ATLANTA, Ga. (Seminoles.com) – It was a career performance for sophomore middle blocker Emma Clothier, but it wasn’t enough for Florida State Volleyball to overcome 13th-ranked Georgia Tech on the road at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
The Seminoles (0-1) dropped their season opener to the Yellow Jackets (2-1) in straight sets (17-25, 18-25, 24-26), despite getting noticeably stronger as the match went on.
“Disappointed in the loss, but we got better as the match progressed,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “With Taryn (Knuth) out, we were having to play with a new lineup. I thought we improved with it but not enough to win. We did have some individual performances that did really well, so that is something we can build on.”
The All-American Knuth’s absence due to injury was felt greatly, but fellow All-ACC performer Clothier stepped up mightily. Clothier recorded 15 kills on 22 swings and did not commit an attack error.
The Carrollton, Texas, native hit .682 for the match and also added four blocks and a service ace. She teamed very well with redshirt senior newcomer Olivia Dailey, who finished with 15 assists while starting setter Lily Tessier added 16 assists. In just over a year, Tessier now has 633 career assists to move into 24th all-time at FSU.
Senior outside hitter Jasmyn Martin did her best to carry some of the offensive load, adding eight kills with a .348 attack percentage. Senior libero Caroline Golden led the Seminoles with 14 digs in her FSU debut.
Georgia Tech’s combination of Julia Bergmann (17 kills) and Mariana Brambilla (15 kills) led the way for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech out-hit FSU .333-.265, getting 24 more attack opportunities than the Seminoles.
FSU fought hard in each of the first two sets, and then went back and forth in the third set where it attacked at a .310 clip. Martin ignited FSU in the final frame with five kills on 12 swings, followed by four kills from Clothier.
A kill by Tessier gave the Seminoles a 20-17 advantage in the third set, and another kill by Martin made it 21-17 FSU. But Georgia Tech won five of the next six points to knot the set at 22-22.
A key kill by FSU middle blocker Marissa Stockman gave the Seminoles the lead again at 23-22, and Clothier’s kill made it set point at 24-23. But the Yellow Jackets rattled off three straight points to win the match, culminating with three straight kills from Bergmann.
FSU faces No. 13 Georgia Tech again on Thursday at 4 p.m. on the ACC Network.