FORT COLLINS, Co. – The Florida State volleyball team earned their first win of the season on Friday afternoon (8/31) as the Seminoles swept the TCU Horned Frogs in the first match of the Colorado State Tournament.
The win snaps TCU’s four-match win streak and gives FSU its first victory after going 0-2 against two top-10 opponents in opening weekend. The Horned Frogs proved to be tough competition in the beginning of the match, but 15 blocks and a .361 hitting percentage helped the Seminoles keep their momentum for a three-set sweep.
Six different players saw a hitting percentage above .300 in the match, led by junior Payton Caffrey’s 12 kills on 28 attacks (.321) and sophomore Taryn Knuth’s .500 attack percentage (6 kills on 12 attacks, no errors). FSU also had six players contribute to the front-row defensive effort, led by senior Ashley Murray’s nine blocks (two solo) and Deja Williams’ six blocks (one solo).
FSU turns around to play the hosting Rams Saturday night at 7:30 pm MT, which will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. The Seminoles will wrap up the Colorado State Tournament on Sunday with a 10:00 am MT match against Cincinnati.
Set 1 – FSU 25, TCU 21
The Horned Frogs took an early lead in the first set, but the Seminoles stayed close and tied up the score seven times before pulling into the lead with a pair of blocks from senior Ashley Murray and a kill from sophomore Tiana Jackson to gain FSU’s first three-point lead in the set. With the score tied up again at 14-14, the Seminoles held the lead until the end to take the first set.
The Horned Frogs took more swings in the set, but the Seminoles held them to just .103 hitting in the set, using five total blocks to capitalize on their 7 hitting errors. The Seminoles’ offense was led by senior Christina Ambrose’s four kills and sophomore Taryn Knuth’s .500 hitting percentage (two kills on four attacks), while Murray slowed down the opponent with three total blocks.
Set 2 – FSU 25, TCU 17
TCU started off the second set with another early lead, but FSU caught up to tie up the score 4-4, and took the lead with a block from Murray and sophomore Deja Williams. The Seminoles held the advantage throughout the rest of the set, increasing their offensive efficiency and holding the Horned Frogs to under .100 hitting.
FSU’s five blocks in the set helped to hold the Horned Frogs to just .074 hitting in the set, the lowest efficiency the team saw in the match.
Set 3 – Florida State 25, TCU 18
The Seminoles used their momentum from the second set in the third, and once again took the lead in the set after the 4-4 mark. For the third set in a row, FSU was able to put up five total blocks, led by Knuth’s four (one solo). The Seminoles saw a season-high .560 hitting percentage in the set and held the Horned Frogs to just .125 hitting in the set.
Caffrey saw her best performance in the final set, putting down seven kills on eight attacks with no errors for a .875 hitting percentage. The team’s performance in the final set helped them finish with 15 total blocks (with five in each set) and a .361 hitting percentage.
FSU enters the season unranked, but received 17 votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 preseason poll.
The Seminoles have now defeated an AVCA Top-25 team without being ranked three times under Poole – a 3-0 sweep over No. 8 Illinois in 2009, a 3-1 victory over No. 23 Tulsa in 2011 and a 3-0 win over No. 20 Miami in the same year. Florida State went to the Elite Eight in 2009 and the Final Four in 2011.
FSU vs. CSU
Colorado State dropped their home opener against No. 12 Illinois last weekend, losing in five sets in front of a record-setting crowd. The Rams turned around to sweep UNC Wilmington the next day, and most recently swept Northern Colorado on Tuesday (8/28).
The two teams have only met twice in the series, with CSU taking both matches in Tallahassee. The last time they met, Colorado State handed FSU its only loss in the Home2 Suites by Hilton Tallahassee Seminole Invitation at the beginning of the 2017 season. FSU has never faced a ranked CSU team.
FSU vs. UC
Cincinnati opened the season at the Miami Best Western Sycamore Inn Invitational in Oxford, Ohio last weekend, defeating UC Santa Barbara in five sets and sweeping Saint Louis before falling to the hosting Redhawks.
The two teams have met 20 times, with eight of FSU’s 18 wins in the series coming in neutral territory. The last time the two met, Florida State took down Cincinnati in four sets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, Fla. FSU went on to defeat the hosting Gators to advance to the Sweet 16. FSU has not lost to UC since 1982, and has won the last 15 matches against the Bearcats.
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