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Florida State Seminoles lose in NCAA volleyball semifinal to UCLA Bruins

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Florida State's school- and ACC-record run in the NCAA volleyball tournament ended Thursday with a three-set loss to UCLA in the semifinals.

Junior outside hitter Rachael Kidder had 21 kills in the 25-16, 25-17, 25-21 victory as the Bruins advanced to their first national championship match since 1994.

The Seminoles (28-7) never led in the first two sets during their first semifinals appearance. An ACC team had never advanced that far. Jekaterina Stepanova had 11 kills for FSU, and Visnja Djurdjevic added eight kills.

"It's always a disappointment to lose, no matter where you lose," FSU defensive specialist Katie Mosher said. "But I think the fact that no one expected us to get to the final four at all, it just shows so much for our team as a whole."

"Obviously the match itself wasn't as we had hoped and was a disappointing loss," FSU coach Chris Poole said. "At the same time, we had a lot of wins this year and had a great season overall."

Kidder, a 6-foot-3 star of UCLA's front line, put together her eighth match this season with at least 20 kills.

She hit .462, her best performance of the tournament.

The Bruins (29-6) have three championships, tied for third all-time, and four runnerup finishes.

UCLA plays Illinois for the championship on Saturday (8:30 p.m., ESPN2). Senior outside hitter Colleen Ward had 27 kills as the Illini (32-4) advanced to its first champion­ship match by upsetting USC 25-27, 25-18, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10.

Alex Jupiter had 32 kills for the Trojans (29-5), who also lost in the semis last season.

Florida State Seminoles lose in NCAA volleyball semifinal to UCLA Bruins 12/15/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2011 9:21am]
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