TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Virginia (9-7, 1-2 ACC) fought back from an early 2-0 deficit but No. 23 Florida State (9-3, 3-0 ACC) proved too much, earning a 25-19, 25-14, 17-25, 25-22 victory on Friday night (Oct. 4).
The Cavaliers were paced by 15 kills from junior Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.). Senior Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) added another 14 while sophomore Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) floored 10 kills. Ciprian also hit a match-leading .474 in her return to her home state.
Florida State was led by preseason All-ACC selection Payton Caffrey who floored a match-high 20 kills. Morgan Chacon followed with 15 terminations for the Seminoles.
Set 1: Florida State 25-19
The first set featured plenty of early offense as both the Cavaliers and Seminoles hit over .500 in the opening points. Florida State separated momentarily at the media timeout, holding a 15-13 lead, but Virginia answered with back-to-back points to tie the score.
Florida State responded to build a 19-16 advantage behind three quick kills. Virginia pulled within one on a Matthews kill at 20-19 but the Seminoles closed the set on a 5-0 run thanks to four Cavalier errors.
Virginia libero Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) exited the match with the Seminoles leading 14-12. She did not return in the match.
Set 2: Florida State 25-14
Caffrey sent Florida State to a 3-0 run to break an 8-8 deadlock with three-straight kills. After a Virginia timeout, the Seminole momentum continued as Florida State stormed to a 17-10 lead.
The Seminoles hit .567 in the set with just a single error. Meanwhile, Virginia struggled in attack with a .162 hitting percentage.
Set 3: Virginia 25-17
Virginia jumped to an early 5-0 lead behind a pair of kills from Novakovic and one from Ciprian. Service aces from Novakovic and Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.) sparked a 3-0 run for the Cavaliers to grow the lead to 11-6.
Francis had a pair of kills to spark a 5-1 Virginia run and extend the advantage to 19-12. The Cavaliers never let Florida State back into the set, as Christine Jarman (Boynton Beach, Fla.) sealed the set with an emphatic kill.
Set 4: Florida State 25-22
Virginia used an 8-3 run to open a five-point lead early in the set. The Cavaliers would hold that advantage all the way to 17-12 after a kill by Francis. Florida State flipped the set with a 6-0 run to take an 18-17 lead. Caffrey had a trio of kills in the run for the Seminoles.
Francis pulled Virginia back within one at 23-22, but two Cavalier errors ended the match.
• Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) produced 16 digs after stepping into the libero role following Miller’s exit.
• Francis collected eight kills and seven digs for the Cavaliers.
• Novakovic matched her career high with her 30th service ace of the season.
Virginia closes the weekend with a 1 p.m. first serve at Miami on Sunday. The match will air on ACCNX.