Sept. 3, 2011
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NEWARK, Del. (seminoles.com) – The 25th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team put together two thorough performances as it defeated both Delaware (25-20, 25-19, 25-21) and UC-Irvine (25-10, 25-23, 25-11) to end its stay at the Delaware Invitational on Saturday.
Although the loss to nationally-ranked Northern Iowa still stings after holding a two-set advantage, the Seminoles (5-2) played flawlessly today combining for a .368 team hitting percentage against the Blue Hens (1-4) and Anteaters (3-3). Senior outside hitter Jekaterina Stepanova powered FSU’s attack with a team-best 22 kills on the day and a .378 hitting percentage. The Riga, Latvia, native averaged 3.67 kills per set.
“We played very well overall today,” head coach Chris Poole said. “It is a shame that we let the third set slip away from us last night or we could have had three sweeps. In each set we have lost we have been even or ahead at 20. We need to do a better job of closing the set in the end.
“I’m proud of the girls and we will keep getting better. There is a lot of potential for further growth with this group. We will get better.”
FSU’s match against Delaware was the sixth consecutive contest against a reigning NCAA Tournament opponent to start the season. The Seminoles made it hard for Delaware’s hitters by posting 10 team blocks, including five each by sophomore Ashley Neff and junior Sareea Freeman. Stepanova and Djurdjevic added 10 and 11 digs, respectively, while redshirt freshman libero Katie Mosher led FSU with 12.
In the second match, Stepanova set a career-high at FSU with a .600 hitting percentage as she recorded 14 kills and just two errors in 20 attacks. She also added 12 digs to give her three double-doubles this season and tie freshman setter Sarah Wickstrom for the team lead.
Morgan put down seven kills in nine attacks, while Djurdjevic added eight kills in 17 attacks with just one error. Junior setter Duygu Duzceler added 22 assists.
The Seminoles return with another tournament next week as they participate in the Dayton Marriott Flyer Classic. FSU will face No. 24 Michigan on Friday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. and then battle another nationally-ranked opponent in No. 21 Dayton later that evening at 7 p.m. FSU wraps up the tournament versus Pepperdine.