Aug. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State University indoor volleyball program will showcase its annual Garnet and Gold match on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. at Tully Gym.
The event will serve as an intra-squad scrimmage before the Seminoles begin their regular season next weekend by hosting the FSU Invitational. Fans have the opportunity to get a first glimpse of this year’s team, and those in attendance can receive a free 2011 FSU Volleyball poster.
The Seminoles sit just outside the Top 25 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll released on Monday, receiving 61 votes. Their daunting schedule includes seven teams ranked in the Top 26 of the poll and is highlighted by an ESPNU match at home on Wednesday, Sept. 14 against rival Miami at 8 p.m.
“It’s been a long eight months since we had two match points on the University of Florida, the No. 1 ranked team in the country at the time,” head coach Chris Poole said. “The girls have worked hard through the spring, summer and fall and I believe they are motivated to have a very successful season.”
The garnet team will be a combination of current players as well as four alumni in Brianna Barry (2006-09), Sarah Griffin (2003-06), Jenna Romanelli (2007-10) and Jennifer Anderson Bryant (2000-03). Also included are Sarah Wickstrom, Visnja Djurdjevic, Amanda Saxton, Elise Walch and Kalee Schlabach.
Barry etched her name among the best middle blockers in FSU volleyball history as she guided the 2009 Seminoles to an unprecedented run in the Elite Eight. In that season, Barry was the first Seminole to be named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and became FSU’s first ever non-honorable mention All-American. Barry set a single-season record by registering an astonishing .492 hitting percentage and holds the school career hitting percentage mark at .371.
Griffin was another outstanding middle blocker for the Seminoles who enjoyed several athletic and academic feats. Her 139 career service aces ranks sixth on the all-time FSU list, as she led the team with 49 in 2005 and 44 in 2006. She was a two-year captain who also was a two-time All-ACC Academic Team selection and an Academic All-District member in 2006. She ended her senior season by earning the Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship.
Romanelli came to FSU as merely a walk-on player in 2007 before playing in 115 matches as a libero by the end of her career. Her 1,211 career digs place her at fourth all-time at FSU, culminating her four-year stint with 507 digs as a senior. Romanelli is responsible for the most important play in FSU volleyball history as her service ace in the fifth set against Kentucky in the Sweet 16 clinched FSU’s first-ever trip to the Elite Eight on Dec. 11, 2009.
Bryant is FSU’s career assists leader with 4,907, and joins former great Nancy Gaspadarek as the only two players in school history who led their teams in assists for four consecutive seasons. Bryant holds the school record for most assists in one match with 87 against Clemson in 2002. She was also named to the ACC-All Freshman Team in 2000 and was a four-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Following Saturday’s contest, fans are encouraged to come out to next weekend’s season opener as FSU hosts non-conference rival Kentucky on Friday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. The Seminoles finish the invitational with two home matches on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. against Albany and No. 23 Tulsa, respectively.