Houston, TX - No. 11 Florida State indoor volleyball produced one of its better performances of the young season as it defeated No. 21 Ohio State, 3-1, (25-18, 22-25, 25-13, 25-13) on Saturday afternoon at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup in the Athletics/Alumni Center.
The victory for the Seminoles (8-2) marks their third Top 25 win of the season, and the 11th for head coach Chris Poole since coming to Florida State in 2008. The Seminoles finished second at the competitive tournament that also included nationally-ranked Pepperdine and Houston. In its victory today, Florida State raced out to a convincing 16-1 lead in the fourth set to ensure the victory.
“We obviously played today the way we have wanted to throughout the season,” Poole said. “We had a disappointing last seven days and hadn’t been playing like ourselves, but we came back alive today and it was good to see.”
Senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim proved to be one of the top players at the weekend invitational. She capped off her tremendous three-match performance with a career-high 20 kills, which is the most by an FSU player this season. Yildirim recorded a .462 hitting percentage and was effective all afternoon, using a combination of shots to throw Ohio State off-balanced.
“Fatma played outstanding,” Poole said. “She played the way we envisioned her playing, and hopefully this starts to get her into a rhythm. I’m proud of how everyone came back this weekend.”
Junior Olivera Medic posted 13 kills in 25 attacks for a .440 hitting percentage, which included a dominant third set where she produced eight kills. Redshirt sophomore Katie Mosher had 18 digs and kept alive rallies all afternoon with a series of good plays off difficult attacks. Marija Milosavljevic was also strong at the right side, hitting eight kills and a .500 percentage.
Both Mosher and Yildirim were named to the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup All-Tournament Team.
Sareea Freeman added eight kills and a .375 hitting percentage, while Duygu Duzceler had a season high 32 assists. The Seminoles hit .375 overall in the match, their second-highest this season. The Buckeyes (8-3) were held to a .191 hitting clip.
Yildirim’s five kills in the opening set highlighted Florida State’s offensive flow that resulted in a .412 hitting percentage. After getting behind 6-2 early, the Seminoles responded by winning seven of the next eight rallies and never gave up their lead. Ohio State hit at a .158 clip. An important three-point swing allowed Florida State to take a 20-14 lead on a kill by Freeman as well as a service ace by Medic. The set ended on a hard kill from Yildirim down the line.
Ohio State’s blocking ability showed well in the second set as it recorded seven against the Seminoles, including the set point at 24-22 that tied the match at 1-1 overall. Mosher allowed the Seminoles to play several long rallies by racking up nine digs in the second frame, and Yildirim looked strong again with five kills in the set.
After trailing 18-14 in the second set, Florida State fought back and tied the frame at 19-19 on a service ace by Mosher. Both teams traded the next six rallies until a couple hitting miscues by the Seminoles put them behind at 24-22, giving way for a block by Mari Hole and Andrea Kacsits that tied the match.
The Seminoles played one of their most impressive sets of the season in the third frame, hitting .517 on 18 kills in 29 attacks. Medic had eight kills in the set while Yildirim added four as Florida State attained a double-digit lead at 19-9 on a block by Elise Walch and Ashley Neff and never looked back in the set.
The Seminoles get back into conference play with back-to-back road matches next weekend. Florida State starts with Virginia Tech on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., followed by a match at Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m.