MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Florida State volleyball team dropped its season-opening match against No. 4 Minnesota on Friday night, falling in three sets to the Gophers on the first day of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
While the Seminoles were able to keep up with the Golden Gophers throughout the match, it wasn’t enough as Minnesota held the lead in all three sets.
The Gophers saw 45 kills in the match while the Seminoles tallied 42, but Minnesota’s efficiency helped them out-hit the Seminoles with a .268 hitting percentage.
The two teams saw similar defensive performances throughout the match, as the Gophers earned eight total blocks (two solo), no blocking errors and 56 digs. The Seminoles saw 55 digs in the match, led by senior libero Kelsey Wicinski with 16 digs, and saw 6 blocks and two errors in the front row.
In her first career appearance, redshirt freshman setter Adrian Ell recorded a double-double with 17 assists and 11 digs, good for second-best on the team in both categories.
Florida State takes on Wisconsin Saturday at 5:30 EST (4:30 CT) for their final match in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The match will air on Big Ten Network. In total, the Seminoles will have 24 matches broadcast this season on five different linear and digital networks.
Set 1 – UMN 25, FSU 17
The match started off with both teams looking well-matched as the Gophers and the Seminoles stayed tied through the first few points. Minnesota jumped out to an 11-7 lead and FSU was unable to catch up throughout the set.
The Gophers stayed tough on offense throughout the remainder of the set, outhitting the Seminoles until the end to win the first 25-17.
Set 2 – UMN 25, FSU 21
The Golden Gophers once again got out to an early lead in the second set, but Florida State was able to tie up the score multiple times through the middle of the set. Accuracy on offense helped the Seminoles stay competitive with the Gophers’ tough front court.
Minnesota gained another lead but it was quickly closed by the Seminoles, who came back to tie it up 18-all. Although the second set saw the most efficiency by FSU, Minnesota was still able to pull out a win in the end to gain a 2-0 lead in the match.
Set 3 – UMN 25, FSU 21
The Gophers looked like they were going to run away with the third set with an early lead on the Seminoles, but consistency and increased accuracy helped FSU close Minnesota’s lead. After trailing 6-17 in the set, FSU’s pressure at the net sent them on a 5-2 run.
Down 11-20, the Seminoles saw increased offensive efficiency and caught up to trail 19-23. At Minnesota’s set point, back-to-back kills from Caffrey and Murray held off the win, but the Gophers closed it out to win the match.
Poole vs. the Big Ten
The two matches this weekend will mark the 10th and 11th time the Seminoles have taken on a current Big Ten team since Coach Poole’s arrival in 2008. This also marks the fifth time Poole has scheduled a preseason match against a Big Ten program since he began scheduling in 2009.
Florida State has recorded five wins against Big Ten programs in Poole’s tenure, with a wins against No. 8 Illinois (3-0, 2009), No. 8 Purdue (3-1, 2011), No. 21 Ohio State (3-1, 2012), No. 7 Michigan (3-2, 2013) and No. 7 Nebraska (3-1, 2014).
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. UW
Wisconsin and Florida State have only met one time in the series, when the Badgers beat the Seminoles 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in 2013. FSU won the first set, but Wisconsin came back to win the four-set decision.
Head coach Kelly Sheffield returns four starters this year (plus a libero), including the AVCA National Freshman of the Year and All-American Dana Rettke, and AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans Tionna Williams and Sydney Hilley.
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