Chestnut Hill, MA - The 22nd-ranked Florida State University volleyball team received big efforts from junior Visnja Djurdjevic, sophomore Fatma Yildirim and freshman Ashley Neff in defeating Boston College, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12), on Friday evening at Power Gym.
FSU improved to 11-1 all-time against Boston College behind the offense of Djurdjevic, who posted a season-high 21 kills and recorded a .349 hitting percentage. The Serbia native also picked up her ninth double-double of the season after adding 12 digs. Her 21 kills are the most by a Seminole this season, breaking teammate Jekaterina Stepanova’s mark of 20 set on Sept. 10 in a five-set victory over Kansas State.
Yildirim aided the Seminoles (14-4, 6-2) by racking up a season-high 11 kills with seven digs, as she earned time in all five sets. Neff made an auspicious debut as a Seminole by leading the team with five blocks.
“Boston College played with a lot of heart tonight,” head coach Chris Poole said following his 616th career win. “They were digging attacks that normally go down for us and pushed us into long rallies. Ashley Neff got on the court for the first time this year and led the team with five blocks. Ashley has been doing well in practice and we have struggled in blocking this year.”
Junior right-side hitter Rachael Morgan had one of her best offensive performances of the season, tying a season high with 14 kills while amassing a .423 attack percentage. Morgan also had the same amount of kills earlier this season in a 3-1 win over Oklahoma.
Sophomore Duygu Duzceler tallied 29 assists on the evening, tying for her third-most this season. Fellow setter Patricia Figueiredo added 24 assists and seven digs.
Senior libero Jenna Romanelli tied Djurdjevic for the team lead with 12 digs, leaving her 52 shy of becoming the 10th FSU player in school history to record 1,000 career digs. She also added four assists.
After the Eagles (8-13, 0-8) mounted a comeback in the fourth frame, it was senior Stephanie Neville’s poise in the fifth set that made the difference for FSU. The Cambridge, Ontario, native recorded four decisive kills in the final set, starting with one from Romanelli that cut FSU’s deficit to 11-10. The match quickly swung in FSU’s favor when B.C.’s Tsvetelina Dureva’s recorded an attack error, followed by another error from Cagla Sen to put FSU up 12-11.
After Dureva rebounded with a kill to tie the match at 12-12, Neville took over. She put her stamp on the match with three consecutive kills to prevent the upset. Overall, Neville finished with nine kills and three blocks.
FSU was most efficient in the third set, recording a .435 attack percentage with 15 kills. Djurdjevic and Yildirim each recorded four kills, while Morgan added three as FSU built its biggest lead at 23-14 on a kill by Morgan off a set by Figueiredo. Djurdjevic finished off the set with a kill.
“Visnja played very well and Fatma also had another very good match,” Poole added. “We are using a lot of different players right now trying to find the combination we need to be successful. The last couple of weeks have really knocked us off balance and we need to find ourselves again on the court.”
Djurdjevic single-handedly carried the Seminoles in the second set, recording eight kills while Morgan added five.
Dureva led B.C. with 27 kills, while Val Mattaliano added 19. Sen led all players with 55 assists.
FSU ends its weekend road trip at Maryland on Sunday afternoon at the Comcast Center Pavilion in College Park, Md. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m.
“This team gets along great and the off-court chemistry is very good,” Poole said. “We just need to trust each other on the court better. Maryland is a good team and we are going to have to come ready to play.”
The Seminoles are now in a tie for second-place in the conference, sitting just 1 ½ games behind leader Duke. Maryland fell tonight to Miami, 3-1.