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Florida State Volleyball defeats No. 14 Notre Dame in comeback thriller

Florida State Volleyball defeats No. 14 Notre Dame in comeback thriller
Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 22:37:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — For the second time in the spring season, Florida State Volleyball mounted a five-set comeback as it took down No. 14 Notre Dame in impressive fashion, 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-12, 25-16, 15-11), on Friday night at Tully Gym.

The comeback victory extends FSU’s undefeated spring record to 8-0 and also builds its win streak to eight matches. It’s the program’s longest winning stretch since winning 10 straight in the 2015 season.

FSU moves to 9-3 overall and is 5-3 in the ACC. In its 2-0 weekend last week at Duke, the 3-0 victory on Saturday counts as a non-conference match.

“I’m very proud of the character our team showed tonight,” FSU Head Coach Chris Poole said following his 852nd career victory. “We showed a lot of resilience and we’re continuing to get better and better and realizing our potential.”

The win is also the 25th Top-15 victory in program history, including FSU’s second this year after defeating No. 11 Miami back in the fall.

Redshirt sophomore Morgan Chacon spear-headed the comeback, delivering 18 kills in a career-high 50 swings and hitting .300, a fine percentage for an outside hitter. Chacon added 10 digs for her 13th career double-double.

Senior libero Caroline Golden showed excellent coverage throughout the match, tying her FSU career high with 17 digs. Introduced to the libero position this season, Golden has shown immense improvement in her game this spring and is a big reason why the Seminoles have started this season 8-0.

Senior middle blocker Taryn Knuth poured it on vs. the Fighting Irish (9-2, 8-2), which entered the match at the top of the ACC standings. Knuth registered 13 kills in 21 swings with just one attack error (.571 hitting percentage) and added three blocks.

Sophomore Jessica Nunge had a big performance as well, totaling six kills and nine digs.

Fellow sophomore Emma Clothier was once again dominant, recording 13 kills and a .480 hitting percentage while adding four blocks. Despite playing in a five-setter, Notre Dame was able to hit around FSU’s vaunted blocking game as the Seminoles totaled just seven team blocks.

Redshirt senior setter Olivia Dailey tallied an FSU career-best 50 assists in Friday’s match.

The fifth and final set was neck-and-neck through the first nine rallies as FSU built a small 5-4 advantage. Back-to-back points by Nunge and a bad set by Notre Dame off Golden’s serve gave FSU an 8-5 cushion.

Notre Dame would not go quietly, as Hannah Thompson’s kill cut the Irish deficit to 10-9. But three consecutive points by FSU, which included two Irish attack errors and a kill by Knuth, gave the Seminoles the space they needed. Another error by Notre Dame would end the match and complete the comeback for the Seminoles.

FSU hit just .114 in the opening set, but never hit less than .321 in each of the remaining four sets. Conversely, Notre Dame opened the first two frames hitting .273 and .390, but then struggled offensively by hitting just .119 the rest of the way.

The Seminoles return with a home match on Sunday at 1 p.m. vs. Virginia Tech at Tully Gym.