The Noles finished the slate with five wins against Top 75 RPI opponents including Texas A&M (23), Pittsburgh (32), Notre Dame (55), Duke (59) and Alabama (62) (numbers in parentheses indicate RPI ranking as of Nov. 20).
The Seminoles, who have ranked 20th or higher in each of the 13 AVCA polls this season, are one of only two programs to represent the ACC in the rankings in 2016. Florida State is led statistically by the combination of Milica Kubura (345 kills; 3.05 kills/set), Mara Green (.374 hitting percentage), Brianne Burkert (703 assists; 6.28 assists/set), Cecilie Woie (446 digs; 3.95 digs/set) and Melanie Keil (183 total blocks; 1.63 blocks/set).
The Noles are 16-20 all-time at the NCAA Tournament since former head coach Cecile Reynaud piloted Florida State to its first appearance against Tennessee on Dec. 5, 1983. The Seminoles have posted a 14-7 mark in the postseason in the seven appearances under Poole, making four Sweet 16 appearances (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014), two Elite Eight’s (2009, 2011) and the only appearance ever at the Final Four (2011).
The postseason trip to in-state rival Florida marks the third for the Seminoles since the 2013 campaign. Florida State is 3-1 in matches held in Gainesville in that span, posting victories over Georgia Southern, Arizona State and the host Gators. The two Sunshine State programs met earlier this season on Sept. 14, with the then seventh-ranked Gators emerging in four sets. That was one of five AVCA Top 15 opponents this season for the Seminoles including No. 14 Texas A&M (Sept. 1), No. 6 Minnesota (Sept. 3), No. 9 North Carolina (Oct. 7) and No. 12 North Carolina (Nov. 6).
The meeting with the Bearcats (22-9) will mark the 20th in program history and first since Aug. 25, 2012. Florida State owns a 17-2 lead in the all-time series, winning its last 14 straight beginning with a four-set victory on Oct. 1, 1983.
The former Metro Conference rivals have one previous meeting in the NCAA Tournament, taking place on Dec. 3, 2011, with the Seminoles emerging in five sets (25-23, 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11) as they advanced to the Sweet 16 and eventually the Final Four.
A first round victory by the Seminoles sets up the possibility to square off with in-state rival Florida on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. The two have met on four occasions in the NCAA Tournament since 1992 with the Gators winning three of those matches.
For more information visit Facebook (Florida State Seminoles Volleyball), Twitter (FSU_Volleyball) and Instagram (FSUvolleyball).