Oct. 16, 2006
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Florida State Volleyball
Vs. Miami Tuesday, Oct. 17 7 p.m. Sun Sports
Tom Block (P-B-P), Barry Milligan (Color)
Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym (1,162) Tallahassee, Fla.
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Florida State (14-4)
Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
Coming off a road trip sweep of Virginia Tech and Virginia, the Florid State volleyball team returns to Lucy McDaniel Court this week for a trio of home matches, starting Tuesday (October 17) against Miami at 7 p.m.
Tuesday's match will be broadcast live on Sun Sports. FSU is 1-1 in televised games this year, with a 3-2 win over Georgia Tech and a 1-3 loss to No. 6 Florida.
The Seminoles are off to their best ACC start with a second-place 8-1 mark. Prior to this season, the fastest start was the 1993 squad that went 5-1 to begin the year. FSU takes on first-place Duke Sunday at 1 p.m. in a Fox Sport Florida broadcast.
Florida State owns a 14-11-1 lead in the all-time series with Miami after taking the last two matches in Coral Gables. However, FSU hasn't beaten Miami at home since 2003 when it won 3-1 in the FSU Classic.
The Seminoles were ranked third in the country with their .305 hitting percentage last week and should hold that same spot with a rate of .304 as New Mexico State and BYU dropped to .293 and 2005 national champion Washington remained in second at .317
With a service ace against Virginia Tech, senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) moved into the FSU career top-ten at 116 aces.
Junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) needs just 11 digs to take over third place in school history. She comes into Tuesday's match with a career total of 1,175 with four-year AVCA All-Region selection Maggie Philgence ahead of her at 1,185.
Seminoles Take On Instate Rival Miami Live On Sun Sports
Riding a four-match winning streak, the Florida State University volleyball team returns to Lucy McDaniel Court this week for a three-match home stands, starting Tuesday (October 17) against instate rival Miami at 7 p.m. The match between the Seminoles (14-4 overall, 8-1 ACC) and Hurricanes (6-12, 3-6) will be broadcast live on Sun Sports. Tom Block will cover the play-by-play duties with Barry Milligan providing color commentary.
Florida State Off To Best ACC Start
With the halfway point of the league schedule just around the corner, the Seminoles are off to their best start in ACC play. Since the expanded conference schedule was introduced in 1993, the best ACC start had been the `93 edition that opened up at 5-1. The year prior, Florida State finished the year at 6-1 as the league slate consisted of playing just one match against every team. Prior to this season, the fastest FSU had reached eight wins in conference play was 2001 when the Seminoles beat Georgia Tech on October 28.
ACC Success Part II
The eight conference wins this year already equals or succeeds seven of the previous 15 seasons in the league. The school record for ACC wins is 11 set by the 1997, 1998 and 2005 squads. During the 1997 & 98 campaigns, the Seminoles qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Florida State has won eight or more ACC matches during four of the five seasons of the Todd Kress era. The Seminoles have put together a pair of four-match league winning streaks -- a first for FSU volleyball -- to match the sixth-longest ACC winning streak in school history. FSU has had a trio of five-match streak, a single six-match run (1992) and the record is seven in a row set in 1998.
Seminoles Exceed 2005 Win Total
It may be a bit early to pencil in Todd Kress as your ACC Coach of the Year, but given the Seminoles' turnaround he's certainly a strong candidate. The 3-0 sweep of Virginia on Saturday was Florida State's 14th win of the season and exceeded last year's entire win total. This year's team is the fastest to get to 14 wins since the 1997 squad beat Clemson on October 3. The 14 wins also ranks Florida State in the top 50 nationally.
A big reason for FSU's success during the ACC season stems from their increased play in nearly every facet of the game. The biggest improvement has coming from digging where FSU is averaging 15.03 digs per game versus 12.26 in non-conference affairs. The improvement is across the board with nearly every player increasing their average, led by senior Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) who has improved her rate by nearly 150% (0.55-to-1.36). Three players in particular are stepping it up during ACC games. Outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) has upped her kill rate to 4.24 kpg from 3.44. Setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) has risen from 11.30 assists per game to 13.12 in the league while junior libero Summer Weissing is up to 4.76 digs per game from 3.42.
Dig For The Cure
Florida State will join schools from around the country for the "Dig for the Cure" to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Seminole players and coach are collecting donations in one of two forms: 1) A flat denotation or 2) a certain amount for every dig FSU earns during its October 22 match against Duke, which falls during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information or to make a pledge, call the FSU volleyball office at (850) 644-3003.
The Hurricanes have made some improvements since the first meeting with Florida State, but Miami is still not the team many thought it would be. UM is 1-5 since it lost a tough 3-2 decision to the Seminoles on September 19, but that lone victory was a 3-1 triumph at Georgia Tech. Outside hitter Frannie Savage is seventh the ACC with 3.60 kills per game, while middle blocker Ciara Michel as rank sixth in the league at 1.24 blocks per game. Overall, Florida State leads the series 14-11-1, but is just 2-3 at home. Having won the last two contests against Miami, head coach Todd Kress is 3-4 against the Hurricanes, while his UM counterpart Nicole Lantagne Welsh is 4-4.
Road Team Has Had The Upper Hand In Florida State-Miami Series
Since Miami joined the ACC in 2004, the road team has prevailed four of the five times the two teams have met. Sixteen of the 26 meetings have come at neutral sites, but in the ten other contests, the road team is 5-5. The last win by the home team was Miami as UM won its ACC debut 3-0 on September 24, 2004. FSU's last win at home was the season before when it beat Miami 3-1 in the FSU Classic. Until Miami beat the Seminoles 3-2 in Tallahassee in 2004, the road team was just 1-5 with the lone victory by the Hurricanes in 1979. The teams did not play from 1981 to 2001 when Miami disbanded the team.
Seminoles Sweep UVA At Home For First Time Since 1993
The Seminoles showed tremendous poise in critical times late in the all three games as they came away with a 3-0 sweep (30-26, 30-27, 32-30) of Virginia on Saturday as they handed the Cavaliers their first home loss of the season. The win was FSU's first at Virginia since 2002 and its first sweep in Charlottesville since 1993. Florida State out-hit Virginia .378 (56-11-111) to .316 (60-17-136) thanks to three players hitting .400 or better. Serving was another key to the match as UVA committed 11 service errors to go along with six FSU aces. Leading an FSU defensive charge that out-dug Virginia 47-34 was junior libero Summer Weissing with a baker's dozen.
FSU Continues To Dominate Virginia Tech After 3-1 Victory
After posting a 5-12 record through the middle of last October, the Seminoles have matched their entire win total from the 2005 campaign after defeating Virginia Tech 3-1 (30-25, 30-26, 26-30, 31-29) on Friday. The loss was the Hokies first at home in 2006. FSU owns a 17-1 record against the Hokies. The Seminoles held a slight 60-57 advantage in digs thanks to 22 from junior libero Summer Weissing as well as 12 from Sarah Griffin and 11 by Alex Plummer (Woodbury, Minn.). Florida State had a season-high 14 blocks as well as a season-high with 71 kills as part of its .244 (71-30-168) to .192 (57-27-156) hitting advantage.
Thompson Becoming The Go-To Player For FSU
With such a balanced attack that has six players averaging two or more kills a game, it's hard for one player to stand out, but as of late, Makini Thompson has been head and shoulders above the rest. At Virginia Tech she set a career-high with 23 kills then came back against Virginia to record five service aces. Going into the UVA match, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter had a career total of four. Thompson leads the team at 3.81 kills per game and 4.31 points per game, ranking her fourth and eighth, respectively, in the conference.
Freshmen B's Come Up Big At Virginia
As Florida State tried to close out Virginia in a neck-and-neck game three, it wasn't the upperclassmen that were answering the bell, it was the freshmen duo of Brianna Barry (Winter Spring, Fla.) and Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M). Seven of Barry's match-high 13 kills came in game three, including the game winner. BonSalle tied Barry for the match high with 13 winners and was tops on the team in games one and two with five and four kills, respectively. Barry has been one of the top freshmen in the league all seasons. She ranks second in the league with a team-best .358 hitting percentage.
News & Notes:
Tuesday's match was selected by the volleyball team as its Gold-Letter Game. The Gold-Letter Games are games selected by each team, requesting the presence of all student-athletes, for added support. The game selected is considered "Big" by the team, usually against another ACC school, Florida or a nationally ranked team .... Junior libero Summer Weissing will more than likely move up just one more spot on the career digs list Tuesday as she needs 11 to get past third-place Maggie Philgence. At 1,175 for her career, Weissing needs 251 to catch second-place Holly Schneider ... One player who could move up quickly on the career charts is senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin. She moved into tenth place on the all-time aces list at 116, but their are two players within a pair of her .... Freshmen Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) would like to repeat her earlier game against Miami where she had a career-high 19 kills and a pair of aces.