WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (seminoles.com) – The 13th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team used an uninterrupted 14-0 run in the fourth set to finish off conference opponent Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon at Reynolds Gym in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Leading the match 2-1 overall, the Seminoles (24-3, 15-2) began to lose momentum after falling in the third set and trailing 14-11 in the fourth. From there, an inspired run of 14 consecutive points was sparked by senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim, who finished with a match-high 17 kills to lead Florida State offensively. In the big run, Yildirim posted four kills and one block in helping the Seminoles maintain a tie for first place with Miami in the ACC standings with just three regular-season matches left.
“We struggled a lot today,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We couldn't seem to get into a good flow until the very end of the match. We will certainly take the win but need to be more consistent with our play. Credit Wake Forest for playing us hard and forcing a lot of long rallies. We've been gone a lot the past five weeks so it will be nice to get back home.”
Florida State, which wore its pink jerseys in support of Wake Forest head coach Heather Kahl Holmes, is now 12-2 in road matches this season. Junior middle blocker Ashley Neff had another strong defensive effort with seven blocks while adding nine kills for Florida State. Senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman had 10 kills, a .318 hitting percentage and three blocks.
Redshirt sophomore libero Katie Mosher had 11 digs for Florida State, showing 1,020 career digs in her young career that already places her in 10th place on the school’s all-time list. Junior outside hitter Olivera Medic chipped in with eight kills and 14 digs, while senior right-side hitter Marija Milosavljevic posted six kills, four digs and four blocks.
Sophomore setter Sarah Wickstrom recorded 27 assists for Florida State, while senior Duygu Duzceler added 26. Florida State improved to 27-7 all-time against the Demon Deacons (10-19, 4-13).
Wake Forest made life difficult for Florida State at times with its blocking, showing 11.5 team blocks to the Seminoles’ 10. The 11.5 blocks against Florida State were the second-most by an opponent this season.
Wake Forest’s Andrea Beck had a superb effort on Saturday, recording 15 kills, a .500 hitting percentage and five blocks.
A late substitution by freshman Nicole Walch proved valuable for the Seminoles in the first set as Florida State edged Wake Forest 25-23. Leading 22-20, Walch entered the match and joined on a double block by Neff to put Florida State ahead 23-20. Consecutive kills by Wake Forest’s Ashlee Rusk cut Florida State’s lead to 23-22, but a service error by Danae Rosendall gave the Seminoles set point at 24-22. Following a service error by the Seminoles, Walch ended the set with a timely kill to put Florida State ahead 1-0 overall.
Neff put together four kills and two blocks in the second frame as Florida State won in more convincing fashion to take a 2-0 overall lead. Tied early at 6-6, a key 4-0 run that was capped by a kill from Yildirim allowed Florida State some breathing room at 10-6. After Wake Forest tied the set again at 15-15, Florida State strung together three consecutive points courtesy of a Wake Forest attack error and a service error. A kill by Neff ended the set heading into the intermission.
Florida State never led in the third set as it lost 25-19, falling victim to six Wake Forest blocks. The Demon Deacons got off to a good start, taking an 11-5 lead on a kill by Rusk. The lead swelled to 21-14 on an attack error by Florida State, and another hitting error by the Seminoles ended the third set.
The Seminoles look to finish strong in their final three matches of the regular season, all at Tully Gym. Florida State gets back to the court on Friday, Nov. 16 versus Maryland at 7 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. match against Boston College on Nov. 18. Florida State ends the regular season hosting rival Miami on Friday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m.