No. 16 Florida State Heads to Texas A&M Invitational
Sept. 11, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The 16th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team goes back on the road as it travels to the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station, Texas, to face No. 7 Michigan, Texas A&M and Siena from Sept. 12-14.
The Seminoles (4-2) open the tournament playing Siena on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET at Reed Arena. Florida State then must make a quick turnaround and face the Aggies (5-0) that same evening at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following an off day on Friday, Florida State goes for its third Top 25 win of the year against the seventh-ranked Wolverines (5-0) on Saturday at noon ET.
Only Texas A&M matches will have live video streaming, which requires a subscription to Aggieathletics.com. Every match will have live statistics.
“We really looked at this preseason and each weekend we wanted to have some teams we knew would be challenging,” head coach Chris Poole said. “At the same time, we wanted to have some opportunities to beat some of these teams; you can’t beat them if you don’t play them. Texas A&M is coming off an SEC West Division championship and a Top 25 finish, and they’re a very good team. We’re going to have to play well at their place in order to get a good win.
“Of course Michigan is coming off a Final Four last season, and I think they’re only missing one starter from last season. Something we talked about is we can’t drop our Friday matches. We have to be able to figure out how to go in right after a good week of practice and bring our ‘A’ game.”
Florida State is hoping to leave College Station, Texas with its third Top 25 victory of the season as it faces No. 7 Michigan on Sept. 14 at noon ET. A win over the seventh-ranked Wolverines would mark the highest-ranked victory in school history.
The Seminoles are trying to break a three-match losing streak to Big Ten opponents. The streak started last season with an NCAA Second Round loss to Purdue, and continued with two defeats this year to Illinois and Ohio State. Florida State did beat the Buckeyes last season.
Under Poole, Florida State is 42-7 in what are termed “preseason” tournaments against non-conference competition. Each tournament provides an opportunity for high-quality wins and provides a tune-up to the all-important conference season.
In the new 15-member Atlantic Coast Conference, sophomore right-side hitter Mara Green currently ranks fifth with a .375 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Sarah Burrington is seventh with 1.23 blocks per set, senior Ashley Neff is eighth with 1.18 blocks per set and redshirt junior libero Katie Mosher is 10th with 3.95 digs per set.
Four different Seminoles have been selected to two all-tournament teams this season. At the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational, sophomore outside hitter Nicole Walch and senior outside hitter Olivera Medic were selected. At last weekend’s Four Points by Sheraton Seminole Invitational, Neff and senior outside hitter Elise Walch were chosen.
Florida State’s trip to College Station, Texas will be somewhat of a homecoming for redshirt freshman outside hitter Leah Mikesky. The Schulenburg, Texas native has several family members who have attended Texas A&M. For the second straight season, Mikesky will have an opportunity to head back to the Lonestar State as FSU played in a tournament in Houston last year.
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).