Oct. 27, 2011
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In what will be an important stretch in the season, the 19th-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team begins a string of four consecutive home matches when it faces Virginia Tech and Virginia at Tully Gym this weekend. The Seminoles (17-4, 11-0) first take on the Hokies (13-9, 6-5) on Friday evening at 7 p.m., followed by a matchup with the Cavaliers (8-13, 2-9) on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
FSU’s Sunday contest is the team’s “Paint it Pink” match. The Seminoles will wear pink tops to promote breast cancer awareness, and fans will have the opportunity to purchase a “Paint it Pink” shirt for a $10 donation that will go directly to the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The student-athletes will also perform their second and final post-match clinic on Sunday for any children five years or age thru eighth grade. A registration form can be found by logging on to Seminoles.com on the volleyball home page.
Now that FSU is a little more than halfway through the conference season, it will begin to face opponents for the second time this season. On Sept. 23-24, the Seminoles traveled to Blacksburg and Charlottesville and defeated both of the Old Dominion schools with 3-0 scores. It was one of FSU’s more well-played weekends of the season as it combined to hit .356 against both teams and out-blocked both schools 20-6.
The two matches were FSU’s second and third of ACC play and helped begin a current 11-match win streak that is the school’s longest since winning 19 consecutive matches in its Elite Eight season of 2009.
Virginia Tech has been competitive in the ACC and is riding a three-match win streak at N.C. State and versus Georgia Tech and Clemson. Senior Justine Record has been productive this season and is tied for second in the conference in service aces per set (0.36).
Virginia is guided by senior outside hitter Simone Asque, who is third in the conference in points with 4.24 per match.
Morgan Comes Through
With FSU senior outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic missing her first full match of the season after bruising her foot in Friday’s match at Maryland, Rachael Morgan stepped up mightily with one of her best offensive performances of the season at Boston College.
The Tauranga, New Zealand, native recorded a team-best .522 hitting percentage and added seven digs to elevate the Seminoles to another conference victory. She had a team-high 13 kills and five blocks.
Morgan’s kill total is a season high, as well as her attack percentage when she garners 10 or more attacks.
On Sept. 23-24, FSU traveled to both Virginia and Virginia Tech and earned 3-0 victories over the two Old Dominion State schools. Senior outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic led the Seminoles with 23 kills in the two outings, and combined for 17 digs and five blocks. Middle blockers Ashley Neff and Sareea Freeman averaged 1.67 blocks per set in both matches combined, bolstering a front line that has been one of FSU’s strengths all season.
Eleven is Heaven
The Seminoles’ 11-0 record in the ACC also marks an 11-match win streak, which began on a nationally televised conference home opener against then-No. 20 Miami. Since being a part of the ACC in 1991, it has been rare for FSU to amass a win streak of 11 or more matches.
FSU’s unprecedented season in 2009 included a 19-match winning streak. Before that, the Seminoles had only reached an 11-match streak on two occasions since being members of the ACC. They include a 12-match streak to begin the 1997 season and a 12-match streak in 1992.
Home Court Advantage
The 2011 Seminoles are attempting to do something that no other FSU squad has done since being a member of the ACC.
FSU has gone 8-0 at home this season, leaving the possibility of an undefeated year in Tully Gym with four remaining home regular-season matches left. Although the Seminoles have boasted some strong teams since joining the ACC in 1991, none has been able to get out of its home schedule unscathed.
The Seminoles put their home record on the line against Virginia Tech and Virginia, then follow with N.C. State and North Carolina next weekend.