March 29, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team opened its 2010 spring slate this past Saturday with wins over Georgia Southern (25-18, 25-21, 15-9), LSU (25-19, 25-14, 16-18), Auburn (25-22, 25-20, 7-15) and an FSU alumni squad (25-14, 25-19, 9-15).
Rising senior Stephanie Neville led the hitters with 27 total kills, a 28 percent hitting percentage and nine blocks. She was followed closely by Rachael Morgan and Fatma Yildirim, who had 25 total kills apiece.
In the middle, rising sophomore Sareea Freeman was very impressive on the day as she looks to take over for the recently-graduated Brianna Barry. Freeman contributed 24 kills and boasted a 45 percent hitting percentage at day’s end.
She also had 11 total blocks.
“I don’t think our coaching staff is ever completely satisfied, because we want to keep pushing the players all the time,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “However, it was a productive first tournament for the spring.”
True freshman Ashley Neff got her first taste of college volleyball and didn’t disappoint on Saturday. Neff, who enrolled at Florida State in January, had 15 kills, a 30 percent hitting percentage and 12 blocks.
Senior Lauren Young, who continues to rehabilitate following an ACL injury prior to the start of the 2009 season, also had the chance to play over the course of the day.
“She has only been back for about a month and is maybe 60 percent at this point,” Poole said about Young. “But it was good to see her back on the court. She will continue to improve with each week.”
Defensively, Yildirim led the team with 33 total digs will Morgan and Jenna Romanelli posted 24.
“Our serve receive for the day was much improved over the fall season with every passer finishing the day with a 2.21 or better,” Poole said. “Jenna led all passers at 2.61 and Rachael at 2.43. This is out of a perfect 3.00 scale, so we are very proud of the work the girls are putting in to become a more effective passing team.”
This past weekend marked the first of four spring tournaments the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions will take part in.
Fans in Tallahassee for all the Spring Game festivities are encouraged to visit Tully Gym over the course of the day on April 10. The Seminole volleyball team will take to the court at about 10 a.m. and will face off in successive games against Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tulane and Troy.
Admission is free.