CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (seminoles.com) – The 11th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team had its 16-match win streak snapped at North Carolina on Saturday evening, falling 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 24-26, 21-25), inside Carmichael Arena.
The loss by the Seminoles (22-3, 13-2) puts them back in a tie with rival Miami for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. Florida State’s win streak tied for the fourth-longest in school history with last year’s historic squad that reached the NCAA National Semifinals. Prior to Saturday night, the Seminoles had not lost a match since falling to Pepperdine on Sept. 14.
Junior outside hitter Olivera Medic recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 kills, a .379 hitting percentage and 14 digs. Senior Sareea Freeman added 10 kills and a .381 hitting percentage with four blocks, and senior Fatma Yildirim recorded 12 kills and 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the season.
Florida State put together 14 blocks compared to UNC’s 10, but the Tar Heels (21-4, 12-3) outhit the Seminoles .290 to .250. Redshirt sophomore libero Katie Mosher led all players with 19 digs.
A riveting first set took place in which the Seminoles made big plays when they mattered most. Trailing 17-14 following a timeout, the Seminoles won five of the next six rallies highlighted by a kill from Mara Green to take a 19-18 advantage. UNC remained resilient and tied the set at 22-22 on a big block, but Florida State fought back with a kill from Yildirim to take a one-point lead. A block by Yildirim and Ashley Neff then gave the Seminoles a 24-23 lead, and a set-ending kill by Yildirim put the Seminoles at 19 consecutive sets won.
Green had an enormous effort in the opening frame, recording six kills in seven attacks with two blocks. Florida State hit .368 in the first set while UNC also had a good offensive performance with a .286 clip.
Florida State’s consecutive sets won streak was snapped in the second set as UNC won 25-20 after building a few eight-point leads midway through the frame. The Tar Heels used a few tip shots to get some momentum-building points and although Florida State mounted another comeback trailing 22-20, UNC would not relent. Chaniel Nelson recorded back to back kills and Paige Neuenfeldt finished off Florida State with an emphatic kill to tie the match.
A competitive third set was lost at the very end by the Seminoles. The Tar Heels once again got off to a strong start but the Seminoles created another comeback. Tied at 22-22, UNC took the lead on a kill by Kayla Berringer, and nearly took a 24-22 advantage until a replay was ruled on an inadvertent whistle that penalized the Seminoles with a net violation. The replayed point resulted in a kill by Neff to tie the set at 23-23. A kill by UNC’s Neuenfeldt gave the Tar Heels set point, but a service error tied it back up.
Tied at 24-24, UNC got a gifted point when an attack got through two Seminole players following a miscommunication. The Tar Heels then won the set point on a kill from Emily McGee down the line. UNC hit .341 in the third set and was powered by four kills from Berringer, while Medic recorded six kills in the frame.
North Carolina had control for most of the fourth set, finishing off the Seminoles with match point at 24-21 when Berringer recorded a kill.
The Seminoles will be back in North Carolina next week with matchups at Duke and Wake Forest. Florida State plays the Blue Devils in Durham on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in a match that will be streamed on ESPN3.com. Florida State then plays at Wake Forest on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.