Sept. 25, 2013
By Layne Herdt (@LayneHerdt) Seminoles.com-
ACC play begins this week for the Florida State as they look to defend their back to back conference championships. But before the Noles head to Syracuse let's look back on the challenging non-conference schedule.
"I thought the players played very well," head coach Chris Poole said. "We had some ups and downs and some very close sets that we lost and cost us some matches. At the same time we're trying to blend in some of the youth and some of the experienced players"
"I think we did some things really well, but there are also things we know we need to improve on in order to come into the conference strong." senior Ashley Neff said.
"I think our team performed great," junior Sarah Wickstrom said. "The competition was so hard and we just had to stick it out the whole time, play our best."
And if you don't believe them, here's a by the numbers look at the Seminoles start.
3- The Seminoles earned three wins against ranked opponents during the preseason including a victory against seventh-ranked Michigan, the team's highest ranked win in program history. Florida State also defeated the 17th-ranked squads of Kentucky and Western Kentucky.
3.73- That 3.73 is the kills per set for sophomore outside hitter Nicole Walch, the most heading into ACC play since 2006 when Makini Thompson and Sarah Griffin roamed the court for the Garnet and Gold.
4- Their have been four 20 kill performances for the Noles, the most since 2010 with the Walch sisters Elise and Nicole having all four. Nicole has earned three of those topped by a career high 23 kills against Auburn, while Elise nabbed 22 against Michigan.
8- Eight times in 2013 have Seminole players earned a double-double with half of those coming from senior Olivera Medic who is averaging 2.42 kills and 2.64 digs per set.
13- Senior Ashley Neff is once again putting up a wall at the net ranking 13th-nationally averaging 1.41 blocks per set. Last season the reigning ACC Player of the Year ranked seventh nationally with 1.71 blocks per set.
31- Thanks to some big wins and a tough schedule the Seminole now have been ranked in the AVCA top 25 for a school record 31 straight weeks. The second best streak is also under the leadership of head coach Chris Poole when FSU was ranked for 24 consecutive weeks in 2009 and 2010.
76- Florida State closed out the preseason in style recording 76 kills against Auburn. The number ties the school record for kills in a match during the 25 point system era that began in 2008.
3- Finally, we head back to three, the number of consecutive ACC Championships the Seminoles are shooting for this season. The title defense begins Saturday at noon against Syracuse as the Garnet and Gold look for ACC win number one.