Wednesday October 24, 2012No. 12 Florida State Sweeps No. 11 Florida to Snap 18-Year Losing Skid to Gators
No. 12 Florida State snapped their 21-match losing streak to the Florida Gators, as the Seminoles swept the No. 11 Gators, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21, to defeat Florida for the first time since Oct. 31, 1994. The Florida loss ends the Gators’ 14-match winning streak in 2012 and the Noles remain undefeated at Tully Gymnasium since August 26, 2011, taking 21 consecutive home contests. The Gators are now 17-3 on the season with all three losses coming to ranked opponents.
“I have to give all the credit to Florida State,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “They were the better team tonight.”
Florida was led by freshman Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia), who had her fourth double-double of her career with 16 kills and a career-high-tying 15 digs. Senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) and junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) each turned in 10 kills on the night, with Wiggs hitting a match-high .421 and Mann stuffed a match-high four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Gabby Mallette (Orange Park, Fla.) added seven kills on the night.
The Gators surpassed the Seminoles in nearly every category, but Florida dug themselves into holes too big to climb out of, having to overcome large deficits throughout the match to catch up to Florida State.
The first set went Florida State’s way, 25-23. The teams battled to start, with no team taking more than a two-point lead in the opening points. Smith and Brauneis teamed up for a stuff block to tie the frame, 3-3. An out-of-system kill for Mallette gave the Gators a one-point edge, 6-5. The Noles went on a 4-0 run to take an 11-8 lead and force a Gator timeout. Wiggs slammed one on the back line to end the FSU run, UF down 11-9. Smith found the floor with a kill of her own to keep the FSU lead to two, UF down 13-11. A Mallette kill off the block put Florida within one of Florida State’s advantage, 14-13.
The Gators continued to surge, tying the set off a Florida State miscue, 16-16. A Mann overpass kill gave Florida its first lead since 8-7, forcing a Seminole timeout at 17-16. Wiggs found the seam of the FSU block to continue the UF lead, 20-19. A Recek kill down the line forced the second Seminole timeout of the stanza with the Gators leading, 22-21. Mallette slammed one through the seam of the block to get Florida within two of the set, 23-22. The Seminoles scored two straight to set up set point and force a Gator timeout with UF down 24-23. A Florida hitting error tilted the first set in the Noles’ direction, 25-23.
The second frame was a 25-22 victory for Florida State, despite Florida storming out of a seven-point hole to pull within two late in the stanza. FSU came out strong out of the gate, taking a 7-3 lead and forcing UF to take timeout. A Recek kill out of backrow stopped the Seminole run, UF down 7-4, and a Mann solo stuff kept things tight, 8-5. A Wiggs kill put Florida within striking distance, down 11-8. FSU went on a 4-1 to extend their lead 15-9. A tip over the block by Mallette stopped the FSU run, 15-10. The Gators cut the Noles’ lead to four with a kill by Mallette but FSU continued to surge, as UF burned a timeout with the Seminoles leading 20-13. Florida scored two straight, including a solo stuff for Recek, to cut the lead to five, down 20-15.
A Smith overpass tip nipped the Noles’ lead to four, forcing an FSU timeout with UF down 21-17. Smith and Brauneis teamed up for a block to get the Gators within three, down 21-18. Smith slammed an FSU overpass to keep Florida within three, down 23-20, and a clutch Sundai Weston (Naples, Fla.) dig followed by a Recek kill put the Orange and Blue within two, 23-21. Another Recek kill out of the backrow saved a set point at 24-22 but the Noles took the set, 25-22, off a Mara Green kill.
FSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set behind the serve of setter Duygu Duzceler. The Noles continued to surge, forcing a Florida timeout with FSU out in front, 9-4. The Gators pulled within four off a Recek solo block, down 10-6. The Seminoles continued to find holes in the Gators’ defense as Florida State pulled away, 15-7, at the media timeout. Freshman middle blocker Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va.) put down a kill to briefly pause the Seminole streak, down 15-8. Florida State took timeout after a Mann-Wiggs stuff with Florida down 17-10.
The Gators put together a run out of the timeout, cutting the Seminoles’ lead to five with a Wiggs kill at 18-13. Florida put together another three straight points to cut the FSU lead to two, 18-16. Florida kept the FSU lead at two, 21-19, but the Seminoles served up an ace to get FSU to match point, 24-20. A Recek kill saved match point, 24-21, but an Ashley Neff kill gave the Gators the match, 25-21.
Florida has another quick turnaround as they host Mississippi State on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The match between the Gators and the Bulldogs begins at 7 p.m. ET with live video on GatorVision and radio on ESPN 850/900. Florida is off for the rest of the weekend after the MSU matchup. The Gators are still three matches ahead in the SEC race and are 11-0 in conference action with nine matches remaining on the slate.
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