Oct. 18, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The 19th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team received some encouraging news yesterday evening when the NCAA revealed that the Seminoles hold the No. 6 ratings percentage index, a crucial formula used for determining NCAA Championship seeding.
The RPI works the same in volleyball as it does in every other collegiate sport - it bases a team's strength on both its winning percentage and strength of schedule. It comprises a team's winning percentage (25 percent), its opponent's winning percentage (50 percent) and the winning percentage of its opponent's opponents (25 percent).
FSU volleyball head coach Chris Poole has always been known as an aggressive scheduler, looking to arrange his competition in a manner that would give the Seminoles an opportunity for quality victories that would boost their RPI. Two seasons ago when he guided FSU to its first-ever Elite Eight trip, Poole and the Seminoles finished the season with the third-highest RPI.
"We feel like we've had near-misses early in the season but those were against great teams," Poole said. "Our team has matured a lot as the semester has progressed. We've grown up a lot in the past few weeks. We realize how important the RPI is. It is the main ranking the NCAA uses for NCAA selection and seedings. We know our job still isn't done; we've still got 11 huge matches left. In the ACC the target is on our back and we need to step up and meet those challenges."
The 2011 FSU volleyball team is in the right direction toward another landmark season. It shows a 15-4 overall record, which includes four Top-25 RPI victories over Kentucky (13), North Carolina (18), Tulsa (21) and Miami (24). All four of FSU's losses have come to team's ranked in the Top 17 of the RPI, including No. 5 Northern Iowa in a five-setter, No. 11 Florida, No. 15 Michigan and No. 17 Pepperdine.
The Seminoles have caught the attention of many because of their historic start in ACC play. FSU boasts a 9-0 record against conference competition, by far its best start to the ACC season ever. Prior to the season, FSU had never started better than 5-0 in conference play since joining the ACC in 1991.
FSU's conference résumé has some other noteworthy achievements. Two of the ACC's three nonconference victories over Top 25 opponents belong to FSU, which defeated then-No. 23 Tulsa and then-No. 23 Dayton earlier in the year. The Seminoles also won their first four conference matches in straight sets, marking a streak of 12 straight winning sets that hadn't been accomplished by the program in ACC play since 1998.
FSU continues its undefeated conference quest this weekend when it travels to play Maryland on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. It finishes the road weekend with a matchup at Boston College on Sunday, Oct. 23, at noon.