LINCOLN, Neb. – The Florida State volleyball team dropped a tough match against Washington State on Friday night (Dec. 1), ending its season in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Despite a consistent and tough defensive performance, the Seminoles (18-11) were outhit by the Cougars (18-15) and was unable to gain an edge over Washington State in the second half of the match.
The match started out close, with the first set seeing 20 tied scores and seven lead changes before Washington State closed it out 34-32. It was the longest set the Seminoles have ever seen in an NCAA Tournament match, and only the third time the team earned 20 kills in a set this season.
From there, each set saw a clear frontrunner, with the winner of each set holding the lead from the beginning. While the Cougars took a 2-0 lead in the set, the Seminoles slowed down the run to take the third set before Washington State closed it out by taking the fourth.
The Seminoles saw a number of different players step up in the match, as Taryn Knuth led the offense with 16 kills on 33 attacks (.424) and added on four blocks and six digs. Cecilie Woie led the back row defense with 31 digs, which is the second most she saw in a match this season, and is tied for the most any FSU player has seen in an NCAA Tournament match.
Set 1 – Washington State 34, Florida State 32
Through the beginning of the opening set, it was both forced and unforced errors for the Cougars that helped keep the Seminoles in the set. As Washington State began improving its offensive efficiency, tough defense from FSU was able to set up a tough offensive presence that kept the Seminoles in the lead.
In the longest set the Seminoles have ever seen in an NCAA Tournament match, the team saw a season-high tying 20 kills and used two team blocks and 28 digs to hold the Cougars to under .20 hitting.
Set 2 – Washington State 25, Florida State 14
The Cougars got out to an early lead in the second set, holding the Seminoles down with consistent hitting and tough defense at the net. With higher offensive efficiency the Cougars were able to hold the lead throughout the set and take a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Set 3 – Florida State 25, Washington State 23
The Seminoles jumped out to an early lead in the third set, using a series of attack errors from the Cougars and four kills of its own to gain an 8-4 lead. From there, the Cougars were unable to catch up to FSU until closer to the end of the set, closing FSU’s lead to 24-23 before the Seminoles were able to take the final point to take the set.
Florida State used a balanced attack in the set, outhitting Washington State .244 to .196 and picking up 21 digs in the set to hold off the Cougars. Knuth saw her best offensive performance in the third set, earning five kills on 7 attacks with no errors (.714) and tacking on two blocks.
Set 4 – Washington State 25, Florida State 13
While the Seminoles opened the fourth set with some momentum from the third, the Cougars put more pressure on the net to earn more blocks than the Seminoles, holding FSU to the lowest hitting percentage it had seen in the match.
After gaining an early lead over the Seminoles, the Cougars used that momentum and took the fourth set to eliminate FSU from the tournament.