TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Dominating throughout the match on both the offensive and defensive end, No. 23 Florida State (6-3) wrapped the non-conference portion of the 2019 season with a sweep of Alabama (8-3) on Friday night by the score of 25-16, 25-13, 25-17. The Seminoles posted a season-high hitting percentage of .372 and recorded nine blocks on the evening.
The 46 points allowed over the entire match is the fewest since September 7, 2018 when the Noles defeated VCU (25-12, 25-17, 25-16). The Seminoles trailed just once in the match on Friday, as the Tide led 3-2 early in the third set.
Redshirt freshman Morgan Chacon had an outstanding night, leading the team with both 10 kills and seven digs, along with a .526 hitting percentage, as the outside hitter did not commit an error in 19 attacks. Junior Taryn Knuth also had an error-free evening as the Johnston, Iowa native tallied seven kills and a .583 hitting percentage on 12 attacks. Knuth also finished with four blocks, increasing her career total to 400, which moved her into eighth place all-time in FSU history.
“We got a lot of players in and everyone played really well,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “I thought that just had a few slow spots throughout the match, but overall was really encouraged by the level that the team competed at tonight. For the most part, we had good energy and controlled the flow of the match.”
Florida State scored the first three points of the match to set an early, aggressive tone. The Seminole lead grew to 14-5 on kills by Knuth and Payton Caffrey, along with a block by Emma Clothier and Jasmyn Martin. Alabama scored five in a row to cut it to 14-10, but it was nearly all FSU the rest of the set as a pair of blocks from Knuth and a kill by Chacon secured the first set, 25-16.
The Noles used a 4-0 run in the early part of set two to break out to a 9-3 lead, forcing a timeout from Alabama. The lead stayed around six for Florida State through the middle of the set, but the Seminoles scored 10 of the last 14 points, including a pair of kills by Marissa Stockman and a block from Deja Williams and Caffrey to post a 25-13 win.
It was a close battle throughout most of the third set, as neither team held more than a two-point lead until a block by Caffrey and Clothier put the Noles up 10-7. The Crimson Tide got within one at 13-12, but a 6-1 run by the Seminoles, which included three kills from Chacon, put Florida State in control of the frame. The Noles got aces down the stretch from Madison Sullivan and Lily Tessier to close out the match, 25-17.
Caffrey finished with nine kills, Martin led the team with five blocks and added five kills, while Stockman was nearly perfect with four kills on five attacks. Tessier recorded 23 assists and six digs, while Taylor Roberts tied the team-high with seven digs.
“I was very pleased with the way we rebounded from Tuesday night,” added Poole. “I know they were disappointed and felt that we didn’t play as well as we wanted to. We just challenged them to come out tonight and start new and get ready for conference. We used a lot of different people and different lineups tonight, and I thought we did great overall.”
The Seminoles begin ACC play on Friday, September 27 on the road at Duke (6-5) at 6:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and links for the video and live stats will be available on the volleyball schedule page on Seminoles.com.
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