BAYAMON, Puerto Rico - No. 14 Texas A&M won the first two sets but No. 16 Florida State came back to win the match, 18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-8 tonight at the Puerto Rico Clasico.
Texas A&M got off to a quick start in the opening set, outhitting FSU, .419 to .148. Kiara McGee, who led all players with a career-high 21 kills for the match, had seven kills in the frame, including the set-winning kill as the Aggies used a 6-1 run to close out the set. Florida State used a 6-0 run to take a 10-8 in the second set, but A&M chipped away and eventually took an 18-16 lead.
The Seminoles used a kill down the block and an A&M attack error to even the score at 18-18 before the Aggies scored six unanswered points, including back-to-back blocks by Jazzmin Babers and Stephanie Aiple to be serving for the set, 24-18.
FSU, which was outhit .300 to .034 in the stanza, ended the run with a kill before McGee countered with the set-clinching kill, giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the match. Texas A&M used a 5-0 spurt to take a 10-9 lead in the third set, but FSU regained the lead at 12-11 as an Aggie attack sailed long. The Seminoles, who outhit A&M .267 to .129 in the set, continued to pull away, eventually building a 23-15 advantage.
Kaitlyn Blake then got two kills and two blocks during a 5-1 A&M run, which also included a kill by freshman Kiana Peroff that pulled the Aggies within 24-20. FSU, however, got a kill on the ensuing play to take the set, 25-20.
There were 13 ties and six lead changes in the fourth set with A&M building its largest lead at 14-11, forcing FSU to call a timeout. The Seminoles followed with a 4-0 run to take a 15-14 lead. Texas A&M then called a timeout before Blake and McGee posted back-to-back kills to give A&M its final lead, 16-15.
FSU, which outhit A&M .222 to .174 in the set, reeled off five consecutive points to build its largest lead, 20-16. A&M managed to cut the lead to 21-19 following a Seminole service error and a kill by Emily Hardesty, but it was the closest the Aggies could get. An A&M service error followed by an FSU ace put the Seminoles up, 23-19. The teams then traded points for the remainder of the set as FSU evened the match a two sets apiece.
Other than a McGee kill to start the fifth set, the Seminoles held the lead the entire frame following a 5-0 run to go up 5-1.
The Aggies, who were outhit .533 to .000, got within 9-7 but could get no closer. FSU went on to outscore the Aggies, 6-1, to close out the match, with A&M committing three consecutive hitting errors to end the contest. Hardesty finished the match with 14 kills for the Aggies, and Blake and Babers added 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
Aiple posted a double-double with 51 assists and 11 digs, while libero Amy Nettles led all players with 17 digs. FSU was led by Milica Kubura and Christina Ambrose, who posted 13 kills apiece. Melanie Keil had 12 blocks to lead the Seminoles to a 17.5 to 8 advantage in team blocks.
The Aggies return to the court Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) to face No. 6 Minnesota in what will be the Aggies' third ranked opponent in the last four matches.