Aug. 9, 2006
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
Last season the Florida State volleyball team made a remarkable run at the end of the season, winning seven of its last ten matches, to finish fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Going into the 2006 campaign the Seminoles are in nearly the exact same spot as they ended in 2005 as they were picked sixth with 83 points in the ACC Preseason Coach’s Poll as announced by the league office.
“It’s appropriate for the number of newcomers that we have on the squad,” FSU head coach Todd Kress said. “More than half of our team are new faces so to get everybody acclimated, I think that’s probably where we should be. Is it where we’re going to finish? I don’t think so. If we stay healthy, continue to gel and get better everyday, I don’t think that’s where we’re going to be.”
In addition, junior outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) was named to the 2006 Preseason All-ACC Volleyball team.
“I think it’s a well-deserved honor,” Kress said of Thompson. “Makini’s a great athlete. She’s going to be an incredible outside for this program the next couple of years. She finished strong in the second half of last year once she moved out to the outside permanently. I think it’s a great selection and she’ll have a great junior and senior years.”
Coming off a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Duke was chosen as the preseason favorite as the Blue Devils received eight of the 12 first-place votes and led the way with 139 points. Virginia picked up three first-place votes to come in second at 127 points while Georgia Tech got the remaining first place vote as part of its 114 points. 2005 regular season champion North Carolina was fourth at 103 points and Maryland finished a spot above Florida State at 98 points.
“This team is pretty self-motivated,” Kress added. “They stepped in the first day of preseason with the goal of an ACC Championship so I think just throwing that out there is just another piece to continue to motivate them everyday in practice”
Thompson, who transferred to Florida State last year from Long Beach State, returns as the top offensive weapon for the Seminoles. She was the only player on the team last year to rank in the top three for kills (third – 295), blocks (third – 75) and points (third – 345.0). ). Thompson had FSU’s best three-game and four-game matches with 20 kills against Wake Forest (three games) and Clemson (four games). She tied Lauren Scott for the best blocking performance in 2005 as she had nine blocks against Houston.
“It’s a big honor to be named Preseason All-ACC because the league coaches are saying `we think you’re going to be good’ and now it’s my job to prove that,” Thompson said. “It gives me the motivation to work even harder so I can prove that I deserved to be on the team.”
The Seminoles open the 2005 campaign August 25 on the road at Mercer. They return home to Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym to play host to the FSU Invitational, September 1-2.