston Saturday at 5:30 p.m.