Nov. 15, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - The 11th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team continues its bid to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship with two matches at Tully Gym this weekend against Maryland and Boston College.
Florida State faces the Terrapins (16-13, 7-10) on Friday evening at 7 p.m., then hosts the Eagles (10-19, 4-13) on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Both matches can be followed via live stats on CBS GameTracker as well as through the @FSU_Volleyball handle on Twitter.
The Florida State Spear-It Rewards program presented by Coca Cola Zero will be in full effect for Sunday's match, as participants can earn double the points just by attending the match.
"For all the teams in the ACC, we know we have a big target on our back right now," head coach Chris Poole said. "Both Maryland and Boston College are looking at this as an opportunity to come in, play a nationally-ranked team and they've got nothing to lose playing on the road. We know they are going to play loose and we've got to really focus on our drive toward the ACC crown and try to get a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. These matches are extremely important."
Both matches are critical for the Seminoles (24-3, 15-2) as they go neck-and-neck with league rival Miami for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Both teams have identical 15-2 conference records, setting up the possibility of a winner-takes-all match next Friday at Tully Gym should Florida State win both matches this weekend and Miami wins one of its next two.
The Seminoles check in at No. 11 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches' Association Poll. It is the 24th consecutive week Florida State has been nationally-ranked dating back to the poll on Sept. 19, 2011. The consecutive weeks number ties a school record held by the 2009 and 2010 teams that also were ranked for 24 consecutive weeks from Sept. 7, 2009 to Oct. 25, 2010.
Senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim had a superb weekend in Florida State's road wins over Maryland and Boston College in mid-October. The Istanbul, Turkey native combined for 25 kills, 3.57 kills per set, a .355 hitting percentage and three digs per set over the weekend.
Florida State continues with its 23-match win streak at Tully Gym, having not lost since Nov. 26, 2010. The Seminoles have won their last five home matches in three-set sweeps, and have won 27 of 30 sets played at Tully Gym this season.
Senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman's astounding .444 hitting percentage now leads the nation according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Monday. In 2009, former Florida State middle blocker Brianna Barry finished second in the nation with a .492 hitting percentage.
With three regular-season matches remaining, Florida State is looking to finish 18-2 in conference play for the second consecutive season. Should it be able to accomplish the feat, it would show a 36-4 ACC record over the last two years.
If Florida State is able to finish 36-4 in conference play over the last two years, it would equal a .900 winning percentage. Since the conference began a double-digit total of matches in ACC play in 1993, the two-year stretch would rank among the best ever in ACC history.
The Seminoles trail in the all-time series with Maryland at 23-21, but have defeated the Terrapins eight times in their last 10 meetings. Sophomore Adreene Elliott is having a good season for Maryland, sitting fourth in the ACC with a .372 hitting percentage.
Florida State leads Boston College 14-1 in the all-time series. Freshman outside hitter Katty Workman has been the Eagles' primary option on offense as she leads the conference with 4.04 kills per set and has been one of the league's best newcomers.