DURHAM, N.C. – The Florida State volleyball team took down the Duke Blue Devils in four sets on Sunday afternoon. A pair of road conference wins this weekend brings FSU’s season record to 11-5, 5-3 ACC.
In its second consecutive win over Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, FSU’s all-time record against the Blue Devils improves to 19-37.
A number of different players stepped up in several categories this weekend. Sophomore Bozena Culo played all-around against Duke as an outside hitter, ending the match with a .256 hitting percentage with 14 kills. She was one of three different players who hit a double-double on Sunday, alongside Brianne Burkert and Annie Tietjens.
Set 1 – Florida State 25, Duke 23
After filling in as the Seminoles’ starting outside hitter for the first time this season, Bozena Culo quickly took command of the Seminoles’ offense in the beginning of the set, earning the first two kills and helping FSU pull into an early lead. Veteran offensive leaders Milica Kubura and Natasha Calkins followed right behind, keeping the pressure on the net to help the Seminoles hold the lead.
While the Blue Devils took more reps at the net than the Seminoles through the first part of the set, it was FSU’s efficiency that kept it ahead. Towards the end of the set, though, the Blue Devils clicked on offense to keep the set tight, but it was FSU’s tough hitting that took the first set.
Set 2 – Duke 25, Florida State 16
The second set was the only time the Seminoles did not jump into an early lead over the Blue Devils. The set stayed tied through the half until improved offensive efficiency helped Duke pull into the lead.
A number of kills and a block on the Duke side built off of errors on the Florida State side, helping them to close out the set and tie up the match 1-1.
Set 3 – Florida State 25, Duke 18
Tough defense at the net and a number of kills on the Florida State side helped the Seminoles pull into an early lead in the set. Errors for FSU and an increased offensive effort for the Blue Devils helped keep the set tight, but it was the Seminoles efficiency that helped it maintain the lead.
Offensive leaders Culo, Kubura and Brianne Burkert kept pressure on the Blue Devils, earning a combined 11 kills on 23 total attacks with only two errors among the three of them. FSU was able to close out the set with a block from Culo and Deja Williams and a kill from Culo to earn a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set 4 – Florida State 28, Duke 26
Both teams looked balanced in the final set, but the Seminoles were able to outhit the Blue Devils at a clip just over .200. FSU’s defense helped to hold an edge over Duke, recording 23 digs and three total blocks.
While both teams continually traded kills and errors towards the end of the set, the Seminoles never let the Blue Devils take the lead. Consecutive kills from Kubura finished out the set for the 3-1 FSU win.
Quoting Head Coach Chris Poole
“This was a huge win for us today. I thought the effort was very good and we continued to battle throughout the match even when we made mistakes.”
“Duke is a very strong team who beat Colorado State, a Top 25 team, earlier in the season. Christina [Ambrose] got hurt yesterday, but Bozena [Culo] had the best match of her career by stepping up full rotation.”
“I feel like we really grew from this weekend, and now we need to focus on getting ready for two of the best ACC teams at home next weekend. We need our fans to rally around us and help us get back into this ACC title race. Winning at home is critical.”
Up Next for the Seminoles
FSU returns home to host Notre Dame on Friday, Oct. 20 and Louisville on Sunday, Oct. 22. The Fighting Irish split its weekend of ACC play 1-1 while the Cardinals picked up two conference sweeps over the weekend. Louisville sits above Florida State in the ACC rankings, while Notre Dame’s 4-4 conference record puts them directly below the Seminoles.
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