September 28, 2006 - by
First Place Florida State Volleyball Takes To Road For Pair of ACC Contests

Sept. 28, 2006

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Florida State Volleyball
At Georgia Tech • Friday, Sept. 29 • 7 p.m. • Fox Sports South Gametracker
O’Keefe Gymnasium (1,356) l Atlanta, Ga.

At Clemson Saturday, Sept. 30 • 4 p.m.  Gametracker
Jervey Gym (2,000) • Clemson, S.C.

Florida State (9-3)
Home: 5-1
Away: 3-0
Neutral: 1-2
ACC: 3-0

Georgia Tech (8-4)
Home: 6-1
Away: 0-3
Neutral: 2-0
ACC: 0-2

Clemson (6-4)
Home: 4-1
Away: 1-2
Neutral: 1-1
ACC: 1-1

Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
• With a trio of wins to start the ACC schedule last week, the Florida State volleyball team is in first place at 3-0 and off to its best league start since 1993 when it began 5-0.

• On Sunday (Sept. 24), the Seminoles beat Boston College, 3-1, to improve to 9-3. It’s the fastest FSU has gotten to nine wins since 2000 when it beat Samford on Sept. 15.

• Florida State goes on the road this week to Georgia Tech (8-4 overall, 0-2 ACC) and Clemson (6-4, 1-1) where it swept both teams last year. During regular season league games, Florida State is 7-19 at Georgia Tech (2-11) and Clemson (5-8), but has won two in a row at Clemson.

• Junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) moved up to seventh in school history with 1,068 digs after notching 50 last week.

• Senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) recorded a pair of double-doubles last week against Miami (16 kills, 15 digs) and Boston College (13 kills, 13 digs).

• Senior setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) was one of nine student-athletes honored at the “Champions Beyond The Game” breakfast Sunday with the Femina Perfecta Award for her achievements in academics, athletics and community service.

First Place Florida State Takes To Road For Pair of ACC Contests
Off to its best start in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1993, the Florida State University volleyball team takes its unblemished league record on the road this weekend. The first-place Seminoles (9-3 overall, 3-0 ACC) travel to Georgia Tech for a 7 p.m. contest Friday (Sept. 29) that will be broadcast live on Fox Sports South. The next day FSU takes on Clemson at 4 p.m.

Seminoles Continue Fast Start
Not only is Florida State ahead of last year’s winning pace, this year’s edition is off to the best start in recent history. Sunday the Seminoles picked up their ninth win of the season when they took down Boston College, 3-1. Last season the ninth win didn’t come until November 5th when FSU beat Georgia Tech on the road and the program hasn’t reached nine wins this fast since the 2000 campaign when the Seminoles beat Samford on Sept. 15.

FSU Looks To Continue Road Success
Dating back to last season, Florida State has won three-straight conference road matches after opening the year with the 3-2 victory over Miami. A victory Friday would match the longest road winning streak set in 2002. A win at either Georgia Tech or Clemson would mark the first time FSU had won a pair of league matches on the road before the month of October. Ironically, even though FSU only won 13 matches last season, it did equal the mark for most ACC road victories with five.

Seminoles Among National Leaders
When the first national rankings came out, Florida State was the top hitting team in the land at .404 and even though the Seminoles have dipped to .312, they’re still one of the best in the country at No. 4. Second in the ACC at 2.26 aces per game, Florida State checks in at No. 30 nationally in that category. FSU Losing to the Best Beating Florida State this year has been a rarity, but the teams that have acheived it have been anything but slouches. No. 5 USC (13-0), No. 10 Florida (9-2) and St. John’s (17-1) have a combined record of 39-3.

Welcome To Atlanta
Last season marked just the second time Florida State swept Georgia Tech and Clemson on the road, equaling the feat from 2000. Atlanta has been less than friendly to the Seminoles as they are 3-13 at Georgia Tech with an average of six years in between victories. Not every trip to Atlanta has been bad though, the Seminoles did knock off No. 12 North Carolina in O’Keefe Gym during the 2002 ACC Tournament. FSU has done much better at Clemson where it has won the last two matches for a 7-8 mark at Jervey Gym.

Florida State Winning Big, Losing Little
When Florida State wins a game, it really wins a game. This season, the Seminoles’ average margin of victory is 9.7 points per game. On the flip side, the Seminoles have been in nearly every game, losing by an average of 5.9 points per game and has only lost one game — 30-20 versus Boston College — by ten points or more.

The Computers Like Florida State
While Florida State has not cracked into the AVAC Top 25 coaches poll, it is getting some love from a pair of computer rankings. The Pablo rankings – based on a mathematical algorithm – rate Florida State as the No. 49 team the country, trailing only Duke in the ACC at No. 32. Last season 44 of the top 50 teams in the Pablo ranking prior to the NCAA tournament, qualified for the national summit. Florida State also holds down the No. 49 spot in the RKPI rankings on

Scouting Georgia Tech
Perhaps the last thing FSU wanted was a hungry Georgia Tech team looking for its first ACC victory. The Yellow Jackets were swept on the road to start the ACC slate, dropping contests to Duke (3-1) and Wake Forest (3-0). GT does have one of the league’s best non-conference wins, a 3-2 decision over Northern Iowa. Talisa Kellogg is tops on the team at 3.37 kills per game, while Abby Showers is fourth in the ACC at 4.00 digs per game.

Scouting Clemson
After a slow 1-3 start to the year, Clemson has come alive, winning five of its last six matches, including a split to open the ACC season with a 3-1 win over Wake Forest and a 3-0 defeat at Duke. The Tigers lost a tough 3-2 decision against South Carolina a week before the Seminoles beat the Gamecocks. Clemson is strong defensively, ranking second in the league at 3.03 blocks per game with Danielle Hepburn is holding the No. 2 spot in the ACC at 1.55 bpg. Jeannette Abott is second in the conference at 4.26 kills per game.

FSU Completes Weekend Sweep With 3-1 Win Over Boston College
Sunday was a busy day for the Seminoles. First they attended the “Champions Beyond the Game Breakfast”, held a free kids clinic, volunteered at a fundraiser for the Dick Howser Foundation and oh, by the way, won a volleyball match. After playing a sloppy game two — losing a game by ten points for the first time all season — the Seminoles came back and easily won games three and four for the 3-1 (30-24, 20-30, 30-21, 30-22) victory over Boston College. Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) led the way with 16 kills while Sarah Griffin (13 kill, 13 digs) and Zrinka Tomic (53 assists, 13 digs) had double-doubles.

Seminoles Snap Three-Game Slide Versus Terps
With 3-0 Victory Florida State was due to get a victory over Maryland and it did it in convincing fashion Friday. The Seminoles hit .455 (63-12-112) as they blew away the Terrapins 3-0 (30-12, 30-28, 30-24). Maryland’s 12 points in game one is the third lowest output by an FSU opponent since rally scoring was implemented in 2001. Four different players had ten or more kills, led by Makini Thompson’s 16.

Another Match, Another Step Up the Career Charts For Weissing
A season-best 20 digs against Maryland followed by 12 more versus Boston College moved libero Summer Weissing up another spot on the FSU career digs list as she surpassed Deanna Bosschaert for seventh with 1,068 digs. Last week, Weissing upped her rate to 4.17 digs per match for an overall pace of 3.63, which rates tenth in the league. Before the weekend is out Weissing could find herself in the top five in FSU history as she needs just 12 to pass No. 6 Jennifer Werrick and 16 to hop over No. 5 Deanna Kaleta.

Fab Freshmen
Florida State may have the best freshmen duo in the conference in outside hitter Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) and middle blocker Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.). The 5-foot-7 Wessel leads the ACC with 0.57 aces per game, while rating fifth with a .341 hitting percentage that is second among league rookies. She also rates third among rookies at 3.76 points per game and fifth at 3.06 kills per game. Barry is eighth in the league, third for freshmen, with a .332 hitting percentage while adding 2.63 kills per game, 0.93 blocks per game and 3.10 ppg.

Skower Power Propels The Seminole Over the Weekend
Outside hitter Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) had two of her best offensive matches as a Seminole last weekend. Sunday against Boston College she established a career-high with 15 kills, after upping it from a dozen winners versus Maryland, to go along with a personal-best 18 points. Against the Terps she also added a season-best seven digs. The 6-foot-1 Naples High School product is tops in the ACC with a .380 hitting percentage.

Spreading The Ball Around
Florida State’s success has truly been a team effort this year. The Seminoles are one of just three teams in the league (Duke and Virginia) to have three players averaging 3.00 kills per game or higher – Makini Thompson (3.56), Sarah Griffin (3.26) and Malorie Wessel (3.06) — and also one of three teams (Georgia Tech and Virginia) with five players averaging 2.80 points per game — Griffin (4.13), Thompson (3.92), Wessel (3.76), Brianna Barry (3.10) and Jessica Skower (2.87).

Tomic Continues Solid Play
Starting with the five-game victory at South Carolina, setter Zrinka Tomic has been playing the best volleyball of her FSU career. During that span, the Seminoles are 4-1 and Tomic is averaging 12.57 assists per game. Tomic is second in the ACC at 13.25 apg during league matches and third overall at 11.90 apg.

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