After winning its third consecutive CCSA Championship, Florida State entered the National Championship as the top team in the East and took the No. 4 seed.
On the first day of the Championship, the Seminoles rolled through two-time defending champion and fifth-seeded USC, and used that momentum to bring down No. 1 overall UCLA in a pair of 3-1 decisions. The Seminoles then faced the No. 3 Rainbow Wahine in the winners bracket semifinal on Saturday, defeating Hawaii 3-2 in the closest match the Seminoles saw over the weekend.
The semifinal win marked the best NCAA Championship run the Seminoles have ever seen. After sending UCLA to the elimination bracket in the second round, the Bruins made it through three more matches to meet FSU once again in the finals. After taking the first two sets off of the Bruins on courts 4 and 5, UCLA was able to come back and win the Championship, giving FSU its second National Runner-Up finish in the tournament, and its third in four years (AVCA Runner-Up in 2015).
Entering the postseason ranked seventh and finishing the season ranked No. 2 marked the most the team has ever jumped in the rankings in a season.
Four pairs represented FSU at the USAV Collegiate Beach Championship. Tory Paranagua & Vanessa Freire, Macy Jerger & Sara Putt, and Katie Horton & Hailey Luke wore the Garnet and Gold in the 32-team women’s tournament, while Adam Wienckowski and Jon Justice represented Florida State in the eight-team men’s tournament.
All four pairs advanced to the playoff bracket after making it through pool play, with Paranagua/Freire entering as the No. 2 seed and Horton/Luke claiming the No. 3 seed. The fourth-seeded Justice/Wienckowski defeated top-seeded Mullahey/Yoshimoto (Pepperdine) in the semifinal and continued on to beat No. 2 Rosenmeier/Cowell (Hawaii) in the finals to claim the men’s tournament championship. The victory sends the pair to Munich, Germany to represent the US at the 2018 FISU World University Championship.
On the women’s side, Jerger/Putt advanced to the quarterfinals but ultimately fell to the eventual champion, LSU’s Coppola/Nuss. The bracket set up Paranagua/Freire and Horton/Luke in the semifinals, with the redshirt senior duo of Horton/Luke taking the straight-set victory to send them to the finals. Paranagua/Freire fell to top-seeded Van Winden/Sonny (Cal Poly) to take fourth place, while Horton/Luke took second place in the women’s tournament.