`Noles Finish Road Trip at Georgia Tech, Clemson
Oct. 3, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 18th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team seeks just its fourth 4-0 start since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference when it travels to Georgia Tech and Clemson this weekend.
The Seminoles (9-4, 2-0) take on the Yellow Jackets (6-8, 0-2) first on Friday at 7 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium in Atlanta. The match will be video streamed on Ramblinwreck.com All-Access with a subscription being required.
Florida State then travels to Clemson a day later on Saturday for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Tigers in Jervey Gym. The match can also be seen via video stream on ClemsonTigers.com for free.
“The girls have to realize that (our conference opponents are) going to spend their week preparing for us as if it’s a national championship,” head coach Chris Poole said. “We’re the team that was favored coming into the conference and we’ve been successful over the last two years. They’re trying to knock us off the top of the ACC mountain right now, and so we know we’re going to get their best shot.”
The Seminoles are at the end of an exhausting nine-match trip away from Tallahassee. On the current road/neutral site swing, the ‘Noles are 5-2 with wins over Siena, Michigan, Auburn, Syracuse and Boston College. It is the longest stretch without playing in Tallahassee since the 1998 team played 10 straight matches in road/neutral-site environments.
Florida State and Georgia Tech square off in a rematch of last year’s thrilling five-set victory for the Seminoles. In that match played on Oct. 19, 2012, FSU was down the first two sets (33-35, 23-25) before coming back to win the final three frames.
Senior middle blocker Ashley Neff is a Kennesaw, Ga., native who has performed well against her home-state school in Georgia Tech. In three matches versus the Yellow Jackets, Neff has recorded 26 kills, averaged 1.73 kills per set, totaled a .353 hitting percentage and averaged 1.67 blocks per set.
Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Walch put together some quality swings in FSU’s opening weekend of conference play at Syracuse and Boston College. Altogether, she totaled 29 kills, averaged 4.14 kills per set and hit at a .328 clip. Walch’s 3.79 kills per set are the most by a Seminole through the first 13 matches since the 25-point scoring system was implemented in 2008.
Last season, Florida State defeated Clemson in three sets in their only meeting on the road. Included in the victory was a dominant 25-9 win in the opening set. The Seminoles have already held two opponents this season to single digits in 25-point sets. Against Siena, Florida State defeated the Saints 25-9 in the second set. Last weekend against Boston College, FSU won the second set over the Eagles 25-8. It’s the first time FSU has held two teams to single digits in one season since 2009.
If the Seminoles can escape two of the loudest gyms in the conference with a couple wins, it would be the fourth time in program history they have started the ACC at 4-0. The other years include 1993, 2006 and 2011.
October has been a kind month for Florida State. Since the 2011 season, the Seminoles are 18-0 in October, going 9-0 in each season. Its last loss was on Oct. 31, 2010, at Virginia in five sets.
Georgia Tech is coming off consecutive losses to start ACC play, falling to Maryland in five sets and Pitt in three last weekend. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series against FSU 28-15, and are led by senior Jennifer Percy’s 3.29 kills per set.
FSU leads the all-time series against Clemson 28-20. The Tigers’ Mo Simmons leads the ACC with 4.52 kills per set and is the team’s go-to option with 235 kills. Clemson defeated Maryland 3-1 in the team’s last match and also shows wins over South Carolina and UCF.
Follow Florida State indoor volleyball on Seminoles.com as well as on the team’s official Twitter (@FSU_Volleyball) and Facebook pages (Facebook.com/FSUVolleyball).