Boston College volleyball has lost nine out of its 12 conference games this season, and four of those ACC losses have come in straight sets. But after upsetting Miami on Friday, the Eagles had wind in their sails. They kept the momentum going on Sunday with an upset win over Florida State.
The Eagles (16–10, 4–8 Atlantic Coast) had a hot start to the game with a 25–17 win over the Seminoles (15–8, 7–5) in the first set. The start of the set was close, but the Seminoles got frazzled and took a timeout while down 11–7. From there, BC held the upper hand.
BC won the game by scores of 25–17, 23–25, 25–20, and 25–21.
“I think we’re pretty excited,” BC head coach Jason Kennedy said. “[This is] the first time we’ve beat those guys—I know certainly since I’ve been here. That’s a perennial NCAA program. So I think that’s a pretty big one for us to get. I think we’re finally playing up to maybe our potential a little bit, and it’s exciting to be able to see that.”
Sophomore Jenna Pollock led the team with six kills in the first set, including the kill that won BC the set. Pollock finished the game with 22 kills.
“I thought offensively today we were steady,” Kennedy said. “We hit .253 for the match, which was just pretty solid, so I think we’re finally settling into a little bit of a groove.”
BC slowly lost its mojo as it entered the second set, and the Eagles struggled to receive balls. The Eagles took a timeout while down 22–17 and then began to come back. After kills by Pollock and senior Izzy Clavenna, the Seminoles called for a timeout themselves.
In a nail-biting finish, sophomore Julia Haggerty took the court by storm with a block and a kill, and it looked as though the Eagles might secure the win. Yet, the Seminoles held tight to their lead and won the set 25–23.
“I think we let our foot off the gas a little bit on the serving front,” Kennedy said. “And then we made too many errors. We’ve got to be able to manage our side of the net a little bit better. And I thought we did a good job of responding to that after that second set.”
The third set started off close with the score tied at 8–8, but with a kill from fifth-year player Kate Brennan, the Eagles took the lead.
BC held onto its lead and took home the win as Haggerty lightly tapped the ball over the net to give BC a 25–21 victory.
BC struggled with communication as the fourth set started, and the Eagles went down 6–3. But the Seminoles continued to hit the ball out of bounds, handing BC easy points to take a 11–9 lead.
After two straight kills by Florida State’s Skye Ekes, the Eagles called for a timeout to regroup.
Junior Katrina Jensen broke the 16–16 tie with a kill, causing the Seminoles to call a timeout. Libero Anna Murphy took control of the court with two aces, and the Eagles were looking at the final five points they needed for a victory.
Though the game went down to the wire, kills from Pollock led the Eagles to take home the win.
“That was so exciting,” Kennedy said. “I don’t know, I just think I’m still a little speechless that we were able to pull that one off. That’s a team that I know we’ve looked up to for a long time as far as having success on a regular basis, and for us to pull that one out, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Kennedy attributed BC’s win to playing at home. The Eagles were on a four-game road stretch ahead of their home game against Miami on Friday.
“I think we’ve always kind of known we’ve had a good group,” Kennedy said. “I think we’ve hit a little bit of fatigue out on the road where we played so many matches away from this building, so to be able to get home and get comfortable, and sleep in our own beds, that’s helped quite a bit.”