PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Seminoles.com) – Despite leading the match in hitting percentage, No. 25 Florida State Volleyball (10-4, 7-5) was defeated on Friday evening against 19th-ranked Pittsburgh (13-4, 11-4), 3-1 (19-25, 22-25, 25-14, 20-25), in a conference battle at Fitzgerald Field House.
This is the Seminoles’ second straight loss to a ranked opponent, as well as their second loss since their season resumed earlier this spring. FSU is 9-2 since the start of the New Year.
“Disappointing loss. Pitt is a great team and unfortunately in the three sets we lost we simply helped them too much with our unforced errors,” FSU Head Coach Chris Poole said. “There were times we played amazing but not consistently enough through the whole match. We are in a must-win situation these last three matches so we need to step up our game.”
Senior Taryn Knuth played a terrific game with 14 kills on .636 hitting, five total blocks, and 22 total attacks. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year tied her season high in kills, along with surpassing her season high in total attacks.
Senior Jasmyn Martin also had a great performance with 11 kills and a team-high 30 total attacks. She was also responsible for four digs and four total blocks against the Panthers.
Sophomore Emma Clothier recorded a team-high six total blocks, along with putting up nine kills, three digs, two service aces, and 23 total attacks. This was Clothier’s third game this season of multiple service aces and was two attacks shy of tying her season high of 25 total attacks set against Notre Dame earlier this month.
Sophomore Lauryn Burrows had a strong day as well, recording a career-high 18 digs. This was the most digs for Burrows since posting 14 digs against Troy on Feb. 26.
Redshirt senior Olivia Dailey led the team with 40 assists while also recording eight digs and four total attacks. Redshirt sophomore Morgan Chacon also put together eight kills and seven digs in her performance this evening.
Although FSU led the match in hitting percentage, .248-.227, and blocks, 12-6, they lacked the power that Pittsburgh had with attacks, 150-125, kills, 57-49, and digs, 51-48. The Noles also committed fewer attack errors, 23-18, than the Panthers, but committed more service errors, 8-7, and block errors, 3-1.
It was a slow start for the Seminoles to start the match, as they were down 6-0 in the first set. The Noles were able to pull within three points on a 5-2 run, but Pittsburgh was too strong to relinquish their lead and they won the set by six points.
The Noles found themselves in a similar deficit in the second set, but a 4-1 run, with the help of a service ace by sophomore Jessica Nunge, brought them back within one point. Later in the set, five straight points by FSU tied it all up, but a 5-1 run by Pitt ended their comeback to push the Panthers to a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, no lead was ever higher than two points until the Seminoles went on a 6-1 run to give them a 13-9 lead. FSU went on and took full control of the set after taking the lead with another run of seven straight points that included back-to-back service aces by Clothier.
After picking up their first set point of the match, the Noles built an early 4-1 lead in the fourth set before Pitt came back and tied it at eight apiece. The Panthers extended their lead to four with a 7-1 run of their own and ended the set with back-to-back points to win the match at 3-1.
The Seminoles will return to Fitzgerald Field House tomorrow afternoon to play another neutral site conference matchup against North Carolina at 1 p.m.