Sept. 20, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 15th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team begins an important road swing in conference play as it faces Virginia Tech and Virginia this weekend. Florida State and Virginia Tech play first on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum, followed by a matchup with Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gym.
The Seminoles' (8-2, 0-1) match at Virginia Tech on Friday will be available via live stats through Virginia Tech's athletic website. Fans can also watch a live stream on Hokiesports.com All-Access but a subscription is required.
Saturday's match against Virginia can be followed on CBS GameTracker, and a live stream of the match is also available on Virginiasports.com with a required subscription.
Florida State is in search of its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season after falling at Miami in the conference opener on Sept. 7. Last season, the Seminoles defeated both Virginia Tech and Virginia in three sets on the road. Junior right-side hitter Elise Walch led all returning players with 12 kills and a .429 hitting percentage.
"Any time you go on the road in the ACC it's always a challenge," head coach Chris Poole said. "Virginia and Virginia Tech are two teams that are dangerous; they're two teams that are building. They're teams that have had some success but at the same time they're excited about bringing us in and trying to knock off another nationally-ranked team."
Florida State owns a 25-3 series lead over the Hokies (8-3, 1-0), and is 8-3 all-time in Blacksburg, Va. Virginia Tech is hitting .314 as a team, with returning players Cara Baarendse and Victoria Hamsher showing hitting clips of .445 and .455, respectively. The Hokies opened conference play last weekend with a 3-0 victory over rival Virginia.
The Seminoles and Cavaliers (5-6, 0-1) have met 45 times with Florida State owning a 31-14 edge, including a 29-14 record as ACC members. Sophomore Tori Janowski has a team-leading 132 kills and averages 3.47 kills per set. The setter/right-side hitter also averages 4.87 assists per set.
Florida State senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim is looking to duplicate her excellent performance from last weekend at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup in Houston, Texas. Yildirim was named ACC Co-Player of the Week for the first time, becoming the 24th Seminole to be named ACC Player or Co-Player of the Week. She joins junior middle blocker Ashley Neff as the two Seminoles who have earned the weekly accolade this season.
Senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman is proving to be a very reliable hitter in addition to her strong blocking. Freeman is 34th nationally with a .395 hitting percentage to go along with her 1.14 blocks per set.
In order to have a successful road trip, the Seminoles will look to start strong against both opponents this weekend. In 10 matches, FSU has outscored the opposition 829-658 in terms of points per set, with their highest point total of 247 coming in the opening set.
Poole is a combined 13-2 against Virginia Tech and Virginia since being at Florida State. He owns a 6-1 record against the Hokies and is 7-1 versus the Cavaliers.
Following the road trip, Florida State will play at home in Tully Gym with matches against Wake Forest next Friday and Duke next Sunday.