TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Finishing with 14 blocks, including 13 over the final three sets, Florida State (17-7, 10-4 ACC) came from behind to defeat Louisville (16-8, 9-5 ACC) in four sets on Sunday by the score of 18-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-22.
Freshman Emma Clothier finished with a team-high eight blocks, while five Seminoles ended with at least three blocks – Taryn Knuth (6), Jasmyn Martin (4) and Payton Caffrey and Jessica Nunge with three each. The three blocks for Nunge tied a career high for the freshman, matching her performance at UNC on October 13.
“Honestly, since the North Carolina match a few weeks ago when we had a few players out due to illness and injury, we haven’t played well,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “Even when we have won, we have still struggled. I thought the first set today looked a lot like how we’ve played recently, but then we came alive and played so much better the final three sets. We ran our offense much more effectively and had a lot more confidence. That was the difference and hopefully we can gain a little momentum out of it.”
Florida State opened the match with three straight points on a pair of kills by Martin, but Louisville came back to score five of the next six points to take a 5-4 lead. The middle of the set was a back-and-forth battle until the Seminoles went on a 4-0 run, including kills by Knuth and Morgan Chacon, along with a service ace by Adrian Ell, to take a 15-12 lead. Louisville took control from that point, closing the set with a 13-3 run to post a 25-18 win in the first set.
The Seminoles bounced back in the second set, posting a quick 9-1 lead on a pair of kills and a pair of aces by Caffrey, as well as a block by Martin and Clothier. The Cardinals came back and got within four points at 16-12 and then the Noles posted a 5-2 run with a kill by Martin and a service ace from Lauryn Burrows to push the lead back out to seven at 21-14. Florida State carried that momentum to tie the match with a 25-16 win in set two.
FSU started the third set with a 7-1 scoring run, including another ace by Burrows, as well as kills by Clothier, Caffrey and Knuth. The Cardinals scored the next four points, but the Seminoles made it 17-7 after a 10-2 run that included consecutive aces from Taylor Roberts and a trio of blocks involving Knuth, Caffrey and Clothier. Florida State wrapped up the set by scoring six of the last seven points, including consecutive blocks from Knuth and Nunge, to post a 25-12 win.
The Seminoles opened a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, including a service ace by Lily Tessier, but Louisville rallied to tie the set at 8-8. The Noles followed with three straight points, all on kills by Caffrey, before the Cardinals managed to take the lead at 15-14. There were four lead changes and five ties throughout the middle of the set, until Florida State took the lead for good at 21-20 on a kill by Nunge. Three of the final four points for the Seminoles came by way of blocks from Clothier, Caffrey and Martin, as FSU secured the match with a 25-22 win in the fourth.
Caffrey recorded 16 kills to lead the team, while Chacon finished with 11. Clothier tallied a team-high .455 hitting percentage on eight kills with just one attack error, and Tessier and Ell shared the setting duties with 21 and 19 assists, respectively. Florida State set a season high with nine service aces from five different players, led by three from Roberts.
The Seminoles only have one match this coming week as Florida State hosts North Carolina (12-11, 9-4 ACC) on Sunday, November 17 at 1:00 p.m.