Wisnton-Salem, NC - The 18th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team used another fine effort from freshman right-side hitter Izzy Carmona as it came back from an early-set deficit to defeat Wake Forest, 3-1 (24-26, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22), on Saturday evening at Reynolds Gym.
Carmona continued her stretch of strong play by pacing the Seminoles (15-6, 8-2) with 13 kills. Over her last four matches, the Titusville, Fla., native has been more of a focal point of the hitting attack, leading FSU during that span with 50 kills while hitting .369.
Putting together a nice hitting effort for Florida State was redshirt freshman outside hitter Leah Mikesky, who posted 10 kills and a .304 hitting mark. Senior Elise Walch added 11 kills for the ‘Noles, while middle blockers Sarah Burrington and Ashley Neff had nine put-downs apiece.
“We played better tonight,” head coach Chris Poole said following his 695th career win. “We were gone seven of the first nine weeks of the season so it will be great to be back home. Our girls have worked hard this year. We have as many as three to four freshmen on the court in each set.
“We have had to run different lineups at times for a variety of reasons. We can be inconsistent at times but there is a lot of heart and they are working to improve. We will take what we have learned so far and keep working to improve.”
Burrington and Neff each had sound defensive performances in the win as well, recording six and seven blocks apiece respectively. Florida State recorded a .256 hitting percentage overall, and held the Demon Deacons (14-8, 3-7) to a .189 hitting mark.
Junior setter Sarah Wickstrom recorded her team-leading eighth double-double of the season, helping out the attack with 28 assists while adding 10 digs. Freshman setter Hailey Luke added 23 assists and four digs.
Redshirt junior libero Katie Mosher matched her season high with 24 digs on Saturday night, a total she has already reached twice this season against Georgia Tech and Syracuse in four-set matches.
FSU has now defeated Wake Forest for the sixth consecutive time. The ‘Noles have also won six or more consecutive matches against two other ACC opponents in NC State (26) and Boston College (11).
Momentum swung Wake’s way in the first set as it used an attack error by the ‘Noles to win 26-24. However, Florida State came back in the second set using a strong defense that held the Demon Deacons to just eight kills in the set.
The third set was aided by Mikesky’s three kills, one service ace and one block. One of her kills put FSU ahead 21-16, then reached 23-19 on a kill by Elise Walch. A couple of errors by Wake Forest gave FSU the third set.
The fourth frame started going back and forth midway through as Wake tried to take control with an 18-16 lead. Burrington played a big role in three straight points for FSU to help it to a 20-18 lead, and a later kill by Mikesky made it 24-22. Neff followed with the match-ending kill to improve FSU’s road record to 7-4 this season.
Florida State faces a big home weekend against two top-tier ACC schools. The ‘Noles battle No. 14 North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. On Sunday, FSU hosts NC State at 1 p.m. Both matches will stream on ESPN3.com.
Follow Florida State indoor volleyball on Seminoles.com as well as on the team’s official Twitter (@FSU_Volleyball) and Facebook pages (Facebook.com/FSUVolleyball).