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    Bri Breaks It Down - Vol. 5

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    "The Number 5"

    Hi Seminole Fans! It's week five for my blog and the number five was definitely significant this weekend for me and my team. As I said in the last blog, an ESPN correspondent interviewed me and Coach Poole and it was posted last Wednesday, which was huge for our program! Dave Reed wrote in the article, "Barry and the 17th-ranked Seminoles are 12-1 against the second most difficult schedule in the country. They swept No. 8 Illinois and took No. 5 Florida to the limit on the Gators' home court. Those performances clearly demonstrate that the Noles have a chance to be playing in a regional final of the NCAA tournament Dec. 12, and that's a significant change from how FSU volleyball players planned the end of the season the past few years." Getting the chance to see FSU recognized nationally was an amazing feeling and it is so cool to think that all of the hard work my teammates and I have put into our sport is finally paying off. There was the first No. 5 - remembering when we played Florida and they were ranked No. 5. We practiced three days in preparation for Georgia Tech and Clemson to come to Tallahassee. Friday came and my team and I were ready to take on the Wrambling Wreck from Georgia Tech. We did our normal routine before a match - ate our pregame meal and took goofy pictures and had fun dancing like always. Like Jordana and Jenna making the perfect diamond mid-air I might add! Then came serve and pass and we had a really focused session, which was promising for the future. Little did we know that things were about to get crazy in Tully that night.

    Before every match my parents always give me some kind of trinket to keep for that match - it could be anything from loose change to a quote or inspirational saying. I always give it to Mallory our trainer to keep during the match and Friday night my dad found a nickel on the ground - once again the No. 5 - and you will see how that comes back around at the end of the match. There was one player on Georgia Tech that we had to look out for - No. 5 - and we tried to make sure we knew where she was on the court at all times. Again the number five. We started off the match very well, winning the first set 25-19. Then the second set started with Georgia Tech taking the lead and we would battle back and forth until it was 25-25. Unfortunately Georgia Tech got two amazing plays to finish off the set. The score was 1-1. We went into our tent and the one thing the coaches told us was to play consistent.

    The third set truly looked like FSU volleyball. We went up 13-4 and never looked back finishing the set out 25-15. But once again the green monster of inconsistency reared its head. We played well up until the score was 23-20 in our favor. We were unable to capitalize on key plays that we needed to and Georgia Tech ended up winning the fourth set 27-25. OK, fifth se ... that would be the fourth time the number five is important. We started off slow and Georgia Tech took the lead 8-4 but we tied the match at 12-12. But we were unable to pull out the win and a Georgia Tech service ace finished the match and we lost 16-14. CP said after the match, "On all of the big points it seemed like they were getting every break. We kept battling but we were just unable to get that break tonight." A loss is always tough to swallow and we didn't have a lot of time to dwell on the situation due to the fact that we played Clemson on Sunday. Now you're probably wondering why I brought up the fact that my dad found a nickel and why is that important? That night against Georgia Tech I had five assist blocks!

    Saturday morning came around and we rolled out of bed and made our way to Tully for practice. It was tough to get back into the gym after Friday's loss but we came together as a team and had a strong practice to prepare for Clemson the next day. After practice we got the chance to hang out with our family that was in town. My parents and the Romanelli's had some extra company as Steph's family -- all the way from Canada -- made the trip down for the weekend! A few teammates and I went to Miller's Ale House to watch the Florida State football game and it was a good way to spend our Saturday afternoon. Then my mom and I got to go shopping, which is always fun too! The team overall had a good day and that night most of us prepared ourselves for the match tomorrow by watching game film and looking over scouting reports to make sure we were ready for the Clemson Tigers.

    Sunday ... GAME DAY! As we made our way to Tully I was thinking to myself that today we were going to prove to everyone that we are not the team we used to be and that we would be able to come together and pull out a win today. Again, little did I know that it was going to be a battle to the end - another five-set match. Our painted guys were very creative, with the help of Julie - the "Corner Crew" as they're called - and they always make our matches so much better!

    We started warm-ups and boom we were off. Things were looking better as we won the first two sets and went into intermission. There was one thing we couldn't ignore; that Clemson had lost the first two sets against Miami and came back to win the match. The coaches said to us that it wasn't over yet and you can never underestimate a team. We found out this was indeed true as Clemson took control over the match and won the next two sets. We looked into each other's eyes before we started the fifth set and we saw nothing but determination that we were going to win this match. We started a little slow but took control at 10-5 and never looked back as we finished the match 15-7. It was an emotional roller coaster but we came out on top and we proved to ourselves that we could continue to fight through adversity and pull out a win. Jenna and I had career highs that day and after the match we had our clinic where the kids in our community had the chance to come onto the court with us and play! I always love doing stuff like this and my team truly enjoyed it. I would have to say that Jordana had the cutest little girls with the most energy I have seen in a long time! When we were finished with the clinic I got to take a picture with some of the girls from the clinic. And guess how many girls I had with me? You guessed it, five :)

    Oh Mondays. Ha-ha this week was a little different for us because we had practice to look forward to since we leave for Wake Forest and Duke on Thursday of this week. We got pretty lucky as we only moved back down to No. 19 in the AVCA rankings and if we have a successful weekend we could possibly move back up. We are practicing hard this week to make sure we are prepared for our two ACC matches this weekend. I am excited because I get to see some family and some fans this weekend on our road trip and that always makes traveling so much better. Can't wait to see what my parents find for us this weekend! That's it for this week! Watch us on GameTracker right here at Seminoles.com this weekend as we take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Duke Blue Devils!
    -Bri #5-

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