CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – (Seminoles.com) The third-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team dropped a tough 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 22-25, 20-25) match to eighth-ranked North Carolina at Carmichael Arena on Friday night.
With four matches remaining, the Tar Heels (22-2, 13-1) take over first place in the ACC, while the Seminoles (24-2, 12-2) sit in second ahead of Duke.
“It’s disappointing,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “In the past few weeks we were making too many errors but we were finding ways to win but teams like North Carolina and Duke are too good to make those types of mistakes against.”
Sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton led the attack tying her career highs with a double-double, swinging for 17 kills and 15 digs while junior outside hitter Nicole Walch added another double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs.
“Those two had some big swings for us,” Poole said. “But, we are going to go back to work to find ways to be more consistent in the next few weeks.”
Florida State produced 11 total blocks with redshirt sophomore middle blocker Sarah Burrington had six block assists while junior middle blocker Kiara Wright registered four block assists and one solo stop.
Senior setter Sarah Wickstrom produced 27 assists and an ace, while sophomore setter Hailey Luke tallied 23 assists and an ace.
Redshirt senior Katie Mosher was under eight digs.
“We got the match ups we wanted with the lineup,” Poole said. “We were in the right places to do what we needed to do, we just didn’t execute and we made mistakes at critical times.”
In the first, neither team led by more than two points as the set saw 13 ties before Florida State went up by two after Horton put away a cross-court shot and Burrington and redshirt junior Mercedes Vaughn went up for the block for the 22-20 advantage. In result, North Carolina would the call the first timeout of the set.
Off the break, the Tar Heels sided out with a kill before Vaughn sent a try long for another tie, 22-22.
The Seminoles went back to the right side for a shot, but it was sent wide giving the advantage back to Carolina. On the next play, Horton put away a set from Luke, knotting it at 23.
North Carolina answered with a kill for set point, but Horton hit another cross-court beauty for the 24-24 tie, however the Tar Heels sided out with a kill down the line and Poole would use his final timeout with his team facing set point.
Out of the break, the Tar Heels delivered a clean serve that was tough to dig and the Seminoles were called for a lifting violation. North Carolina took the first set 26-24 for the 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles reloaded for the second set and came out leading 11-4 after a 7-1 run before North Carolina called timeout.
Out of the break, Florida State extended the lead to eight before Carolina went on a 4-1 run, chipping into the lead and Poole would call a timeout up 16-11.
The Tar Heels added another kill before junior outside hitter Karlie Hauer entered the match to put one away for the side out and the 17-12 advantage. Mosher delivered an ace before Burrington put away a shot to the right side, but North Carolina answered with two quick points and once again Poole called timeout ahead 19-14.
After cutting the lead to four, the Seminoles were able to side out, rallying three straight behind kills from Walch and Horton on top of a Tar Heel attacking error to tee up set point, 24-16.
North Carolina sided out on the next play, putting its jump-server on serve, fueling a 3-0 charge that included an ace pulling within five, 24-19 but Burrington was there for the kill, tying the match after a 25-29 second set win.
The Seminoles fell victim to a few violations that fueled an 8-1 Tar Heel run, leaving FSU behind by five, 8-3. Florida State answered with a 5-1 charge, forcing North Carolina to call timeout with the 9-8 lead.
After the break, the Tar Heels responded with a 5-1 rally of their own and Poole would use his last timeout of the set trailing 14-9.
North Carolina outscored Florida State 6-4 for the 20-13 lead but the Seminoles got back in it and pulled within two before Carolina put together a 3-0 stretch for set point, 24-19.
Walch and Wright answered with back-to-back kills before the duo fended off another set point with a block. After the 3-0 surge, Carolina called timeout with the 24-22 lead.
Off the break, Carolina got a kill from the middle for the 25-22, 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth, Florida State fell behind 10-5 before a 4-1 stretch pulled the Seminoles within a pair but Carolina stopped the run with a kills, siding out. Carolina tightened up the block and added four-straight blocks for the 16-10 lead and Poole would call a timeout.
After extending the advantage to seven, Florida State chipped away at the lead pulling within four after a 3-0 charge, 18-14 forcing Carolina to call timeout.
Despite a pair of 3-0 rallies by the Seminoles late, North Carolina pushed to the finish for the 25-20 fourth set.
Florida State returns home to close out the 2014 regular season on a four-match home stand that starts on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. against Boston College. The Seminoles will honor their two seniors, Mosher and Wickstrom.
Paint It Pink Auction
Jerseys from the ‘Paint it Pink’ match against NC State on Oct. 12 are now available for auction on Seminoles.com. Bidding will be open for two weeks, closing on Nov. 17.
Mosher Senior Class
Redshirt senior Katie Mosher was named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Fans can vote once per day until Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. The winner will be chosen at the Final Four in December. She currently holds the second highest tally of votes behind Liz McMahon from Illinois.
For more information on FSU volleyball, visit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.