TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – An exceptional offensive performance by the No. 8 Florida State indoor volleyball team resulted in a 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-16) sweep over FIU in front of 1,018 fans in the team’s home opener on Friday night.
Despite the presence of an intriguing Florida State-Florida soccer match just feet away at the Seminole Soccer Complex, the FSU volleyball faithful continued to show up in droves on Friday night as it watched the Seminoles (4-0) deliver an overall hitting percentage of .429. Altogether, FSU recorded 43 kills in 77 attacks with just 10 attack errors, statistics that allowed the team to record its 15th consecutive win at Tully Gym.
After going undefeated with a 14-0 record at their home facility in 2011 and earning a win on Friday, the Seminoles have not fallen in Tallahassee since losing to Miami in five sets on Nov. 26, 2010.
The cheering on Friday evening helped create some inspired play out of senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim, who had a team-best nine kills and a .412 hitting percentage. The Istanbul, Turkey, native fell one kill and one dig shy of her second double-double of the year.
“Both Fatma and Oli (Medic) are very experienced players,” head coach Chris Poole said. “Fatma certainly has been a great player for this program. She was a starter and the only person not to come off the court in 2009. Oli we knew had experience and we felt like that was a question mark losing two left-side All-Americans entering this season. We’ve been pleased with how both have stepped up so far and have helped get us into a groove here.”
Senior Marija Milosavljevic continued her good start to the season, finishing with seven kills and a .636 hitting percentage. The Bajina Basta, Serbia native added a pair of service aces and three blocks in a superb all-around performance.
Junior outside hitter Olivera Medic also had a sound match, adding eight kills in 14 attacks with four digs, two blocks and a .500 hitting percentage. Sareea Freeman rounded out FSU’s top attackers with seven kills in nine attacks and four blocks.
In what is becoming the team’s biggest staple, the Seminoles were strong on the defensive end once again with 10 team blocks in three sets. A combination of their up-front presence and crisp passing forced FIU into a -.075 hitting percentage in the match.
FIU’s hitting percentage was the lowest allowed by the Seminoles since head coach Chris Poole took over in 2008.
“I feel like as a whole we’re getting much better with our assignments and understanding where they need to be in certain situations,” Poole said. “Our block is strong again and it’s helping us keep balls alive and putting them into the hands of our setters.”
Setters Duygu Duzceler and Sarah Wickstrom aided the FSU offense with 18 and 16 assists, respectively. Libero Katie Mosher finished with seven digs.
FSU started well in the opening set, as Milosavljevic recorded four quick kills and Yildirim added three kills, one service ace and a block. A 5-0 run in the middle of the set helped FSU pull away, and Yildirim’s kill off a nice set from Wickstrom completed the first frame.
Set two was an initial struggle as a few attack errors by FSU helped FIU to a 5-2 lead. But another 5-0 run highlighted by a kill from Elise Walch got the Seminoles back into the set quickly, and six late unanswered points in the set gave FSU a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Medic added three kills and an assist in the final set as FSU racked up 13 kills compared to FIU’s six. Freeman put together two kills and two blocks in the frame to help keep FSU undefeated in the early portion of the season.
Fans are to be reminded that Saturday’s 11 a.m. match versus Georgia at Tully Gym, which is the same day as FSU football’s season opener against Murray State, will have different parking regulations. Free parking will be available at the Woodward Avenue Parking Garage located above the FSU Bookstore and adjacent to the Oglesby Student Union.