TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team will start off the 2017 season ranked No. 15 nationally, the AVCA announced on Wednesday. This marks the 91st week in a row FSU has been ranked in the Top 25, and the 130th time the team has been ranked in program history.
“We’re very honored to the country to vote us in as a top 15 program, but we’ll have to do a lot to earn that ranking,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We have a lot of potential but at the same time a lot of question marks. When you have a ranking like that to start the season there’s certain expectations to be able to play to that level.”
The Noles are the second highest ranked of only two Atlantic Coast Conference programs in the AVCA polls, trailing North Carolina (11).
FSU will face three programs ranked in the top 25 this season, facing No. 24 Arizona at home, No. 12 Florida on the road and hosting No. 11 North Carolina.
AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Poll: August 9, 2017
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Total Points||2016 Record||2016 Final Rank|
Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Southern California 105; Western Kentucky 98; Dayton 71; Washington State 67; Iowa State 62; Colorado State 55; Pittsburgh 49; Baylor 37; Kansas State 36; Boise State 21; Wichita State 7; Texas A&M 6; SMU 2
Seminoles Kick Off Fall Camp
The 2017 season is officially underway, as practice for the Seminoles opened on Tuesday (August 8).
The team knows that the pressure is on, as it only has two weeks to turn around a relatively young team to be able to defend a No. 15 ranking. With seven newcomers and seven returners, head coach Chris Poole is working on finding a balance between the upperclassmen and the younger players.
“It’s half and half, so it’s a real challenge for us right now because we’ve only got two weeks to be able to get everything in,” Poole said. “We’ve got players right now that have to be able to step up if we’re going to be successful, but at the same time we’ve got to understand that it’s going to take a little time to get there. We can’t put the schedule on pause, though, we have to be ready to play in two weeks.”
With the five returning starters (four plus a libero) and one of the best recruiting classes in the country, the team is working on incorporating as many as three newcomers into the rotation this season.
“Last year we relied a lot on experience,” said senior outside hitter Milica Kubura. “This year we’re going to rely a lot more on talent and athleticism.”
FSU fans will have their first opportunity to see the Seminoles on Saturday, Aug. 19 as part of the Garnet and Gold intrasquad match, which will take place in Tully Gym at 1:00 p.m.
The team heads to Waco, Texas for the first weekend of non-conference play, but its official home debut will come on Sept. 1 when the Noles take on UNC Asheville for the first match of the Home2 Suites by Hilton-Tallahassee Seminole Tournament.