October 26, 2006 - by
Florida State Volleyball Goes On The Road To Take On Eagles And Terps

Oct. 26, 2006

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At Boston College
Friday, Oct. 27 • 8 p.m.
Power Gym (1,000) • Chesnut Hill, Mass.

At Maryland Gametracker
Sunday, Oct. 29 • 1 p.m.
Comcast Center Pavilion (1,500) • College Park, Md.

Florida State (15-6)
Home: 8-3
Away: 6-1
Neutral: 1-2
ACC: 9-3

Boston College (7-13)
Home: 3-2
Away: 3-6
Neutral: 1-5
ACC: 5-6

Maryland (9-11)
Home: 3-4
Away: 3-6
Neutral: 3-1
ACC: 2-9

Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
• Halfway through the ACC season, the Florida State volleyball team sits in second place with a 9-3 record. FSU’s overall mark of 15-6 is two wins better than its 2005 total.

• Florida State goes on the road this week for a pair of matches. First it’s Boston College on Friday (Oct. 27) at 8 p.m., followed by Maryland on Sunday (Oct. 29) at 1 p.m. The Seminoles beat the Terps 3-0 (Sept. 22) and BC 3-1 (Sept. 24) during their first meetings.

• A year ago this week, the Seminoles started their turnaround as they won eight of their last 11 games. Since then, Florida State is 23-9 overall, 17-6 in the league, which trails only Duke for the best record during that time.

• With 15 digs against Wake Forest, junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) took over sole possession of third place on the FSU career digs list. At 299 for the season, her career total stands at 1,211.

• Four aces by senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) versus the Demon Deacons moved her up to eight in school history with 121 aces.

• The Seminoles held Duke – who ranks seventh in the nation at 19.57 digs per game – to six digs below its season average on Sunday.

Florida State Goes On The Road To Take On Eagles And Terps
Looking to bounce back from two tough losses last week, the Florida State University volleyball team goes on the road this week — where the Seminoles have a 6-1 record this year — for a pair of matches. Florida State (15-6 overall, 9-3 ACC) takes on Boston College (7-13, 5-6) at 8 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 27) then goes to Maryland (9-11, 2-9) for a 1 p.m. affair on Sunday (Oct. 29).

Road Is Home Away From Home For Seminoles
The Willie Nelson hit “On The Road Again” could be one of the theme songs for this year’s FSU team as the Seminoles are 6-1 when playing in the opponent’s gym, 7-3 when including neutral-site matches. Florida State started the year with a four-match road winning streak then swept its first road trip of the year with triumphs at Virginia Tech (3-1) and Virginia (3-0). Over the last three years, the Seminoles are 17-13 on the road and have won at least six matches in each of the three seasons.

FSU Better The Second Time Around
Give Florida State head coach Todd Kress a second chance to play a team and the Seminoles’ chances of winning greatly increases. Coming into this season, FSU was 22-17 when playing an ACC team for the second time during the season, that includes the now defunct ACC Tournament. On the flip side, the Seminoles were only 16-21 during the first meeting of the year. That number has increased to 25-23 thanks to the Seminoles’ 9-2 mark through the first round of this year’s conference slate. FSU seems to like the road later in the year as it is 10-7 the second time against an opponent on the road, as opposed to 9-14 in the first meeting.

Seminoles On The Right Track For The Postseason
If history is any indication, the Seminoles are positioning themselves for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Since the national summit was expanded to 64 teams in 1993, only once has an ACC team not qualified for the tournament when posting at least 20 wins and having a winning percentage of .700 or better in the league. With a current record of 15-6 and 9-3 in the league, the Seminoles can go 7-3 over their last ten matches and meet the 20-win, .700 winning percentage mark. Currently in second place, the No. 2 team has made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1992 when posting at least 20 wins. The exception to both situations was 1995 when Clemson finished second in the league with a 23-10 overall record, 11-3 (.786) in the ACC ,but didn’t make the NCAA tournament. Since the NCAA Tournament began in 1983, Florida State has made the national tourney 11 of the 14 years (2000, 1986, 1984) it has won at least 20 games.

One Year Later
It was one year ago this weekend that the Seminoles started the great turnaround of 2005 as they finished the season by winning eight of their last 11 matches. Since the October 28 victory over Boston College, Florida State has posted a 23-9 overall mark and 17-6 in the conference. During that span, only first-place Duke has a better record at 29-4, 21-1 in the ACC. Besides the Seminoles and the Blue Devils, the only other school to post 20 wins since October 28, 2005, is Virginia with a 22-10 overall record, 15-8 in the ACC.

Weissing Secures Spot On Digs List Top Three
With the first eight out of her way, only two players stand between junior Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) and the FSU career record for digs. Last week she amassed 36 digs to secure the No. 3 spot at 1,211 digs. She needs 215 more digs to take the No. 2 spot from Holly Schneider and is 560 from Luiza Ramos’ school record of 1,771 digs. Seminole Remain In Top Ten Nationally For Hitting Even though it was held to its lowest hitting percentage of the year by Duke (.110), FSU stayed in the top ten nationally for hitting. Florida State checks in at number nine with a rate of .289. Ohio is only one percentage point ahead of FSU and BYU is two points ahead. FSU is also in the national rankings at No. 27 with 2.17 aces per game. Individually, freshman Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) is 29th at 0.59 aces per game.

Florida State Fourth In RichKern.com/AVCA Regional Rankings
A pair of losses last week dropped the Seminoles one spot to fourth in the RichKern.com/AVCA Regional Rankings. In the latest RKPI, Florida State is rated 68th nationally, trailing only Duke (34), Hostra (46) and Winthrop (51) in the region. The Seminoles are 67 in the latest Pablo rankings, which are based on a mathematical algorithm. In both polls, FSU trails only Duke amongst conference schools. Last week FSU was 50th in the Pablo rankings, which is important because last season 44 of the top 50 teams in the Pablo ranking prior to the NCAA tournament, qualified for the national summit.

Scouting Boston College
While it hasn’t improved to the degree of Florida State or Clemson, Boston College has surprised some as the Eagles sit seventh in the league through the first half of the conferene slate, but BC has lost three of its last four matches, all on the road. FSU won the first meeting 3-1 despite giving the Eagles 43 of their 77 points through errors. Eagles’ Outside hitter Kelsey Johnson is third in the ACC at 3.97 kills per game. The Seminoles are a perfect 4-0 versus BC and head coach Todd Kress is 5-2 against the Eagles, including a 2-2 mark as the head coach at Fairfield.

Thompson Goes Home With Trip to Boston College
Quincy, Mass., native Makini Thompson will play her second match at home this weekend when the Seminoles travel to Boston College on Friday. In the first meeting with BC this year, she had 16 kills to up her norms to 2.76 kills per game and a .196 hitting percentage against the Eagles. Thompson led Quincy North High School to a pair of state titles and was named Player of the Year by the Boston Globe.

Scouting Maryland
After ACC titles in two of the last three years, few expected to see Maryland near the bottom of the league, but the Terrapins are 11th at 2-9. Outside hitter Jade Brown is back from an injury – that prompted a five-match losing streak – and is still averaging 3.70 kpg, but is hitting 80 points lower. FSU won the first meeting easily, 3-0, to snap a three-match slide against the Terps. Todd Kress is 4-5 against Maryland in his five years at FSU.

Seminoles Split Weekend Matches
Florida State found itself on both ends of 3-0 decisions last weekend as it swept Wake Forest (30-21, 30-20, 30-24), but was blanked by now No. 25 Duke (21-30, 20-30, 27-30). The two matches were complete opposites as FSU hit .244 against Wake Forest, but a season-low .110 versus Duke. Defense was also at both ends of the spectrum as the Seminoles limited the Deacons to a .154 hitting percentage and had 50 digs, compared to Duke’s .318 hitting and only 37 FSU digs. Serving may be the best indicator of FSU’s success as it had nine aces versus Wake, but only five against Duke while the Deacons had no aces and the Blue Devils totaled a season-high 11.

Seniors Moving Up The Charts
In the twilight of their last season at FSU, seniors Sarah Griffin and Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) are leaving their marks on the program. The 5-foot-11 middle blocker Griffin had six aces last week to climb into eighth place on the FSU career charts with 122 winners. With an average of 0.36 aces per game, she is on pace to finish the regular season with 135 for her career, which would rank her fifth in school history. Setter turned outside hitter Skower is 18 assists short of moving up to third place in school history. At 0.75 assists per game this year, she is scheduled to pass Fiona Bolton’s 2,979 assists midway through FSU’s Nov. 5 match with Georgia Tech.

News and Notes:
Florida State ranks third in the ACC this year with an average attendance of 761 at home, trailing only Georgia Tech (1,005) and Clemson (890). With a total attendance of 8,373 fans so far this season, FSU has already surpassed last year’s total and is on pace to post the most fans during Todd Kress’ five seasons … At its current pace, the Seminoles’ .289 hitting percentage is slated to be the third-highest in school history. Florida State is also on track to have 238 service aces, the fifth-highest amount … Three of Florida State’s final four matches will be available on webcast through ACC select. Webcasts can be access by logging on to www.seminoles.com.

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