Sept. 18, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State Seminoles (5-3) return home this weekend, September 20-21, to host the FSU Invitational. The Seminoles will look to improve their record as they take on Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU and Brown in the two-day tournament. Florida State will open tournament play on Friday, September 20th when they face the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette. This will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Seminoles will be back in action later that evening as they take on the LSU Tigers at 7:00 p.m. at Tully Gym. Saturday, in the final match of the tournament, Florida State will take on Ivy League opponent Brown University at 1:00 p.m. This too marks the first ever meeting between schools.
In Florida State's first match of the tournament, Friday September 20th, the Seminoles will look to extend a two-game winning streak when they match up against Louisiana-Lafayette at noon. The Ragin Cajuns, with a record of 5-5, are lead by sophomore, Stacy Cole. Cole leads the Ragin Cajuns with 155 kills and 20 aces on the season. Louisiana-Lafayette will also look to seniors Priscilla Lima and Clarice Laires to hold down the middle against the Seminoles. Lima leads the team with a hitting percentage of .228 and Laires leads with 35 total blocks on the season.
The Seminoles will go head-to-head with LSU in the nightcap, Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Tully Gym. Florida State last met LSU in 1994 and currently holds a 10-8 advantage over the Tigers in the all-time series record. The Tigers boast a record of 5-2 on the season and are looking to rebound after a tough loss to Florida A&M last week. LSU is lead by their senior stand out Jennifer Hampton. Hampton leads the LSU squad with 123 kills and a hitting percentage of .248. The Tigers expect a solid contribution from freshman, Megan Heinz. Heinz has put away 38 kills for LSU and has the second-highest hitting percentage on the team at .261.
In the final match of the tournament, Florida State will battle it out with Brown University. Brown has played the fewest number of matches of any team in the tournament, entering with a record of 1-2. Senior Jessie Cooper will be the player to watch as she leads the team in kills (28), hitting percentage (.303), service aces (5) and blocks (14). Other players the Seminoles will need to watch are senior Angela Dunn and freshman Karalyn, Kuckenbecker. Both Dunn (20 kills) and Kuckenbecker (28 kills) are strong outside hitters for Brown and will look to use their strength to guide them through the tournament.
Following the tournament, the Seminoles will have just three days to prepare for their next match. On Tuesday, September 24th Florida State will travel to Gainesville to take on the third-ranked Florida Gators at 7:00 p.m.