Sept. 12, 2003
IRVINE, Calif. – Florida State (4-3) fell 2-3 (16-30, 24-30, 30-26, 30-27, 10-15) in a five game thriller against Saint Mary’s (6-3) on Friday night. The Seminoles rallied from two games down to force a decisive fifth game before falling to the Gaels. Freshman setter Jessica Skower had a season-high 45 assists, while senior Renee Hill recorded her first double-double as a Seminole with 15 kills and 12 digs.
The Seminoles trailed 5-2 early in game one behind a very active Saint Mary’s squad. FSU cut the Gael lead to 6-8, but SMC pushed the score to 14-7 with a 6-1 run. The Gaels seven point spread would be the closest Florida State would get in the opening game as the Seminoles fell 16-30. The 16 points in game one was the lowest point total by FSU this season. Freshman Sarah Griffin led the Seminoles in the game with three kills.
FSU and Saint Mary’s were in a point-for-point battle at the start of game two. The Gaels would take a 7-4 lead, but the Seminoles would rally to tie the game at seven apiece in the early going. With Florida State trailing 10-13, FSU went on a 6-2 run to take their first lead of the match 16-15 in the second game. The game found a 19-19 tie and Saint Mary’s broke the tie with the game’s next four points to take a 23-19 advantage. Following a Florida State timeout, the Seminoles went on a quick 3-1 spurt to reduce the SMC lead to 24-28. The Gaels defense held FSU’s offense thereafter and took game two 30-24.
Game three watched the Seminoles and Gaels trade the game’s first three points as the game was tied at three. The game remained tied at nine apiece as junior Amanda Santos’ dominance at the net sparked Florida State to 13-11 lead, their largest of the match. SMC quickly regained the lead at 17-13 while going on a 6-0 run, but the Seminoles went on a 7-3 run of their own to tie the game at 20-20. FSU took its’ largest lead of the match at 27-24 as the Seminole defense at the net grew stronger as the game progressed. The defensive combination of Santos, Nikki Anthony and Cassie McLaughlin at the net shut down the Gaels offense late in game three as Florida State took game three 30-26. Santos tallied six blocks in the game, while McLaughlin added four.
Florida State tied the match at 2-2 in what proved to be a game of scoring runs by both teams. The Seminoles scored eight unanswered points and raced out to an 8-1 lead in the beginning of game four. The Gaels cut the Florida State lead to one at 16-15 at the midpoint of the game with a 5-1 scoring burst. After Saint Mary’s tied the game at 16, FSU went on a 10-3 run to take a 26-19 lead with the power of Aisha Carr leading the way for the Seminoles. Florida State never relinquished the lead and would take game four 30-27.
For the first time this season the Seminoles found themselves in a decisive game five. Both teams exchanged points leading up to the halfway point as the game was tied at 8-8. Saint Mary’s out-dueled Florid State and closed out the game on a 7-2 run to take the game 15-10 and the match 3-2.
The Seminoles were led offensively by Renee Hill’s 15 kills, while Skower directed the offense with a career-high 45 assists. FSU had three players with double-digit kills (Hill 15, Santos 12 and Carr 11). Santos (7) and Carr (6) led the Seminoles in blocks.
Florida State will play two matches on Saturday, September 13th at the UC Irvine Sunset Classic. FSU’s first match of the day will be against Houston at 5:30 PM ET and then the Seminoles will face host UC Irvine at 10:00 PM ET to conclude the weekend tournament.