Sept. 18, 2006
Florida State Volleyball
At Miami September 19, 2006 8 p.m.
Knight Sport Complex Coral Gables, Fla.
Florida State (6-3, 0-0 ACC)
Miami (3-6, 0-0 ACC)
Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
Following a rare weekend off, the Florida State volleyball team opens Atlantic Coast Conference action Tuesday (Sept. 19) when it travels to Miami for an 8 p.m. contest.
Under head coach Todd Kress, Florida State is 2-2 in ACC openers, but has dropped the last two (Maryland – 2005 & Virginia Tech – 2004). The two wins during the Kress era represent half of FSU’s league-opening wins as it is 4-10 overall.
The Seminoles dropped their 15th-straight match to in-state rival and No. 6 Florida, 3-1, on Tuesday (Sept. 12) but in winning game two, 30-27, became the first conference school this season to take a game off a Top-10 school.
Last year Florida State picked up its first victory at Miami when it prevailed 3-2 on November 15. FSU is 1-3 all-time in Coral Gables.
Todd Kress is 2-4 against the Hurricanes with a 1-1 mark at Miami. UM court boss Nicole Lantagne Welch is 4-3 versus FSU in nine seasons.
Senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) recorded her second double-double of the season when she posted 14 kills and 11 digs against the Gators. It was the first FSU double-double vs. UF since Kristen Rust had 12 kills and 11 digs in 2004.
Junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) needs just two digs to move past Latoya Washington (1995-98) for eighth in school history with 1,018 digs.
Senior setter Zrinka Tomic’s (Nustar, Croatia) 105 assists in her last two matches are the most in back-to-back contests since Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) had 111 against Georgia Tech and Clemson.
Florida State Opens ACC Slate at Miami Tuesday
With the non-conference schedule of the season complete, the Florida State University volleyball team turns its complete attention to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles (6-3) will try to stay undefeated in away matches when they travel to the southern end of the state for an 8 p.m. contest Tuesday (Sept. 19) against Miami. The Hurricanes (3-6) went 1-2 last weekend in their home tournament.
Seminoles Try to End Slide In Conference Openers
Florida State hasn’t put its best foot forward in the past when it comes to opening up the conference season. The Seminoles are just 4-10 in ACC openers, but 2-2 under Todd Kress. One reason for the lackluster record might be the location for the first match of the conference slate. FSU has been at home just three times in 14 seasons in the ACC and coincidentally the Seminoles have won all three of those affairs. On the flip side, Florida State has a 1-10 record when it starts on the road, including a pair of losses the last two seasons. Since 1992 when FSU joined the league, no school besides Wake Forest — who didn’t have a program from 1986-95 — has had fewer than five home matches to open the ACC schedule with an average of 6.6 matches per school. North Carolina and NC State lead the way with eight home matches.
Seminoles Fight To The Finish, But Fall 3-1 To No. 6 Florida
The rivalry between Florida State and Florida has certainly tightened up since Todd Kress’ arrival in 2002, but the Seminoles still have some room to go before they catch up to their instate foes. For the third time in four meetings, Florida State took a game off the Gators, but it wasn’t enough as No. 6 Florida prevailed 3-1 (26-30, 30-27, 24-30, 24-30) on September 12. The Seminoles have gotten a game off Florida in three of the four meetings during Kress’ tenure, where as they won the same number of games in the 14 seasons prior to his arrival. Florida State had four players with double figure kills, led by junior outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) as she totalled 15. Sarah Griffin had the best all-around game with 14 kills, 11 digs and four blocks. Defense was the biggest difference in the match as Florida had eight more total blocks than the Seminoles (13-to-50) and five more digs.
Reversal of Fortunes
Eight games into the 2005 season, Florida State was reeling with a 2-6 mark, but the Seminoles have done a 180 in 2006 with a 6-2 mark, including a trio of victories on the road. Last season the sixth victory of the year didn’t come until October 28 when the Seminoles beat Boston College 3-2 at home. Along those same lines, the third road victory didn’t happen until November 5 at Georgia Tech. Speaking of road victories, the win over the Gamecocks snapped a 12-game road losing streak against SEC schools that spanned 13 years. FSU last beat an SEC team on its home court on September 10, 1993, when it took down LSU 3-0 to open the LSU Tournament. As is to be expected, the increase in victories has brought improved statistics as Florida State has picked it up in nearly every facet of the game. Last season, FSU was being outscored 18.3-to-16.9 (1.4) points per game this year, while in 2006 they’re outscoring opponents 20.2-14.8 (5.4).
One of the mysteries this season in the ACC has been Miami. With the senior tandem of setter Jill Robinson and outside hitter Francheska Savage, the Hurricanes were supposed to have a solid base that could make some noise in the league. Instead, UM has limped out to a 3-6 start with losses to Eastern Michigan and Florida A&M. Savage is leading the team at 3.89 kills per game, but Miami is being outdone 15.23-to-13.54 for kills per game.
Wessel Provides Spark Against Gators
Getting back into the starting rotation against Florida was just what outside hitter Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) needed to get her out of her two-game funk. The rookie tallied 12 kills and her jump serve was the catalyst that helped FSU tie game four at 24-24. Wessel hit a team-best .240 to go along three aces and six digs.
Model of Consistency
No player has performed more consistently the last four games than rookie Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.). Over that stretch, the middle blocker leads the team with 1.19 blocks and is third on the team at 2.94 kills per game. Barry is the only player on the team during that run to record ten or more kills in all four matches.
News and Notes:
Friday’s match 7 p.m. match at home against Maryland can be seen through streaming video by logging onto www.seminoles.com. Sunday’s 1 p.m. match with Boston College can be heard on internet radio … Libero Summer Weissing will leap the third person on the career digs list this season as just two digs get her past Latoya Washington … Setter Zrinka Tomic needs just 78 assists to surpass her entire 2005 total of 382 … 38 percent of FSU’s kills (181-of-475) have come from freshmen Brianna Barry (82), Malorie Wessel (69) and Jackie BonSalle (30) … In last week’s NCAA rankings, Florida State was eighth in the country with a .318 hitting percentage and 17th at 2.56 aces per game … Wessel was 17th at 0.74 aces while Jessica Skower came in at No. 29 with a .400 hitting percentage.