Nov. 2, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Despite a 2-1 lead going into the fourth set, the Florida State volleyball team was unable to hold off Duke as it fell 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 21-15, 10-15) on Sunday afternoon in Tully Gymnasium. The loss pushes the Seminoles to a 15-8 overall record and moves them into a tie for fourth with Wake Forest in the ACC with a 7-6 conference record. The Blue Devils are now 18-7 and 9-4 in the league and are in a three-way tie for second in the ACC.
“A lot of it was a consistency problem, we just made too many mistakes at key times,” Florida State head coach Chris Poole said. “I thought we played hard but it’s just tough on us to play great teams and make those kinds of mistakes against them. We’re showing that we’re capable of playing teams that are very good, but we’ve got to step-up.”
Despite the tough loss, five Seminoles posted double-digit kills this afternoon led by juniors Brianna Barry with 14 and Jordana Price with 12. Barry also led with a .417 attack percentage while recording eight digs and a solo block. Price attacked at .265 and led the squad with one solo and four assisted blocks.
Rounding out the top hitters was freshman Rachael Morgan with 11 kills and sophomores Stephanie Neville and Lauren Richardson with 10 kills each. Morgan notched an impressive .286 attack percentage on 35 attempts with just one error and also had one solo block. With 17 digs against Duke, Richardson now has a team-leading nine double-doubles this season and her two service aces this afternoon also topped the Seminoles.
The current ACC leader in digs per set, Ashlee Moon extended her streak of 10 or more digs in a match to six with 19 against Duke. The senior libero also notched a service ace in set four.
Duke came out with the first point in sets one through three but it was Florida State that scored first in sets four and five. Blue Devil Rachael Moss scored the first point of the match with a kill before the Noles would get on the board off a handling error on Duke’s Sue Carls to tie it up. Although FSU took the win in set one, both teams were tied with 16 kills, 15 assists and 18 points heading into the second set.
The Blue Devils maintained control of set two, allowing Florida State to score only 17 points and holding the Noles to a .121 team attack percentage. Both teams remained tied with 25 assists after two with Duke holding a slight advantage with 28 kills to FSU’s 26 heading into halftime.
A more determined Seminole team emerged from the locker room in set three, taking control early and holding the advantage from point eight to 25. Florida State put down 19 kills in set three and led with 17 assists, 20 digs and a .415 attack percentage to go up 2-1 on the Blue Devils.
It was critical for FSU to take set four, but Duke was able to put a stop to the Seminoles’ efforts with Moss and Sophia Dunworth each putting down five kills in the 25-21 win that rolled the teams into set five.
Although the Seminoles won the first point in set five with a powerful kill by Barry, it wasn’t long before the Blue Devils made their move and commanded the scoreboard to hold the lead at point seven. FSU fought back from a five-point deficit to get the score to 11-6 in favor of Duke, but it wouldn’t be enough as the visitors pulled away with the victory, holding the Noles to 10 points.
“There were some things I thought we did well,” Poole said. “This is a good Duke team and we had them on the ropes and could have won today but we’re not quite there yet. Part of that is just continuing to work hard every day and improve.”
The Seminoles must now hit the road and head to Chestnut Hill, Mass., to face Boston College on Friday, Nov. 7, at 8:00 p.m. before turning around and playing Maryland in College Park at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Florida State is on a two-game winning streak against both the Eagles and Terrapins after defeating both teams at home in October.