Nov. 29, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - For the second straight year and the third time in the last four seasons, the ninth-seeded Florida State indoor volleyball team prepares to host the NCAA Tallahassee Sub-Regional as it begins another national semifinal pursuit with a first-round matchup versus Hofstra on Friday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET at Tully Gym.
Friday's first-round match will be video streamed for free on NCAA.com, along with the first match of the day featuring Purdue and Colorado State at 4:30 p.m. ET. The winner of Friday's two matches will face off in the second round on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4:30 ET inside Tully Gym. Whichever team comes out of the Tallahassee sub-regional is headed to the West Lafayette, Ind. Regional.
Fans can purchase tournament passes good for all three matches. The cost is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (50+) and students from participating schools and $4 for youth 12 and under with those two years old and younger being admitted free. Tickets are available on Seminoles.com or by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE.
The first 100 students with a valid Seminole identification card can watch Florida State's Friday night match versus Hofstra for free.
"For us to even be playing at this point is a great honor," head coach Chris Poole said. "Certainly the girls have worked hard all year to get to this point. Right now it's all about staying focused and trying to work on some little things we'd like to be able to do this weekend and try to stay healthy.
"It's important for our girls to understand that now it's one and done. You have to play and you have to prepare yourself in order to keep going."
Although NCAA postseason matches are considered neutral sites, the Seminoles (27-3) are looking to gain a home-court advantage with their current 26-match win streak at Tully Gym. Florida State finished the 2011 season 14-0 and the 2012 regular season 12-0 at home, having not lost at its home facility since Nov. 26, 2010.
For the third time in program history, Florida State volleyball holds a national seed. The Seminoles are seeded ninth overall in 2012 after earning a No. 12 seed last season and a No. 3 seed in 2009. The NCAA introduced the current seeding format of 16 national seeds in 2000.
Florida State will be hosting in the NCAA postseason for the seventh time in school history, with the previous years being in 1983, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2009 and 2011. The only time Florida State and Colorado State have met came in the first round of the 1988 championship in Tallahassee, which was won by the Rams.
Against the current NCAA Tournament field of 64, Florida State is 8-3 this season. The Seminoles have defeated two national seeds in Florida (#14) and Iowa State (#15), and have earned wins over NCAA postseason teams Ohio State, North Carolina, NC State (2), Miami and Tennessee.
Under head coach Chris Poole, Florida State is 8-3 in NCAA postseason play. Since taking over the Florida State job in 2008, Poole has guided the Seminoles to a regional final appearance in 2009, the NCAA second round in 2010 and a national semifinal trip last season.
The Tallahassee sub-regional is one of four in the tournament where three teams have an RPI in the Top 35. Florida State is eighth, Purdue is 29th and Colorado State is 34th. The Minneapolis, Eugene and Louisville sub-regionals also boast three teams in the Top 35 RPI.
The Hofstra Pride (21-13) come to Tallahassee riding a seven-match win streak which includes three matches won at the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. Hofstra returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since advancing to the second round in 2006. Kelsie Wills leads Hofstra with 567 kills and 4.40 kills per set. The Seminoles and Pride have faced off three times, as Florida State owns a 3-0 advantage in the series.
The Purdue Boilermakers (21-10) held their own once again in their rigorous Big Ten slate. Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner is back leading Purdue's offense with 496 kills and 4.43 kills per set. Purdue and Florida State last met in last season's NCAA Regional Semifinals in Minneapolis with the Seminoles coming away with a 3-1 victory. Florida State holds a 4-3 edge in the series.
The Colorado State Rams (21-7) round out the difficult sub-regional after being crowned Mountain West Conference champions. Colorado State is an impressive 17-6 all-time in NCAA opening rounds and is guided by senior Dana Cranston, who was named the Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Year. The Rams and Seminoles have faced each other just once, with CSU winning by a 3-1 margin in the first round of the 1988 NCAA Volleyball Championship in Tallahassee.
In addition to being video streamed, all three matches this weekend will have live statistics on CBS GameTracker. Check back with Seminoles.com for more information on the Tallahassee sub-regional and be sure to follow Florida State volleyball's Twitter handle at @FSU_Volleyball, as well as liking the team's Facebook page at Facebook.com/FSUVolleyball.