CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Playing just its second five-set match of the season, No. 23 Florida State (10-5, 4-2 ACC) lost its first road match in conference play on Sunday, as North Carolina (7-9, 4-2 ACC) came from behind to win by the score of 26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 23-25, 10-15.
Redshirt freshman Morgan Chacon posted a career-high 20 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs, as the outside hitter added three service aces. Payton Caffrey, who was not in the starting lineup due to illness, did enter later in the first set and recorded a kill in each of her first five attacks. The senior only played in the first three sets on Sunday, but still finished with 13 kills with a .417 hitting percentage and a pair of blocks.
“It was a disappointing loss today,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “The girls played their hearts out. Payton was dehydrated and running a fever, and it caught up to her in the third set. We were also without Jasmyn Martin this weekend due to injury, so we were asking the freshmen to carry a heavy load. At one point, we had five freshmen on the court at the same time. It just wasn’t enough today against a good athletic team on the road. We need to get back home, get healthy and have a good week of practice.”
Chacon was all over the box score for the Seminoles in the first set as the redshirt freshman led the team with seven kills and six digs, while adding a pair of service aces as well. Florida State used a 5-1 run in the early going to get out to an 8-5 lead, and stayed in front until UNC scored three straight points to lead 19-18. A solo block by Taryn Knuth gave FSU the lead at 20-19 and back-to-back kills by Emma Clothier closed out the set for FSU 26-24.
The Seminoles took early control of the second set, opening up a 9-4 lead on a 6-1 scoring run, including a pair of kills by Chacon and a service ace from Adrian Ell. The FSU lead grew to 14-8 on kills by Knuth and Caffrey, but UNC rallied to get within two at 15-13. The Seminoles scored seven of the next nine points, including kills from both Ell and Lily Tessier, to extend the lead to 22-15. North Carolina held off a pair of set points, but a kill by Knuth gave the second set to the Noles, 25-20.
North Carolina opened the third set with a 5-2 lead, but the Seminoles used a 5-1 scoring run, including a kill and an ace by Chacon, to move in front, 12-10. UNC used a pair of 4-0 scoring runs to regain control of the set, 19-16. Florida State held off a pair of set points on a kill by Chacon and a solo block by Knuth, but UNC ended up with a 25-21 win.
A pair of blocks involving Knuth gave Florida State an early 5-3 lead in the fourth set, but UNC went back in front 10-7 after a 7-2 scoring run. North Carolina controlled much of the middle of the set, though FSU got within one at 20-19 on Knuth’s ninth kill of the match. An ace by Madison Sullivan tied the set at 23-23, but UNC scored the final two points to take the set, 25-23.
North Carolina carried the momentum into the fifth set, opening up to a 6-3 lead, but a trio of UNC attack errors, including an assisted block by Clothier and Jessica Nunge, tied the set at 6-6. The Tar Heels went on a 4-0 run to take control of the set, and while Deja Williams and Nunge combined for a pair of blocks, North Carolina secured the match with a 15-10 win in the fifth.
Knuth posted a season-high 12 kills and added six blocks on the afternoon, while Clothier also recorded six blocks and her 10 kills set a career high for the freshman. Ell led the team with 27 assists and also added three kills, while Tessier finished with 26 assists and one kill.
The Seminoles will be back in action on October 18 at home against Boston College (14-4, 5-0 ACC) for their annual Paint It Pink match. The match between the Noles and Eagles will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
which will begin at 12:00 p.m. Sunday’s contest will be broadcast on the Regional Sports Networks. Links for the broadcast, affiliate TV channels and live stats will be available on the volleyball schedule page on Seminoles.com.
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