NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Florida State volleyball team (15-8, 11-2 ACC) took down Notre Dame (14-9, 8-5 ACC) in four sets on the road on Friday night. The Seminoles picked up 14 blocks and outhit the Fighting Irish for FSU’s 11th conference win of the season.
Florida State held a 2-0 advantage heading into intermission, but had to fight off a tough comeback from Notre Dame. After losing the third set and trailing throughout the fourth set, the Seminoles were able to fight off the Irish to close out the match.
With FSU’s win over Notre Dame and No. 24 Louisville’s win against Miami on Friday, the two teams will face off in a battle for second place in the ACC on Sunday in Louisville. The Cardinals held second place in the conference before losing to Syracuse at home last weekend.
Junior outside hitter Payton Caffrey saw 20 kills in just the first three sets alone on Friday night, and finished with a match-leading 24 kills and a .367 hitting percentage. She added on eight digs, an ace and an assisted block to earn 25 of FSU’s points.
Sophomore middle blocker Taryn Knuth saw double-digit blocks for just the second time this season, earning 10 blocks (one solo) on Friday night. Knuth has now earned five or more blocks in nine straight matches, and has led the Seminoles’ front row defense in 19 matches this season.
The Seminoles take on Louisville this Sunday at 1:00 pm; the match will stream live on ACC Network Extra. Both teams are looking to take second place in the conference, while FSU is looking for its first win against an AVCA Top-25 team in nearly two years.
Set 1 – FSU 25, ND 23
A more consistent offensive presence from FSU put the Seminoles in the lead from early on, but Notre Dame saw an upswing in momentum that kept the opening set tight. The Irish eventually tied it up for the first time at 16-all, but a huge blocking effort from Knuth and a number of errors from Notre Dame helped the Seminoles regain the lead.
Although the Irish controlled most of the points in the second half of the set, unforced errors helped the Seminoles hold the lead throughout the remainder of the set. Florida State’s final three points all came from kills from Caffrey, as she finished the set leading both teams with a .400 hitting percentage.
Set 2 – FSU 25, ND 16
The second set stayed close, as neither team was able to gain more than a two-point lead until the Seminoles saw a 6-0 run – fueled by three straight kills from Caffrey and back-to-back aces from Taylor Roberts – gave FSU a 15-9 lead.
The second set was fittingly ended with another kill for Caffrey, as she led both teams with 14 kills and a .462 hitting percentage through the first two sets.
Set 3 – ND 25, FSU 23
Notre Dame started off the set with a 4-0 run, and went on to control the first seven points in the set until a kill from Caffrey gave FSU its first earned point at the 6-2 Irish mark. Notre Dame was able to hold the lead throughout the set, but FSU was able to stay in the match and go on a 3-0 run to force a timeout from the home team at their 22-19 mark.
The Seminoles went on to get the next point to cap off a 4-0 run, and saw seven of the last ten points in the set. In the end, Notre Dame was able to close it out to cut FSU’s lead in the match to 2-1.
Set 4 – FSU 29, ND 27
Another quick start from Notre Dame gave them an early 4-0 lead, and a tough offensive effort by the Irish helped them hold that lead and force a timeout from Florida State at the 11-5 mark. Coming out of the timeout, FSU picked up some momentum to slow down the Irish and cut their lead to as little as three points.
The Seminoles kept pushing back, and back-to-back kills from Ambrose closed out a 4-0 run and tied things up at 19-all. Notre Dame held on to the lead, but the set saw five more tied scores before FSU was able to gain the lead for the first set point at 25-24. The momentum swung back and forth before Caffrey was able to once again put down two kills to finish off the match.
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