Sept. 3, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Boosted by a 6-0 start to the season and two nationally-ranked victories, the Florida State indoor volleyball team has earned another program milestone with a school-record No. 6 ranking in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll released Monday.
Making their 54th appearance in the AVCA Top 25 Poll, the Seminoles eclipsed the program's previous-best ranking of No. 7 that occurred in the final 2011 poll. Prior to head coach Chris Poole's arrival in 2008, FSU did not make a Top 25 appearance since Sept. 22, 1998.
As they coach into their fifth seasons at FSU, Poole, associate head coach Holly Watts and assistant coach Gokhan Yilmaz have guided the Seminoles to 40 appearances in the Top 25. All three coaches have been behind the biggest period of success in program history, which includes an NCAA regional final appearance in 2009, an NCAA national semifinal in 2011 and recruiting the current freshmen class that ranked third nationally.
Florida State has also won two ACC titles in two of the first four seasons with the current coaching staff, and has been predicted to earn another one in the preseason conference coaches' poll.
Fully aware of everything his program has achieved, Poole is pleased with the early success this season but knows that more work must be done in order to have staying power.
"We are honored to be ranked No. 6 in the AVCA Coaches poll," head coach Chris Poole said. "However, I realize that this is early in the season and many things can change quickly. The season is not a sprint, but a marathon and if the players want to meet expectations at the end of the season, they need to continue improving every week.
"Every team can experience injuries, sickness and off nights. It is important for each of our players to step up and contribute every day in practice and be ready to perform under pressure at game time."
Florida State will be looking toward a difficult matchup this Friday as it faces Miami on the road in an ESPNU-televised contest at 7:30 p.m. It will be the team's first test since holding its program-record ranking, a measuring-stick match against an in-state rival that will give the FSU good preparation for conference play.
First, FSU hosts an exhibition against the Slovenian Junior National Team on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Tully Gym. It will be an opportunity for several student-athletes to earn floor time and continue their development through the season.
"We have players that really dedicated themselves this summer and we have incoming players that are pushing hard for playing time," Poole said of his student-athletes. "This is a great group of young ladies and I'm proud of how hard they are working right now."
Fans can follow the Seminoles on Tuesday night on the team's official Twitter page - twitter.com/FSU_Volleyball.