Sept. 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 14th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team is looking to build on its current streak of success at home as it hosts Wake Forest and Duke this weekend at Tully Gym. The match against Wake Forest begins on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. match against Duke on Sunday.
Friday night's match against the Demon Deacons (6-8, 0-2) will be the debut of the new "Poole Party" student section. All students who have signed up to be part of the group will receive their T-shirt before the match and can form with other students under the "Poole Party" banner located on the opposite side of the front entrance.
Sunday's match versus the Blue Devils (9-5, 0-2) is a Florida State Spear-it Rewards Presented by Coca Cola zero match, where participants can earn double the rewards points just by attending the match. For more information on the loyalty program that features many prizes, visit Florida State Spear-it Rewards Website.
After having not played a home regular-season match since defeating Georgia Sept. 1, the Seminoles are eager and excited to play in front of the Tully Gym faithful once again.
"I think with the ACC always being a good volleyball conference and being one of the Top five in the country, we always know we have to play well no matter who we're playing," head coach Chris Poole said. "I really think our crowd has been a key for us the past couple years and the number of matches we've won at home over the past couple years have been important with our crowd getting into it. Our girls love playing in front of people, they love playing in front of our crowd."
The Seminoles (10-2, 2-1) nabbed their first two conference victories of the season last weekend in road wins over Virginia Tech and Virginia. Junior middle blocker Ashley Neff led the way once again and is currently the only player in the country who boasts Top 10 marks in both blocks per set (fifth at 1.57) and hitting percentage (seventh at .452).
The performance by Florida State allowed it to move up one spot in the latest AVCA rankings. The Seminoles look to move back up the polls even more playing at Tully Gym this weekend, where they are riding a 16-match win streak. Florida State has not lost at home since Nov. 26, 2010 in a regular-season finale against Miami.
Junior outside hitter Olivera Medic has provided Florida State with a welcomed presence in the team's attacking game. The Subotica, Serbia native recorded two double-doubles last weekend and has four straight matches of double-digit kills while hitting .310 or better in each contest.
Neff and Medic have combined to give the Seminoles a Top 50 ranking in four team categories - blocks per set (ninth at 3.0), hitting percentage (17th at .285), winning percentage (27th at .833) and kills per set (46th at 13.98).
In recent years, Wake Forest and Duke have each proven to be difficult opponents for the Seminoles. Last season, Wake Forest took Florida State to five sets in both matches played but lost. Duke split with the Seminoles last year, giving Florida State its first loss in conference play on Nov. 13, 2011.
Florida State entered last year's match at Duke with a 16-0 record in ACC play, and attempted to become the first ACC team to hold a 17-0 record before falling at Durham, N.C. in five sets.
If the Seminoles defeat both Wake Forest and Duke this weekend, it would mark the fifth time Florida State has swept its home swing against both schools since they began traveling to Tallahassee on the same weekend in 1996.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series against Wake Forest 25-7. Florida State is 13-3 against the Demon Deacons when playing at home and has won nine of the last 10 overall matches.
Duke leads Florida State by a wide margin in the all-time series, 34-12. Florida State is 6-14 at Tully Gym against the Blue Devils, while Duke has won six of the last 10 matches overall.
Fans not attendance can follow both matches this weekend on CBS GameTracker off the Seminoles.com website. In-match updates will be provided on Florida State volleyball's official Twitter handle - @FSU_Volleyball - while post-match photos will be posted on the team's official Facebook page - Facebook.com/FSUVolleyball.