Aug. 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State indoor volleyball team capitalized on its impressive 3-0 weekend at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic by earning a No. 8 ranking in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll, announced today.
The ranking is the second-highest for the Seminoles since the poll came out in 1982. FSU's eight spot only trails last season's final rank of seventh that came following FSU's NCAA national semifinal run.
FSU made a strong statement after defeating two Top 15 teams in one of the nation's most difficult season-opening tournaments in Knoxville, Tenn. Entering a four-team field that included three conference champions from the year before, the Seminoles knocked off No. 15 Tennessee 3-0, then won a five-set match against 10th-ranked Iowa State.
The Seminoles ended the successful trip with a 3-0 sweep over Cincinnati. FSU's wins over Iowa State and Cincinnati were repeat performances of last year's NCAA Elite Eight and NCAA second round victories, respectively.
Leading the way for FSU was junior middle blocker Ashley Neff, who earned tournament most valuable player honors. The Kennesaw, Ga., native and former North Cobb High School standout totaled 23 kills and 16 blocks in 11 sets last weekend. Neff averaged 2.09 kills per set and recorded an overall hitting percentage of .538. She also averaged 1.45 blocks per set.
Neff's fast start is nothing new. Last season she combined for 21 blocks in three wins over Kentucky, Albany and Tulsa at the FSU Invitational, which included 10 blocks in three sets against the eventual NCAA Sweet 16 participant Wildcats.
The ACC Player of the Week award is Neff's first of her career. She is now the 23rd Seminole to have won the weekly conference honor since FSU joined the ACC in 1991.
The Seminoles host the annual Florida State Invitational this weekend at Tully Gym. The team's home-opener is Friday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. against FIU. FSU returns with a home matchup on Saturday at 11 a.m. against Georgia, then finishes with another Saturday contest at Florida A&M at 5 p.m.