November 17, 2016 - by

Duke, Wake Forest Complete ACC Road Slate for Noles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 17th-ranked Florida State volleyball team makes its final road trip of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference slate this weekend when it heads to North Carolina for a series of critical league contests with Duke and Wake Forest.
The Seminoles (20-5, 13-3 ACC) begin the weekend on Friday with a 6:30 p.m. match against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium that will be featured on the ACC Network Extra. With two weekends remaining in league play, Florida State and the Blue Devils are locked in a battle for second place in the ACC standings. The Seminoles are one match behind Duke who is 20-6 overall and 14-2 in the ACC.
Florida State has come away with seven wins in its last 10 head-to-head meetings against the Blue Devils, including a season sweep last season. The Seminoles have eight all-time victories in Durham, N.C., winning its most recent outing against Duke behind a career-best outing by Nicole Walch (31 kills, 27 digs) on Oct. 9, 2015.

“This is a big weekend for this team,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We need to bring our best and fight through any adversity this weekend.”

Duke is led individually by the combination of Jordan Tucker (315 kills; 3.15 kills/set), Cindy Marina (1105 assists; 11.05 assists/set), Sasha Karelov (541 digs; 5.41 digs/set) and Leah Meyer (122 blocks; 1.37 blocks/set). The Blue Devils enter the weekend on a six-match winning streak that began with a four-set victory at Boston College on Oct. 28.
Two days later the Seminoles clash with Wake Forest at 1 p.m. for the 40th time in program history. With a 32-7 advantage in the series, Florida State has emerged victorious in nine of its last 10 head-to-meetings against the Demon Deacons. That includes five straight wins in Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Seminoles, who have been extended to four sets by Wake Forest on five occasions in the last seven matches.
The Demon Deacons (9-17, 5-10 ACC) lineup is led statistically by Kylie Long (387 kills; 3.65 kills/set), Bailey Shurbet (926 assists; 9.85 assists/set), Caroline Wolf (437 digs; 4.12 digs/set) and Caitlyn Della (100 blocks; 0.94 blocks/set). Wake Forest has posted six wins at Lawrence Joel Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum this season, earning ACC victories over Pittsburgh, Virginia and Clemson.

“We are beat up a little physically which means we need more focus from each individual,” added Poole. “Both these teams will be a tough match up and they do a great job managing their offense. We need to execute well offensively and play great on defense.”

A pair of Florida State players enter the weekend with the opportunity to establish personal marks. Senior Katie Horton is 29 digs away from becoming the 20th player in ACC history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Horton, with 1,109 kills to her credit, topped the 1,000-kill mark earlier this season in a win over Virginia Tech on Oct. 14.

Teammate Milica Kubura, who leads the Florida State lineup with 297 kills (3.09 kills/set) and is tied with Horton for the most double-digit kill performances (15) this season, is three shy of reaching 300 kills in 2016. Last weekend, following a single-match career-high 20 kills against Syracuse (Nov. 13), Kubura established her single-season career-high in strikes, which previously stood at 281 kills.
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