Nov. 5, 2010
ATLANTA, Ga. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State University volleyball team picked up one of its biggest conference wins of the season as it earned a flawless 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18) victory over Georgia Tech on Friday evening in front of 1,013 fans at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
In one of their more complete efforts of the season, the Seminoles (16-8, 8-6) were powered by their 13.5 blocks on defense, while also using an efficient .290 hitting percentage to ride past one of the ACC’s best offensive groups in the Yellow Jackets (15-11, 8-6). FSU’s high percentage on offense is its best since hitting .324 in the conference-opener at Miami on Sept. 18.
The Seminole’s 13.5 blocks are also their most in a three-set match this season, and their third-highest total overall. The two highest outputs this season of 19 and 15 against North Carolina and Kansas State, respectively, came in five-set matches.
Tonight’s victory puts FSU into a third-place tie with Georgia Tech in the ACC standings. The Seminoles also exacted a bit of revenge on the Yellow Jackets, falling to them in 3-0 fashion on Oct. 10 in Tallahassee. It was at that point in the season where FSU began to suffer some unfortunate outside circumstances, which may now be in the rearview mirror after tonight.
“The adversity that we had to face in the month of October started on the weekend we were home with Georgia Tech,” head coach Chris Poole said. “The team has kept a great attitude through everything and continues to believe. I’m very proud of the girls and the way they kept pushing tonight with a large noisy crowd.”
Juniors Jekaterina Stepanova and Visnja Djurdjevic each led FSU with 11 kills apiece. The Seminoles earned their first three-set victory in over a month, when they defeated Virginia on Sept. 24. Djurdjevic hit .304 and added four digs, while senior Stephanie Neville had another fine performance with seven kills, a .333 hitting percentage, four digs and four blocks.
The combination of middle blockers Ashley Neff and Lauren Young as well as new right-side hitter Sareea Freeman provided plenty of mayhem for the Yellow Jackets. Neff, a freshman from Kennesaw, Ga., led the Seminoles with seven blocks. Young and Freeman added six blocks apiece as Georgia Tech managed to hit at just a .113 clip, the fourth-lowest total FSU has allowed this season.
“We played the way we did the first six weeks of the season,” Poole added. “It was nice to see the team step up. Sareea is getting more comfortable in Rachael (Morgan’s) position, which will be a key for us the next few weeks.”
The first set saw FSU hit at a .344 clip while recording 15 kills to make a strong opening impression. Stepanova recorded seven kills in the set as FSU went neck-and-neck with the Yellow Jackets. A big play came when Djurdjevic recorded a kill to break a 19-19 tie, which was followed by a Georgia Tech attack error and a block by Neff.
Neville recorded four kills and two blocks to pace FSU in the second set, as the Seminoles posted five blocks and 15 kills. Once again, both teams hung tough throughout the frame, but a block by Freeman and Neff ended Georgia Tech’s chances of tying the match in the second set.
FSU ran away with the third set, as Georgia Tech recorded eight kills and nine attacks errors for a -.037 hitting percentage. Duzceler had seven assists in the frame, while Djurdjevic led FSU with four kills.
The Seminoles return with a match at Clemson on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at Jervy Gym. The match can be followed on CBS GameTracker.