GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Florida State beach volleyball team (33-6) had their season come to an end on Saturday afternoon after losing 3-1 to LSU (27-8) in the second round of the loser’s bracket.
“The seniors on this team have been amazing,” said head coach Brooke Niles. “Molly becoming the winningest dual match player in school history, Torrey for coming to Tallahassee and taking a chance on our program and all of the other ones. They have pushed us every day and set a standard for our program that has helped create our culture. We have so many hard workers that we are proud to have worn our jersey.”
“We are all pretty hurt right now, so this will be motivation to really work hard this offseason. As a staff, we need to look at ways to improve and to be better and tougher in those tough moments. The players are going to be really motivated to come back here and give it a shot next year.”
The Seminoles got off to a slow start, losing three of five first sets. Keara Rutz and Torrey Van Winden won their second match of the tournament to give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead though. Rutz and Van Winden jumped on the Tigers in the first set, winning 21-16. They did not let up in the second set, winning 21-15 to give the Noles an early lead.
LSU quickly tied things up with a straight-set win on court four. The Tigers took the first set 21-18 and the second set 21-19. LSU then took their first lead of the match with a win on court five 22-20, 21-14.
The match came down to courts one and three in third sets. Alaina Chacon and Maddie Anderson took the first set 21-13 from Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss. It was just the fourth set loss in 72 sets this season for the Tiger duo. Kloth and Nuss lost their previous three sets by a combined nine points and lost to the Seminole pair by eight.
LSU forced a third set after winning the second set 21-14. In the final set, it was back and forth early. Chacon and Anderson were all tied at five with LSU but could never get a lead late as LSU won 15-13 and clinched the match.
Payton Caffrey and Molly McBain were down 13-7 in the final set when the match finished. They lost the first set 21-15 and fought to a 21-19 second set win.
Florida State finished the season with 33 wins, tied for the most in a season in school history. Florida State also earned their fifth straight CCSA Championship becoming the only program in beach volleyball history to win five straight conference titles. The Garnet and Gold’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament marked the ninth straight trip to the sport’s National Championship Tournament. Florida State is the only beach volleyball program to make it to the National Tournament every year since the sport’s inception in 2012.
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