South Bend, IN - The 19th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team defeated new conference opponent Notre Dame on the road, winning 3-0 (25-8, 25-23, 25-13), on Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.
The victory for the Seminoles (14-5, 7-1) was their fifth consecutive win as they improve to 3-2 all-time against Notre Dame. Florida State’s incredibly fast start that included nine blocks in the first set forced a change in approach from the Fighting Irish (8-11, 2-6), who got better as the match progressed but could not get past the ‘Noles. It was FSU’s fourth 3-0 sweep in conference play this season.
The ‘Noles set the tone with their 12 total blocks, their second-most in a three-set match this season. Senior Elise Walch was dominant hitting-wise with 12 kills and a .556 hitting percentage, while Izzy Carmona added 10 kills and a .364 mark. Sophomore Nicole Walch also put together 12 kills for the ‘Noles.
Olivera Medic led FSU with 13 digs, while Katie Mosher added 11 digs. Setters Sarah Wickstrom (24 assists) and Hailey Luke (15 assists) combined for 39 assists overall.
FSU out-hit Notre Dame by a .379 to .042 hitting percentage margin. It was the third-lowest mark by an FSU opponent this season.
Florida State began the first set in positive fashion, jumping out to an 8-3 lead that forced a timeout by Notre Dame. The quick start was a result of an excellent defensive performance which included three blocks in the early going. Following the break, FSU used three consecutive blocks with the help of Neff and Carmona to help create a 12-3 advantage and force another Irish timeout. Altogether, the ‘Noles mounted nine blocks and recorded a .409 hitting percentage in the first frame to win 25-8.
The first set marked the third time this season FSU held an opponent to single-digit points in sets 1-4. The others occurred against Boston College (25-8) and Siena (25-9). In the first frame, FSU also sided out in all its chance (9-for-9).
A dominant first set was a short memory for the Irish as they came out executing much better in set two, eventually taking a 21-16 lead that forced an FSU timeout. However, a big joust won at the net by Nicole Walch and a couple Irish attack errors cut the FSU deficit to 21-19 and prompted a Notre Dame timeout. Carmona then took over with three critical kills, helping tie the set at 22-22. Wickstrom followed with a service ace, and with the set tied once again at 23-23, Elise Walch hammered a kill and Medic finished the set with a cross-court put-down.
Florida State took control for most of the third frame, using an array of kills from both Nicole and Elise Walch. FSU pushed out to an 11-6 advantage, then used a kill by Elise Walch to extend the lead to 15-10. Carmona continued her good stretch on the right side with a nice kill to help FSU extend to a 19-11 lead and force an Irish timeout. From there, the ‘Noles would cruise to a 25-13 win as they used a Burrington kill to end the match.
The ‘Noles head back on the road next weekend as they battle Duke on Friday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m., followed by another 6:30 p.m. first serve on Saturday at Wake Forest.
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).