TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team (12-8, 6-6) fell to NC State (15-8, 10-2) in five sets on Sunday (Oct. 29). Despite seeing one of the best performances the team has seen this season, the Wolfpack proved to be too much for the Seminoles, as NC State was able to close out critical points to take the five-set match.
Junior setter Brianne Burkert earned her second career triple-double in the match with 10 kills, 46 assists and 10 digs. She becomes the only player in the nation to reach the feat multiple times this season, and the first player in FSU history to record two kill-assist-dig triple-doubles.
This was the first match of the season the team lost despite outhitting its opponent, and only its second five-set loss. FSU was able to record a season-high 72 kills (and 70 assists), but the hard-hitting Wolfpack was able to edge out the home team to stay at the top of the conference.
Set 1 – Florida State 25, NC State 23
Florida State opened the match with one of the strongest starts it has seen this season. Despite starting in a deficit, the Seminoles came back to tie up the score at 7-7 and stay within only a couple points of the Wolfpack throughout the remainder of the set.
FSU stayed efficient to let NC State make its own errors, and a pair of blocks from Deja Williams and Natasha Calkins (including a solo block for Williams) finished off the set. Multiple players took swings at the ball and the team only recorded two attack errors to outhit the Wolfpack at a clip above .300, while the defense saw 20 digs and three total blocks.
Set 2 – NC State 27, Florida State 25
The Wolfpack seemed to step it up in the second set, proving to be tough competition for the Seminoles. The set was tied 13 times before the Seminoles took a 16-15 lead, when both teams increased their offensive efficiency and went back and forth trading kills.
While a block from Knuth and Burkert brought FSU to set point, the Wolfpack was able to rally and hold off the Seminoles’ set point twice. While the Seminoles showed better offensive efficiency and a bigger push on defense, it was NC State’s pressure on the net that helped it close out the set.
Set 3 – Florida State 25, NC State 20
FSU came out of the timeout swinging, putting up four kills and a block to take a 7-3 lead. The Seminoles continued to build on the lead and stay ahead through the entire set. Despite letting the Wolfpack catch up, the Seminoles were still able to close out the set five points ahead.
The Seminoles saw one of its best offensive performances in the third set with a .429 hitting percentage and 15 kills.
Set 4 – NC State 25, Florida State 22
Once again the Seminoles started off the set strong, leading the Wolfpack by as much as 10-5. From there, the Wolfpack was able to put pressure on the net and outhit FSU to gain the lead. Although the Seminoles stayed consistent and continued to put the ball down, it wasn’t enough to pass NC State.
While both teams earned 13 kills and the Seminoles took more reps at the net, NC State was able to force more errors and pick up more blocks to keep FSU’s hitting percentage down, which helped the Wolfpack close out the set.
Set 5 – NC State 22, Florida State 20
Both teams fought hard in the beginning of the set, but the Wolfpack was the first two eight points. Three kills and a block at a pivotal time helped FSU catch up and tie it at 10-10. The final set couldn’t be decided in 15 points, as the match was tied five more times after that.
Despite another strong offensive performance for FSU, the Seminoles were unable to gain the two-point advantage that was necessary to take the set and the match. In the end, NC State was able to close it out with a pair of kills.
Quoting Head Coach Chris Poole
“We definitely let a big one get away today. We were up big in both the second and fourth sets, but the errors we made after earning 20 points made us lose it in the end.
“Overall, it was one of our best performances offensively and we did a lot of good things in all parts of the match. However, we are making crucial mistakes under pressure at the end of the sets and that is the difference in a match like this one.”
Up Next for the Seminoles
FSU will head to Miami for a midweek match on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 6:00 pm and to conference leader Pittsburgh on Sunday, Nov. 5. The team will return home the following weekend to take on Syracuse and Boston College.
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