Aug. 31, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State women’s volleyball team is set to open the 2000 season with the Florida State Tournament, in Tully Gymnasium. The Lady Noles will compete against four different teams from four different conferences. The list includes Illinois (Big Ten), Charleston Southern (Big South), Southern Mississippi (Conference USA) and Florida Atlantic (Trans America Athletic). FSU will open up action with Southern Miss., at noon on Friday, followed by Florida Atlantic on Friday night (7 p.m.). FSU will host CSU at noon the following day before closing out the tournament with the Fighting Illini.
“This is a big weekend for us,” FSU head coach Dr. Cecile Reynaud says. “We have four big matches, and I am really excited about the variety of teams. It will be a lot of fun to start the season off at home against a number of good teams, including Illinois which made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season.”
The Garnet and Gold will have its hands full with four matches on the weekend. The Golden Eagles will take the floor first against the Lady Noles, and they bring with them a 13-20 record from 1999. Southern Miss. will look to improve on last season’s 4-12 conference record with the opening game of the season in Tully. Up next for Reynaud’s team will be FAU, which returns five of six starters from the team’s 6-3, first-place conference finish in 1999. The Owls notched a 17-13 overall record under head coach Jody Brown. Saturday morning the Lady Seminoles will face off against Charleston Southern, who completed the 1999 season with an 8-22 record, but returns with all of its starters from the 1999 squad. FSU will close out the tourney with its biggest challenge of the weekend, as the team faces off against Illinois in what could be the championship match of the tournament. The Illini bring with them the biggest threat to the Noles dominance, bringing a 12-8 1999-record in the Big Ten Conference to Tully Gymnasium. Illinois returns three starters as well as nine letterwinners.
“Illinois should be the biggest challenge this weekend,” Reynaud says. “The Big Ten was the top conference in collegiate women’s volleyball last year, with the ACC coming in second. The Illini went to the NCAA Tournament last season, and had a pretty successful year.”
With four games over the weekend, the fifth coach in the history of Division I volleyball at Florida State has an opportunity to do something only eight other current coaches have accomplished. Reynaud ended last season with a total of 597 career victories, placing her eighth on the all-time career victories list among active D-I volleyball coaches. With three wins this weekend, the Southwest Missouri State alumnae could reach the 600-win mark. As the Noles take the floor against CSU on Saturday afternoon, Reynaud and the Lady Noles have an excellent opportunity to achieve a milestone. Reynaud’s 500th-victory came against Southern Illinois in 1994, with a three-set win.
“It certainly would be great to reach 600 this weekend,” Reynaud says. “Hopefully, if our team plays well, we can achieve that. It really would be great to be able to do that at home.”
The Noles will be led into action by Norisha Campbell, a junior-outside hitter that did everything except renovate Tully last year. After playing on the USA Junior National Volleyball Team in 1999, she joined the team on Sept. 7, ending the season with 27 matches under her belt. The University City, Texas native notched three career-highs in 1999, in kills (20), attacks (41) and solo blocks (4). Campbell is fifth in single-season hitting percentage, all-time at FSU with a .360% in 1998. Freshmen Jennifer Anderson and Cerina Pele will make their first start in a garnet and gold uniform, and will be joined by Kristin Frye, Alex Sevillano and Jennifer Werrick.
FSU will be back in action after this weekend as they play host to the University of Alabama in a home match before leaving for the Ball State Tournament in Muncie, Ind. The Alabama match begins at 7:07 p.m. in Tully Gym, and will be televised on Sunshine Network.