TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 20 Florida State volleyball team took down the Auburn Tigers 3-2 on Saturday (Sept. 16) afternoon in a nearly three-hour back-and-forth battle. With a tough Auburn defense facing a strong Florida State offense, it took five close sets for the Seminoles to earn its sixth win of the season.
In the second set showed a huge change in momentum as Auburn held the lead over Florida State from the beginning, holding the Seminoles to just a .056 hitting percentage. With two team blocks, 15 kills and a seemingly impenetrable back row, Auburn took the second set 25-18.
Florida State came out strong in the third set, pulling back that momentum to once again outhit Auburn with its best hitting percentage of the match (.387). Senior outside hitter Natasha Calkins led the offense to the Seminoles’ close 27-25 victory in the third set, earning 7 kills on 11 total attacks (.636).
The fourth set stayed close in the beginning, but the Tigers took off on a 6-1 run midway through the set to gain a five-point lead. The Seminoles fought back but were unable to come back, giving the Tigers the fourth set 25-19. This was the least efficient match for both teams, as neither hit more than .167 and each had at least five hitting errors.
With the match tied up 2-2, both teams put up a fight in the deciding set as the score was tied four times and the match saw two lead changes. A series of errors helped the Seminoles tie it up at 10-10, and then later 12-12 before a kill from Kubura forced an Auburn timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Calkins earned her 18th kill of the match to give Florida State set point, and Kubura followed with her 19th kill of the day to give the Seminoles the final set 15-12.
This match is important to the Seminoles, since the team has not been able to play a competitive match in nearly two weeks due to schedule changes. Florida State is now the only ACC team to defeat Auburn, as the Tigers have already beaten Georgia Tech, NC State, Clemson and preseason conference favorite North Carolina.