Nov. 7, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Wrapping up its final two regular-season road matches, the No. 13 Florida State indoor volleyball team prepares for another trip back to the Tar Heel State as it battles Duke on Thursday evening and Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon.
The Seminoles (22-3, 13-2) face the Blue Devils (14-13, 5-10) at 7 p.m. in a match that will be live streamed on ESPN3.com. Florida State finishes another key road swing at Wake Forest on Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. first serve. Against the Demon Deacons (10-17, 4-11), the Seminoles will don their pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness as Wake Forest head coach Heather Kahl Holmes was diagnosed with breast cancer in May.
Florida State's ESPN3.com web streamed match against Duke will mark its third consecutive time appearing on the network. Since 2011, Florida State is 9-3 on all media platforms associated with the Atlantic Coast Conference's television partners.
"With us tied atop the ACC with Miami, we have to maintain our focus," head coach Chris Poole said. "In order for us to have a chance to win this league we have to mirror what Miami is doing and it may not be in our hands until we play them. We just need to do our job. It's been a quick turnaround for us and it makes for a crucial weekend. Both of these teams have good young players and they have nothing to lose."
The Seminoles and Blue Devils played at Tully Gym earlier in the season on Sept. 30, with Florida State earning a 3-1 victory. In that weekend that also included a 3-1 win over Wake Forest, senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman combined for 24 kills and a .688 hitting percentage. The Fresno, Calif. native is second nationally with a .456 clip.
Despite having its 16-match win streak snapped last weekend at North Carolina, Florida State moved up one more spot in the latest RPI to No. 8 nationally. The high ranking puts the Seminoles in prime position to host the first and second rounds at the NCAA Championship provided it can take care of business in its remaining regular-season schedule. Thursday opponent Duke is 66th in the RPI while Wake Forest is 141st.
Through 25 matches played, the Seminoles show a 22-3 overall record. In the program's history, Florida State's current record is tied for the second-best mark in 25 matches, only bested by the 2009 team's 23-2 record. The Seminoles also were 22-3 in 1983 and 1989.
In the latest ACC standings, Florida State remains tied with rival Miami for first place with identical 13-2 ACC records. North Carolina is third in the conference and one match behind the Florida schools with a 12-3 ACC record.
Junior middle blocker Ashley Neff is seventh nationally in blocks per set with 1.63 and eighth with a .418 hitting percentage. The Kennesaw, Ga. native joins Stanford's Carly Wopat as the only two players in the country to be in the Top 10 nationally in both categories.
Four Florida State student-athletes are approaching new career milestones. In less than two seasons of action, redshirt sophomore libero Katie Mosher shows 991 digs and needs just 29 more for the 10th spot in school history.
Senior setter Duygu Duzceler is currently eighth in school history with 2,774 assists and 10th with 123 service aces. She needs seven more aces to move into ninth on the school's career chart.
Neff happens to be one block away from her 400th total block, which would make her one of just eight players to reach the milestone. Freeman has 373 career blocks, making her 10th all-time at Florida State.
Florida State is 13-34 all-time against the Blue Devils, including 3-17 at Durham, N.C. Both teams have split the last 10 meetings.
The Seminoles have held a large edge over Wake Forest, showing a 26-7 record and a 10-4 mark in Winston Salem. Florida State has won nine of the last 10 matches.