CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Florida State volleyball team (18-9, 14-3 ACC) earned its tenth sweep of the season on Wednesday afternoon, taking down North Carolina (8-19, 4-14 ACC) in the Tar Heels’ final match of the season. The Seminoles hit .330 with 10 total blocks in the 3-0 victory, led by an errorless offensive effort from middle blockers Taryn Knuth and Ashley Murray.
Florida State was met with a strong start from UNC in the beginning of the match, but by reducing errors at the net and keeping the ball alive from the back row, FSU was able to close out the match in three sets.
Murray and Knuth both saw seven kills in the match and hit above .400, while Murray led the team in blocks with five assisted blocks. Junior outside hitter Payton Caffrey led FSU’s offense once again, as she put down 16 kills and hit above .300, while adding on the only solo block in the match.
The Seminoles will finish the regular season on Friday as they take on NC State at 2:00 pm in Raleigh. FSU is 20-4 against the Wolfpack in Raleigh, and 44-6 against them in conference play.
The Seminoles are looking for their 10th straight (21st overall) appearance in the NCAA Tournament this year, and two wins to close out the season should do it. FSU is one of only 12 programs that have made the last nine consecutive tournaments, and with Iowa State and Hawaii sitting below 50 in the RPI, they could become one of only 10 teams to make the last 10 if they receive a bid this year. The selection show for the 2018 NCAA Tournament will air this Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 pm on ESPNU.
Set 1 – FSU 25, UNC 22
Florida State utilized an attack from the middle throughout the first half of the opening set, and a productive blocking effort kept UNC’s hitting percentage down. While the Tar Heels held the lead from the beginning, letting the Seminoles make their own errors to earn points.
A 4-0 run helped Florida State pull back into the lead at the 21-20 mark, and the Seminoles were able to hang onto it until the end of the set by going 4-1 with three kills from Caffrey. Caffrey hit .571 in the set with eight kills on 14 attacks without a single error.
Set 2 – FSU 25, UNC 15
FSU took an early lead in the set on a 4-1 run fueled by a pair of kills from Tiana Jackson, a block by Knuth and Caffrey and an ace from Taylor Roberts, but a tougher block from UNC kept the set close. The Seminoles saw success pushing their attacks deeper into the back of UNC’s court and using the Heels’ block to pick up kills to hold the lead.
Murray saw her second set without an error in the match, hitting (4-0-6) in the second set after going (2-0-6) in the first. Knuth also remained errorless through two, picking up three kills on 7 attacks. Florida State was able to suppress the Tar Heels’ offense with two blocks and 13 digs, holding UNC to just .032 hitting in the set.
Set 3 – FSU 25, UNC 23
While FSU’s defense was able to stay consistent in the beginning of the third set, the offense was met with a large net presence from UNC. As FSU’s offense began clicking, the Seminoles were able to take the lead at the 20-19 mark and hold it until the end.
While North Carolina saw its best offensive effort of the match in the third set and didn’t see a single unforced error, Florida State’s five total blocks and 16 kills kept the set tight and eventually helped the Seminoles close it out.
Scouting the Wolfpack
FSU vs. NCSU
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