TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team (9-7, 5-1 ACC) beat North Carolina (5-10, 1-5 ACC) in a four-set battle on Sunday afternoon, dropping the first set but taking the next three to claim the match.
It marked the first time this season the Seminoles were able to come back to win a set after losing a set, making this FSU’s first four-set victory of the season. The last eight of Florida State’s wins this season came in straight sets.
FSU saw a .336 hitting percentage against the Tar Heels, and has now hit above .300 in all five of its conference wins this season.
The Seminoles retired former FSU star Gabrielle Reece’s jersey prior to the match. Reece’s No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired by the Florida State volleyball program, and she is now the 26th athlete to have their number retired at FSU.
Set 1 – UNC 25, FSU 21
The Tar Heels dominated the first part of the opening set, forcing a timeout from Florida State after gaining a 5-1 lead. UNC was able to use a strong offensive effort to keep FSU down, and they were able to hold their lead throughout the set.
While it looked like UNC would run away with the set, more consistent defense set Florida State’s offense up for a bigger presence at the net, and the Seminoles were able to hit .379 to close UNC’s gap to only a few points.
Set 2 – FSU 25, UNC 17
Florida State was able to earn the first lead in the set, although the set saw nine tie scores before the Seminoles were able to break away after the 15-all mark. While the Tar Heels picked up three blocks to keep FSU down, a late 8-1 run from the Seminoles gave FSU set point, and an attack error from UNC gave the home team the set.
It marked the first time this season the Seminoles were able to win a set after losing a set, and the late rally gave FSU momentum heading into the third set.
Set 3 – FSU 25, UNC 14
Florida State was able to jump out to an early lead from the beginning of the third set, and the team was able to close it out with their best offensive performance of the match. The Seminoles stepped up in the front row to pick up five total blocks led by Murray, Knuth and Burkert, and the back row saw 15 digs to hold UNC back from earning points on kills.
The Seminoles hit .462 in the set with 13 kills on 26 attacks, while their tough defense kept North Carolina to just .056 hitting in the set.
Set 4 – FSU 25, UNC 15
While the Tar Heels picked up three total blocks in the final set to hold FSU to just below .200 hitting, the Seminoles retaliated with seven total blocks in the set, fueled by the ACC’s blocking leader, Taryn Knuth, who saw five in the set (two solo).
FSU jumped out to an early lead once again and never let UNC come close. While errors plagued the Tar Heels at the end of the set, FSU was able to stay consistent and close out the set for its first come-from-behind win of the season.