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FSU Splits on Sunday vs. Northern Illinois & Ohio State

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Posted at 12:05 AM, Sep 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 00:05:00-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio  –  The No. 14 Florida State indoor volleyball team first defeated Northern Illinois in straight sets (25-23, 25-13, 25-19) on Sunday before falling to No. 22 Ohio State 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-13, 25-21) in the night cap of the 11th Annual D.C. Koehls Classic hosted by the Buckeyes in St. John Arena.

 “We need to play better and with more consistency,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “There are parts of the game where we were improved but we aren’t playing as smart as we can be and it will be good to get home to get back to work.”

 Junior outside hitter Katie Horton and sophomore right side hitter Milica Kubura were named to the all-tournament team.

 “Katie was the most consistent player for us this weekend,” Poole said. “Milica had a solid weekend and was able to play as well as she did because our freshman setter, Brianne (Burkert) is figuring out how to set her and they’re connecting. It allows Mili to raise her level of play.”

 Against Ohio State, senior outside hitter Nicole Walch registered a double-double with 21 kills and 10 digs. It was her third match with 20 or more kills in 2015.

 Kubura put forth a big effort, hitting 14 kills for a career high .684 percent.

 Junior setter Hailey Luke amassed 23 assists while freshman Brianne Burkert had 22 in her first career start. Sophomore libero Cecilie Woie was under 13 digs. Also contributing on defense was Horton with 15 digs. She also added eight kills and two blocks.

 The Buckeyes started firing off the bat, jumping out to a seven-point lead. FSU cut it to four late but could not recover as OSU took the first 25-19, hitting .556 percent.

 In the second, the tides were turned as the Seminoles went in front 6-0 to start the set. Ohio State pulled within three but the hot hand of Walch helped keep Florida State in front, closing out the set 25-18 as the Seminoles hit for .394 during the set. 

 Walch caught fire, swinging for 10 kills in the set and hitting for .429 percent through two sets.

 Once again, Ohio State went up big in the third, stretching its lead to 10. FSU could not reset as OSU led from start to finish, taking the 2-1 match lead, 25-13. 

 Facing defeat the Seminoles started out with the lead before the Buckeyes took it over, 13-12 and following another kill, Poole called timeout down 2, 14-12. OSU stretched its lead to four, before two quick kills from Walch and Kubura cut it to two, 19-17 as Ohio State would use a timeout.

 Off the break, OSU sided out, but Kubura answered with a strike of her own. Senior defensive specialist Laura Dadowski subbed in to serve and dished her second ace of the match, pulling within one, 20-19.

 Kubura put away a strike for the 20-20 tie, but once again the Buckeyes had an answer for the sideout. After a tie at 21, the Buckeyes earned the sideout with before the Noles committed an error, falling behind by two 23-21 and Poole used his final timeout.

 Off the break, OSU was too much, dishing an ace and putting up a block to take the 25-21 fourth set and 3-1 match win.

 In the first match at 12 p.m. against the Huskies, Walch led the attack with 15 kills, hitting for .357 percent while contributing eight digs on top of a career-high of five aces.

 Kubura had 11 kills (.333 percent) while Horton tallied nine, adding 10 digs.

 Luke tallied 18 assists and Burkert amassed17 and two aces. Woie had nine digs.

 The Seminoles opened the first trailing the Huskies, until they erased a five-point deficit to tie at 16. Following another stalemate at 17, FSU put together a 3-0 stretch for the 20-17 advantage.

 Northern Illinois, kept it close pulling within one 21-20. The teams traded side outs before a kill from Walch teed up set point, up 24-22. Once again, the Huskies answered earning the side out, however they would commit an attacking error on the next play, giving the Noles the 1-0 match edge, 25-23.

 In the second, FSU opened up a four-point lead after the 4-4 tie and kept firing, extending the advantage all the way to 10 points. The Noles would close out the second 25-13 for the 2-0 match lead.

 The Huskies started off the third by building a five-point advantage, 15-10 before the Seminoles scored five straight points following back-to-back attacking errors to tie at 15.

 However, NIU went back up by two, 18-16 after another pair of FSU mistakes.

 On the next play, Kubura put away a shot and Walch registered two kills after an NIU error to grab a two-point edge 20-18, forcing the Huskies to call timeout.

 The Seminoles would close out the third on a 4-0 stretch as redshirt junior middle blocker Sarah Burrington and Horton each contributed a kill while redshirt senior middle blocker Mercedes Vaughn fired three for the 25-19, straight set sweep.

 “This team has a lot of potential,” Poole said. “We are committed to pushing them and making improvements. We have big expectations each season and I would expect this team to keep improving. It will be great to be home the next two weeks and try and get better.”

***Courtesy FSU Athletics