LINCOLN, Neb. – Taylor Mims had 28 kills to help Washington State to a 34-32, 25-14, 23-25, 25-13 win over Florida State in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament on Friday.
Mims, who won three consecutive Class AA state championships while starring at Billings Senior High School, added 22 digs and one block in the Cougars’ win. The 28 kills and 22 digs were both career highs for the junior outside hitter, who was named to the Pac-12’s all-conference team earlier this week.
“I think our back-row-attack connection works pretty well,” Mims said in a release. “I think that’s the best I’ve ever hit out of the back row this entire season. I think that really kept us going and our defense really picked up as well and that gives us the option to run our offense.”
The Cougars and Seminoles battled through a marathon first set with neither team building a lead of more than four points. WSU led 14-10 at one point, but Florida State evened things up and the teams traded points into the 30s. Mims had nine kills in the first set, as the Cougars finally got the 34-32 win.
“I think it was huge, it was a big momentum shift, I feel, onto the second set,” Mims said of the first-set win. “Those crazy rallies as you guys saw, I think they really kept us in the game. The crowd got involved and got us pumped up so I think it was really important. ”
Mims had six kills in the second set, including game point to give Washington State the 25-14 win.
Florida State won the third set 25-23, before Washington state secured the win with a 25-13 advantage in the fourth set. Mims had seven kills in the final set.
Washington State (18-15) will meet No. 5 Nebraska in the second round. The Cornhuskers (27-4) swept Stony Brook 25-10, 25-14, 25-12 in the first round.
Washington State and Nebraska meet at 6 p.m. (MT) on Saturday. The match can be streamed live here.