With an outstanding performance from beginning to end, the Seminoles made history on Saturday as Florida State (1-1) swept No. 3 Minnesota (1-1) 25-17, 26-24, 25-21 to mark the highest-ranked win in program history.
It is the first-ever win for Florida State over a top-5 team, and is the first top-10 victory for the Noles since a 3-1 win on the road at No. 7 Nebraska on August 29, 2014.
Junior Jasmyn Martin, who transferred from Minnesota during the offseason, had an outstanding afternoon against her former team, posting a .500 hitting percentage on 16 kills, while adding two blocks. Senior Payton Caffrey added a double-double on 10 kills and 12 digs, while Morgan Chacon recorded nine kills and 11 digs. Freshman Emma Clothier had another quality outing with six kills and a .556 hitting percentage, while redshirt freshman Lily Tessier recorded 21 assists on the afternoon.
“I was really proud of the team effort today,” said FSU coach Chris Poole. “Although we lost last night, we got stronger as the match progressed. We challenged the team to come back today and start faster. This team has lots of potential and my expectations are always high. It was great to see this group step up and play to those expectations.”
Florida State dominated the Gophers in the first set, leading from beginning to end to post a 25-17 win and take an early 1-0 lead in the match. Jasmyn Martin was outstanding in the opening frame, recording seven kills with zero errors for a .714 hitting percentage. Aces by Chacon and Madison Sullivan gave the Noles an early 6-3 lead and Florida State cemented its position in the set on back-to-back blocks by Caffrey to push the lead to 18-12. Three of the last five points for FSU were scored on kills by Martin as the Noles took the first set 25-17.
Minnesota opened the second set with three straight points, but the Seminoles worked back to take a 5-4 lead. It was a tightly contested set, as neither team was able to take more than a two-point lead until Minnesota got in front 21-18. The Golden Gophers reached set point at 24-20 after a kill by Stephanie Samedy, but the Seminoles refused to give up.
Consecutive kills from Martin, Caffrey and Chacon, followed by an attacking error by Minnesota tied the set at 24-24. FSU quickly took the set on back-to-back blocks involving Knuth to secure the second set victory, 26-24.
Continuing where they left off in the second set, the Noles opened set three with four straight points for an early lead. Minnesota stayed in the set and twice cut the FSU lead to two at 9-7 and 17-15, but would not get any closer. The Seminoles took advantage of several miscues from Minnesota in the final frame, as the Gophers committed four service errors and five attack errors in the third set. Kills by Martin and Caffrey set up match point, and an attacking error by the Gophers closed out the victory for the Seminoles.
“It was a great team win,” said Martin. “We executed our game plan and played our hearts out for each other. The chemistry and effort by the entire team and coaching staff was phenomenal, and this is just the beginning.”