TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On a night where they finished with the same amount of kills as their opponent (37), the Seminoles showed their scoring versatility as No. 25 Florida State (3-2) used 12.5 blocks and six aces to post a 25-21, 25-14, 25-23 sweep over Stony Brook (1-8) on Friday night in front of 927 fans at Tully Gym.
Of the 12.5 blocks, the Noles were led by nine from junior Taryn Knuth, who moved into eighth place in FSU career history with 332 assisted blocks, and now is 11th with 386 total blocks. Fellow junior Deja Williams ended with a career-high-tying eight blocks, as the Seminole defensive wall was guarded by six different players that recorded at least one block in the match.
“It was a good win, and we wanted to put some pressure on some of the younger players tonight,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “We have a few that were banged up a bit, so we felt that we need to get the newcomers some playing time and get a chance to get their timing down. Overall, I thought they did as well as expected. There were a few mental letdowns and things like that. But it was good to see them continue to fight. At the end, we had five freshmen on the court, and that will be great for their development.”
Redshirt sophomore Adrian Ell got the match started on a good note with an ace, and the Seminoles used a lineup that often consisted of two freshmen (Emma Clothier/Jessica Nunge), two redshirt freshmen (Lily Tessier/Morgan Chacon) and a sophomore (Taylor Roberts) on the floor at the same time to open their largest lead at 14-9. Stony Brook rallied to get within one at 15-14 and 21-20, but the Seminoles held off the Seawolves to take the opening set, 25-21.
Set two was back and forth until the Seminoles put together a 5-0 scoring run to break out to an early 8-4 lead, including kills by Caleigh Morrison and Chacon, along with a pair of aces by Nunge. Madison Sullivan served the Seminoles to a 6-0 run in the middle of the set, with two aces of her own, to make it 18-10 Florida State. The Noles closed out the set strong, scoring four of their last six points via the block, to take the second set 25-14. Florida State finished with seven blocks in the set, including five from Knuth/Williams, one from Knuth/Nunge and another from Nunge/Clothier.
The Noles spread production around to begin the third set, with kills from Morrison, Clothier and Knuth as the set was tied early at 5-5. Florida State used a pair of blocks and kills from Chacon and Knuth to go on a 6-0 run for an 11-5 lead in the middle of the frame. The Seminole lead grew to 17-7 before Stony Brook worked back into the set with a 13-3 run to tie the match at 20-20. The Seawolves eventually led by as much as three at 23-20, before the Seminoles recorded the final five points to secure the sweep with a 25-23 win.
Chacon led the team in both kills (13) and digs (12) and Morrison tied for second on the squad with seven kills in her first match played for the Seminoles in her career. Tessier (16) and Ell (13) provided the majority of assists, while Sullivan, Ell and Nunge each recorded two aces apiece.
The Seminoles will close out the Home2 Suites Invitational on Saturday with a match against St. John’s (6-4) at 12:00 p.m. The match will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, and admission is free to all regular season matches in Tully Gym. Links for live stats and the broadcast will be available on the volleyball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
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