TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Entering his seventh season at the helm, head coach Chris Poole Florida State indoor volleyball team began official fall practice on Saturday Aug. 9 in Tully Gym. The Seminoles start the 2014 season eyeing their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament bid while looking to capture the fifth ACC title in program history.
“We’re very excited,” Poole said. “Summer gets really long for coaches because we don’t get to work with our players and you’re dependent on the ladies staying fit and trying to play as much as they can. A lot of our girls had opportunities with national teams this summer, so we’re hoping it’s going to give us big dividends coming in.”
The Seminoles have been included in every AVCA poll dating back to Sept. 19, 2011, and will debut at No.13 in the 2014 preseason poll, extending the streak to 43-striaght polls. It is also just one place shy of the highest preseason ranking in school history (No. 12 – 2012).
Camp began with 17 athletes as nine players donned Garnet and Gold for the first time. Leading the squad this season for the second-straight year as captains will be seniors Katie Mosher and Sarah Wickstrom, who have made contributions in rewriting the history books.
As a libero, Mosher starts the 2014 season needing 255 more digs in order to pass Summer Weissing (1,859) first on the FSU Career Digs list. The Fort Myers, Fla., native currently sits in third with a total of 1,605.
“We’ve got a lot of new players this year,” Mosher said. “We’ve been trying to play over the past few weeks at the end of summer, but we’re ready to get this season started.”
Not many liberos are judged on too many stats, but her worthiness can be summed up in one way – Since her first playing season in 2011, FSU is 82-19 (.812).
Wickstrom also looks to leave her mark as a setter as she broke into the all-time top 10 for assists in a career in 2013, sitting in 10th with a total of 2,140.
“I can’t believe it’s already our senior year,” Wickstrom said. “I’m just going to make the best of it and come out really strong and with a lot of energy and we’re all very excited to get out there.”
Aside from their individual accolades, both Mosher and Wickstrom have helped the Seminoles to a pair of ACC titles, an NCAA National Semifinal, three NCAA appearances and 16 wins over ranked opponents.
Florida State will start the season as the first school in ACC history to receive an invitation to play in the AVCA Showcase, which traditionally involves perennial power schools. FSU will visit No.7 Nebraska at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29 before taking on Iowa State on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. in Ames.
The Seminoles will return to Tallahassee and welcome 10th-ranked Florida to Tully Gym on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m.
Before the season begins, Florida State will hold its annual Garnet and Gold match on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. at Tully Gym.