GULF SHORES, Ala. – The second-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team (13-0) stayed unbeaten with three wins over ranked teams, No. 10 TCU, No. 11 Grand Canyon and No. 3 LSU.
“We battled today,” said head coach Brooke Niles. “There were a lot of ups and downs and we played some really tough teams but we never gave up and fought for every point. Our team showed a lot of character today and I’m so proud of them.”
No. 2 Florida State 5, No. 10 TCU 0
Florida State earned their sixth-ranked win and seventh conference win to start the season with a 5-0 win over No. 10 TCU.
Florida State won both courts four and five to take an early 2-0 lead after the first wave of courts. Payton Caffrey and Liz Waters-Leiga grabbed the Seminoles’ first win of the day on court four. After losing the first set 21-15 and falling behind early in the second set, Caffrey and Waters-Leiga came back to take the second set 21-19 and then the third set 15-10.
Kate Privett and Jenna Johnson expanded the FSU lead to 2-0 with a three-set win of their own on court five. They fell behind in the first set before taking an 18-17 lead. Privett and Johnson went on to take the first set 23-21. They would lose the second set 21-15 but rebounded to take the third set 15-11.
For the third time this season, Sara Putt and Maddie Anderson clinched the match for Florida State on court three. The duo jumped out to an early 7-4 lead in the first set and turned that into a 21-12 first set win. They expanded that into a 21-15 second set win, giving FSU a 3-0 lead.
With the match already in hand, Torrey Van Winden and Keara Rutz won in three sets on court two. They took the first set 21-9 before falling 21-18 in the second set. The Seminole duo rebounded to take the third set 15-13.
Alaina Chacon and Molly McBain capped off the morning match with a three-set win on court one. They lost the first set 21-18 before taking the next two sets 21-18, 15-11
No. 2 Florida State 4, No. 11 Grand Canyon 1
The Seminoles and the Antelopes split courts four and five. Florida State took a 1-0 lead with a win on court five by Privett and Johnson. The pair won the first set 21-16 and dominated the second set 21-9.
Grand Canyon tied it up with a three-set win on court four. Madison Fitzpatrick and Waters-Leiga won the first set 21-18 but would lose the next two sets 21-19, 15-7.
Florida State took back a 2-1 lead with a win on court one from Chacon and McBain. They took the first set 21-18 before taking the second set 21-12.
Maddie and Sara clinched again for the fourth time this season and the second time on Saturday. They took court three 21-14, 21-15.
Rutz and Van Winden capped off the match against Grand Canyon with a 21-14, 21-18 win on court two.
No. 2 Florida State 3, No. 3 LSU 2
For the second straight match of the day, the Seminoles split on courts four and five. LSU took the lead first with a 21-18, 26-24 win on court two. Privett and Johnson tied things up with their third win of the day and ninth win of the season together on court five. They took the first set 21-18 and the second set 21-16.
Florida State earned their first lead of the match after Rutz and Van Winden won in straight sets on court two 21-15, 21-15. The reigning National Pair of the Week improved to a perfect 13-0 together.
The match was all tied up at two after LSU took court one, 21-16, 16-21, 15-12. All eyes turned to court three as Sara Putt and Maddie Anderson were in a third set of their own. The Seminole duo trailed 13-9 before storming back to take the final six points of the match and the set 15-13.
Florida State heads to Boca Raton, Fla. next weekend for the FAU Beach Bash in Paradise (March 19-20). The Seminoles will take on Stetson, FGCU, UAB and FAU.
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