Sept. 7, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was a weekend of sweeps for Florida State as it downed South Dakota State in three sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-17) on the final day of the Seminole Tri-Tournament Sunday, September 7. The Seminoles also swept North Florida 3-0 on Friday night to win their final home tournament of the season and extend their record to 5-1.
“We did some good things. Had a few lapses in there where I wished we had played a little better, but we’re still finding ways to win and that’s better than finding ways to lose,” Florida State head coach Chris Poole said. “That’s encouraging for us right now.”
Making the All-Tournament team were juniors Brianna Barry and Nikki Baker and sophomore Lauren Richardson. Barry led the Seminoles against the Jack Rabbits with nine kills, a .818 hitting percentage and six total blocks. Baker and Richardson put down five and seven kills, respectively, and each had three blocks in the match.
With back-to-back wins under their belt, the Seminoles have little time to relax as they prepare to host top-ten team Florida on Monday at 8:00 p.m. The rival Gators were ranked No. 8 last week and lead the all-time series with FSU 30-21. The last time the Noles defeated the Gators was a 3-0 (15-9, 15-13, 15-12) sweep in Tully Gym on October 31, 1994.
“We just need to come out tomorrow against Florida, which is obviously a very good team, and play better than we did today,” Poole said. “I feel like this is a team that is gaining a lot of experience overall where we’ve had a chance these first couple of weeks to play a lot of different players and try a lot of different situations, so that’s been real healthy for the team right now and it’s given us the confidence to be able to move people in and out of positions.”
A seasoned veteran against UF, Barry is ready to take-on the Gators on her home court.
“I’m so excited,” Barry said. “Because it’s at home and now I’m a junior because when we played them in Tallahassee the first time I was a freshman and it was a little nerve-racking.
“I think this year we’re a lot closer as a team and we’re a lot stronger. You can see in the way we played against Long Beach State that we can play against these top-ranked teams. So there’s no reason we should doubt ourselves going into the match with Florida. If we stay positive and keep the confidence up with each other then we’ll do really well tomorrow.”
Florida is the second Top 25 ranked team the Seminoles have faced already this year with the disappointing 3-2 loss to No. 23 Long Beach State happening just five days prior to Monday’s match. The Gators defeated the 49ers in five sets at their home tournament in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday night and are currently undefeated with a 4-0 record.
Monday night’s match is the first to be televised live this season for FSU. The match begins at 8:00 p.m. with Tom Block and former Seminole volleyball head coach Cecile Reynaud covering the action on Sun Sports. Fans can also follow online with GameTracker live stats and internet radio on Seminoles.com.