Sept. 20, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 17th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball squad wraps up non-conference play with another challenging matchup at Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. ET at the Auburn Arena.
The match between the Seminoles (6-4) and Tigers (9-2) will mark Auburn’s first volleyball match at the Auburn Arena, as they will shift its home matches from the Student Activities Center to the newly-built arena. Overall, Florida State is 8-1 all-time against the Tigers but its lone defeat came on the road in the last matchup between both teams on Sept. 1, 1999.
“In Auburn we already know they beat Nebraska to start off the season, so they are a very capable team,” head coach Chris Poole said. “They’re very athletic, they’re good defensively and they’re very well-coached. We know it’s going to be a tough match, they’re moving this match over to their arena and they’re really highlighting it and seeing it as a big thing on campus this weekend.
“We know that their fans are going to be there, it’s going to be a great atmosphere and we’ll have to step up our game if we want to win.”
The Seminoles are coming off a 3-0 loss at rival Florida this past Tuesday night. Senior outside hitter Olivera Medic was FSU’s most consistent attacker, recording 10 kills in 21 attacks for a .333 hitting percentage.
While Florida State has put together an impressive showing against a rigorous non-conference schedule, it has also suffered its share of heartbreakers. In their four losses this season, seven of the 12 sets lost have come by the minimum differential of two points.
Florida State owns all three of the ACC’s AVCA Top 25 victories this season. The Seminoles have defeated then-17th-ranked Kentucky, then-17th-ranked Western Kentucky and then-seventh-ranked Michigan. The win over the Wolverines on Sept. 14 marks the highest-ranked victory in program history.
Tuesday’s match against the Tigers marks the second part of a two-match road swing against SEC competition, as FSU has already played Florida earlier this week. Since head coach Chris Poole took over in 2008, FSU is 7-8 against SEC competition including 4-0 against Kentucky.
Defensively, Florida State continues to do its job by holding quality teams to a lower hitting percentage. In its last match against one of the nation’s best offensive units in Florida, the Seminoles held the Gators to a .264 attack percentage, and have allowed a .210 hitting clip on average this season.
Florida State has also been proficient in its blocking game once again, out-blocking its opponents in seven of 10 matches this season. Overall, the Seminoles hold a 96-73.5 advantage in total blocks this season.
Auburn’s big highlight to the season thus far has been a neutral-site win over 10th-ranked Nebraska on Aug. 31. The Tigers won the match by minimizing their mistakes, as Nebraska was done in by 14 service errors compared to Auburn’s two.
Redshirt senior Katherine Culwell leads Auburn in the kills department with 146 put-downs while averaging 3.74 per set. Auburn’s opponents are hitting just .150 for the season. Redshirt senior libero Sarah Wroblicky leads the team with 4.56 digs per set.
Following FSU’s final non-conference match, the Seminoles begin their ACC schedule with a televised match at Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 28 at noon on Time Warner Cable.
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).