#20 Florida State Steals Away Five-Setter from Auburn

  0 Wendy Mayer | September 16th, 2017 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, News, SEC


  • #20 Florida State def. Auburn (RV) 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 27-25, 19-25, 15-12)
  • Florida State moves to 6-1; Auburn falls to 7-2
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Attendance: 1,023
  • Box Score

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After nearly two weeks away from competition due to Hurricane Irma, #20 Florida State edged past Auburn (RV) in five sets to move to 6-1 on the year.

The Tigers bested the Seminoles in kills (68-58) and aces (6-2), but could not overcome nine more errors (28-19) and a 9-4 deficit in blocks.

FSU commited just one error in a 15-12 Set 5 victory. The Seminoles jumped ahead 5-1 in the final stanza, including kills by four different players and an ace by senior libero Cecilie Woie. Down 7-3, Auburn rallied with seven straight points to go ahead 10-7. Florida State had no answer for sophomore middle blocker Gwyn Jones in the run, as she managed four straight kills to cap the rally. The Seminoles tied it up at 10 with help from two Tiger errors, but two more putaways by Jones lifted Auburn to a 12-10 advantage. Florida State closed out the win with five straight points, including two Auburn miscues and two kills by senior outside Milica Kubura.

Kubura downed a match-high 19 kills for the Seminoles, while senior outside Natasha Calkins followed with 18. Redshirt junior outside Christina Ambrose and freshman middle Taryn Knuth just missed double-digit efforts with nine putaways each. Knuth racked up a team-leading seven blocks, while Kubura and Ambrose chipped in three apiece. Defensively, Woie led the way with 18 digs, while junior libero Logan Holanchock (16), sophomore outside Bozena Culo (15) and junior setter Brianne Burkert (15) also posted double-digit save tallies. Burkert rounded out a double-double wtih 46 assists.

Jones recorded 19 kills to pace Auburn. Senior outside Macy Reece (14), sophomore middle Shaina White (13) and junior outside Brenna McIlroy (11) also added double-figure performances. Jones hit at a match-high .516 clip, while White managed an errorless effort while hitting at a .448 clip. McIlroy rounded out a double-double with 11 digs. Senior libero Jesse Earl pulled up a match-high 30 digs, followed by senior setter Alexa Filley (13) and McIlroy. Earl also served up five of the team’s six aces, while Filley added 57 assists to close out a double-double.

FSU scored five of the first eight points in the match, including two kills by Kubura, only to see Auburn counter with a 4-0 run to surge ahead 7-5. Kills by four different players made up the rally. The teams tied at 7, 8 and 10, before the Seminoles regained the advantage. Down 10-8, Florida State put together an 8-1 run, including four Kubura putaways to seize the 16-11 lead. Auburn was within three at 16-13, but could not break through. FSU went up 24-17 on a stuff by Ambrose and Knuth and finished off the win at 25-19 on an Auburn service error.

Auburn came out on fire in Set 2 cruising to a 6-1 lead with help from three FSU miscues. Four Calkins putways pulled the Seminoles within two at 10-8 and a 4-0 run, including two kills and a block by Kubura, later tied things up at 13-all. From there, the Tigers rode the arm of McIlroy to a seven-point edge at 22-15. A Florida State setting error set up a final kill from White to give Auburn the 25-18 win.

Momentum swung back to the Seminoles in Set 3 as the side took a 5-1 lead as Knuth put up two blocks. Down 10-5, Auburn mounted a comeback, knotting the score at 13 with three-straight kills by Reece. After ties at 15 and 16, Florida State pushed the edge to three at 21-18 on an Ambrose finish. Back to back aces by Earl made it 21-all, but the Seminoles scored three straight to earn a set-point try at 24-21. A 3-0 run, capped by a Payton White ace, kept the set going at 24-all. A setting error thwarted FSU’s second attempt, but a Tiger error and a Calkins kill claimed FSU the 27-25 victory on its third effort.

The teams split the first 12 points of Set 4, before Auburn pulled away with two Earl aces and two kills by Jones, which made it 12-7. A block by Knuth and Ambrose cut the margin to two at 14-12, but the Tigers put things out of reach with a 10-4 run, including a pair of kills by Jones and White. Down 24-16, Florida State fought off three set point attempts, before Filley won the set for Auburn at 25-19, forcing the decisive fifth set.



Courtesy: Florida State Athletics

The No. 20 Florida State volleyball team took down the Auburn Tigers 3-2 on Saturday (Sept. 16) afternoon in a nearly three-hour back-and-forth battle. With a tough Auburn defense facing a strong Florida State offense, it took five close sets for the Seminoles to earn its sixth win of the season.
In the first set, the Noles outhit the Tigers with a .371 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Milica Kubura led the offense with eight kills on 12 attacks (.583), while junior defensive specialist held down the defense with eight digs to give the Seminoles the first set 25-19.

In the second set showed a huge change in momentum as Auburn held the lead over Florida State from the beginning, holding the Seminoles to just a .056 hitting percentage. With two team blocks, 15 kills and a seemingly impenetrable back row, Auburn took the second set 25-18.

Florida State came out strong in the third set, pulling back that momentum to once again outhit Auburn with its best hitting percentage of the match (.387). Senior outside hitter Natasha Calkins led the offense to the Seminoles’ close 27-25 victory in the third set, earning 7 kills on 11 total attacks (.636).

The fourth set stayed close in the beginning, but the Tigers took off on a 6-1 run midway through the set to gain a five-point lead. The Seminoles fought back but were unable to come back, giving the Tigers the fourth set 25-19. This was the least efficient match for both teams, as neither hit more than .167 and each had at least five hitting errors.

With the match tied up 2-2, both teams put up a fight in the deciding set as the score was tied four times and the match saw two lead changes. A series of errors helped the Seminoles tie it up at 10-10, and then later 12-12 before a kill from Kubura forced an Auburn timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Calkins earned her 18th kill of the match to give Florida State set point, and Kubura followed with her 19th kill of the day to give the Seminoles the final set 15-12.

This match is important to the Seminoles, since the team has not been able to play a competitive match in nearly two weeks due to schedule changes. Florida State is now the only ACC team to defeat Auburn, as the Tigers have already beaten Georgia Tech, NC State, Clemson and preseason conference favorite North Carolina.


Quoting Head Coach Chris Poole

“We still have a lot of things we need to work on, we knew that this was going to be somewhat of a rebuilding year. And we see that out there, we’ve got talent and we can play very well at times, but we can also play down at times and make a lot of mistakes. It was really disappointing seeing the way we came out in that second set, making some mistakes, and we really had to scramble for it in the fourth set. I feel like this is a team that is just going to continue to learn and get better as the season goes on, but we know it’s going to be a lot of work.”

On coming back and playing a tough team after some major schedule changes…
“I think it did hurt us a bit to not play the last two weeks, it’s just different to have those matches to play versus just practicing. Hopefully this gets us fired up again in the right way.”

On how it feels to win another five set match…
“We were down there at the end. Auburn is a good team, they did a lot of things to hurt us, and is shows a lot of character on the girls’ part to come back and fight and still be able to win.”

On how important this win was to them…
“It’s extremely important to get this win because Auburn is having one of their better years, if not the best year they’ve had, so we knew that they were going to be a very tough team. We could’ve gone out and tried to find an easy match but we wanted to go out and challenge ourselves, and I thought Auburn did a great job. They were very well prepared and they’re going to have a great year in the SEC.”


Quoting Senior Outside Hitter Milica Kubura

On what they did to win at the end and her 18 kills…
“I love playing matches like this because it just challenges our character and I know that when it’s on the line I’m going to put the ball down. I think it was some fire on our part that won the last set.”

On the schedule changes…
“I don’t think we’ve been this excited for a game. We’ve had such a long break and we tried to keep ourselves motivated of course, but it was hard. So I’m really excited for this match.”

On pulling out a win in five sets…
“We’ve been working a lot on our mental strength, and I think that was a key. Also we are very close to each other and we can look at each other in these hard moments and know that we’ve got it, so I think that’s huge.”



  • Florida State improves to a 17-1 all-time record over Auburn.The Seminoles have taken the last four matches in the series, all of which have been decided in five sets.
  • FSU’s season record improves to 6-1.
  • Brianne Burkert earned her 19th career double-double with 46 assists and 15 digs.She has now earned a double-double in six of the Seminoles’ seven matches this season.
  • Bozena Culo earned a career high 15 digs. Her previous was 13 vs. UC Santa Barbara (8/26/17)
  • Cecilie Woie tied her season high of six assists for the fourth time this season and tied her season high of one service ace.
  • Milica Kubura earned a season high 19 kills. Her previous was 15 vs. Illinois State (8/26/17).
  • Christina Ambrose tied her season high of three assisted blocks (and three total), which she has now earned three times this season.
  • Florida State is now the only one of the five ACC opponents Auburn has seen this season to defeat the Tigers. Earlier this season Auburn took down Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State and Clemson.
  • This matchup against Auburn was added when Florida State and Auburn both saw drastic schedule changes following the projected impacts of Hurricane Irma.


Courtesy: Auburn Athletics

The Auburn volleyball team took No. 20 Florida State down to the wire Saturday afternoon before falling to the Seminoles, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 27-25, 19-25, 15-12), in Tully Gym.

“It was a hard-fought match for both teams today,” head coach Rick Noldsaid. “We both went on a lot of runs and I like how we fought back towards the end of the match. Unfortunately, we became undisciplined at the end and let it slip away.

“I’m proud of the way we handled tough situations in non-conference play this year,” Nold added. “This was all to prepare us to become better team. I like where we are right now as we head into SEC competition and am looking forward to what’s next.”

Auburn (7-2) had four Tigers finish with double-digit kills in the match. Sophomore Gwyn Jones led the way with a career-high 19 kills, while senior Macy Reece set a season best with 14. Sophomore Shaina Whiteadded 13 and junior Brenna McIlroy finished with 11.

Senior setter Alexa Filley had a season-high 57 assists to go with 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Senior Jesse Earl finished with a great match for Auburn, setting a season best with 30 digs and tying a career-high five service aces. McIlroy chipped in 11 digs for her third double-double this year.

Florida State (6-1) had a pair of outside hitters in double digits. Milica Kubura finished with 19 kills, while Natasha Calkins had 18. Setter Brianne Burkert totaled 46 assists and 15 digs, while libero Cecilie Woie had 18 digs.

The Tigers rattled off four-straight kills in early parts of the first to go up 7-5, but the Seminoles responded with a run to take a 15-10 advantage, forcing an Auburn timeout. FSU head its lead throughout the rest of the set, winning 25-19.

Auburn regrouped to come out quickly in the second stanza, going up 5-0. The Noles battled back to tie the set at 13, but a four kills from McIlroy and one by Jones pushed the Tigers up at 22-16. A kill from S. White sealed the set win, 25-18.

The Seminoles jumped ahead at 7-3 in set three before a trio of kills by Reece tied things up at 13. FSU utilized a handful of small runs to forge ahead at 20-19, but the Tigers used a big block and a pair of aces from Earl to lock it at 21. FSU found itself at set point, 24-21, but tough serving from Payton White brought the teams to a 24-all tie. After exchanging sideouts, the Noles held on to take a 27-25 win.

Great serving from Earl to start the fourth gave Auburn an 11-6 lead. The Tigers capitalized on FSU errors late and pressed ahead at 18-13. Kills from Jones and S. White with another Earl ace made it 22-14. Auburn held set point at 24-16 before FSU rattled off three-straight points, forcing an AU timeout. Filley took it in her own hands and used a kill to force a fifth, 25-19.

FSU came out in the final set firing and went up 5-1. The Tigers responded with a seven-point run highlighted by four-straight kills from Jones to push a 10-7 lead. More kills from Jones made it 12-10, but the Noles regrouped and closed out the match on a five-point rally, taking a 15-12 win.

Auburn opens Southeastern Conference play next weekend on the road, traveling to Ole Miss and Georgia. The Tigers and the Rebels square off Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. CT in Oxford, Miss. Auburn closes out the week with a tilt in Athens, Sept. 24, at 12:30 p.m. CT.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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