TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 10th-ranked Florida State volleyball team returns to Tully Gym this weekend to host NC State and No. 12 North Carolina in a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches.
The Seminoles (18-3, 11-1 ACC), locked in a first place tie in the league standings with North Carolina, open the weekend with a clash against NC State (14-10, 7-5 ACC) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Two days later Florida State returns to Tully Gym to face the 12th-ranked Tar Heels (19-3, 11-1 ACC) at 1 p.m. in a match that will be featured on the ACC Network Extra with commentary from Tom Block and Makini Thompson. The Seminoles will look to keep intact their unblemished 19-0 all-time record at Tully Gym when ranked among the AVCA Top 10.
Florida State has won seven straight and 12 of its last 13 matches. A pair of weekend victories would ensure the ninth consecutive 20-win for the Seminoles under Poole and the 24th 20-win season in his coaching career.
On Friday night Florida State will look to extend its 31-match winning streak in the series against the Wolfpack. That streak includes 19 straight wins for the Seminoles against NC State in Tallahassee. NC State is one of seven teams that the Seminoles have posted at least 30 victories against in program history.
Sunday’s match features No. 10 Florida State’s rematch with No. 12 the Tar Heels, who posted a 25-12, 25-22, 25-21 victory over the Noles on Oct. 7. The match will mark the 13th all-time meeting in Seminole history between two top 15 AVCA programs. Florida State has emerged victorious in seven of those clashes, claiming its last win (25-22, 25-22, 32-30) on Sept. 26, 2014 when the then third-ranked Seminoles downed eight-ranked North Carolina.
Among the statistical leaders heading into the weekend for the Seminoles include Milica Kubura (242 kills / 3.10 kills per set), Brianne Burkert (508 assists / 6.60 assists per set), Cecilie Woie (275 digs / 3.54 digs per set) and Melanie Keil (128 total blocks / 1.66 blocks per set).
One of the keys to success for Florida State this season has been due to the fact that it has posted at least a .225 hitting percentage in 16 of 21 matches. That ranks the Seminoles first in the ACC and 33rd in the NCAA with a .258 hitting percentage.
Three individuals, including Mara Green, Keil and Kubura, represent the Seminoles among top 10 individuals in hitting percentage leaders in the ACC—the most of any program. Green, with 144 kills in 277 total attempts (.386 attack percentage), is the best individual hitter in the conference after posting a .452 attack percentage (17 kills/3 errors/31 attacks) in eight sets last weekend. Green also ranks 27th in the NCAA rankings after limiting herself to 37 miscues in 2016.
NC State, winners of three of its last four matches, is led by the combination of Julia Brown (364 kills / 4.09 kills per set), Maggie Speaks (846 assists / 10.71 assists per set), Rachel Eppley (380 digs / 4.22 digs per set) and Kaitlyn Kearney (90 total blocks / 1.00 blocks per set). The Wolfpack are 4-5 on the road, earning all four wins in ACC play.
North Carolina, who faces Miami on Friday, is led statistically by Taylor Leath (238 kills / 2.97 kills per set), Abigail Curry (581 / 6.92 assists per set), Sheila Doyle (377 digs / 4.49 digs per set) and Sydnye Fields (96 total blocks / 1.39 blocks per set). Two of the three Tar Heel losses this season have come on the road, taking place at TCU (Sept. 17) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 30).
Friday’s match will serve as Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night as well as sports clubs night with Tallahassee-area recreation teams encouraged to attend. On Sunday, fans will receive a free fanny pack as part of 80’s Day at Tully Gym.
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