Oct. 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – No. 12 Florida State indoor volleyball faces a crucial road weekend that will test its mettle as it faces conference opponents Georgia Tech and Clemson this weekend in a pair of televised/streamed matches.
The Seminoles (16-2, 8-1) battle the Yellow Jackets (15-5, 6-3) first on Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. at O’Keefe Gymnasium in Atlanta. The match will be televised by the league’s regional sports networks, which includes Sun Sports, Fox Sports South, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, FS Arizona Plus and FS Prime Ticket. The play-by-play will be handled by Leah Secondo, while the color analysis will be done by Seminole volleyball coaching legend Cecile Reynaud.
Florida State then heads to Clemson for a Sunday first serve at noon inside Jervey Gym. The match will be streamed on ESPN3.com and is available on the WatchESPN app that is compatible with both iPhones and iPads.
“These two places are very tough places to play,” head coach Chris Poole said. “In fact, I think these two places are the most difficult places to play on the road in the conference, and you have to play them on the same weekend. We know both teams are doing very well. They are at about the middle of the conference, yet they know if they can knock off a couple of the top teams, that puts them one step closer to trying to get back up into the top two or three.”
The Seminoles head into the weekend with a 10-match win streak, having not lost a match since Sept. 14 against Pepperdine. It is the 12th time in program history Florida State has amassed a win streak in the double digits, as its current 10-match run is tied for the 10th longest in school history.
Florida State remains tied with rival Miami for the top spot in the ACC as the halfway point approaches in conference play. Both teams sport 8-1 conference records, while NC State sits one match back at 7-2. Georgia Tech and North Carolina are two matches behind with 6-3 marks and Clemson is tied with Virginia Tech for the sixth spot with 5-4 ACC records.
Within conference play, senior middle blocker Sareea Freeman has been the team’s top hitter with a .503 hitting percentage. In nine ACC matches, the Seminoles have distributed their share of kills as senior outside hitter Fatma Yildirim leads with 91, junior middle blocker Ashley Neff trails with 90, Freeman is third with 88 and junior outside hitter Olivera Medic shows 80 kills.
Since the 2011 season, Florida State has fared pretty well in matches that are televised or streamed by the ACC’s broadcast partners. The Seminoles are 5-2 in that span, but are 0-1 this season on television after falling to Miami on ESPNU on Sept. 7.
Friday will mark Florida State’s first trip back to O’Keefe Gymnasium since clinching its third ACC title on the Georgia Tech floor last season on Nov. 19, 2011. The Seminoles are 6-14 all-time at Georgia Tech and have won six of the last 10 overall. The Yellow Jackets hold the all-time series edge at 28-14.
Georgia Tech is coming off a win over in-state rival Georgia on Tuesday, winning 3-1 over the Bulldogs. Senior right-side hitter Monique Mead posted 23 kills and a .366 hitting percentage in the victory, while senior middle blocker Annie Czarnecki had 14 kills and seven blocks.
Like Georgia Tech, Clemson has an important weekend hosting Miami on Friday night at 6 p.m. before battling Florida State on Sunday. The Seminoles own a 9-12 record on the road against Clemson, but lead the all-time series 27-20. Florida State has won six of its last 10 matches against the Tigers.
The Tigers (14-6, 5-4) are guided by senior middle blocker Alexa Rand, who is seventh in the ACC with a .336 hitting percentage and fourth in the conference with 1.21 blocks per set. Clemson averages 2.61 blocks per set which trails only Miami and Florida State in the conference.
Under Poole, Florida State is 5-3 on its annual Georgia Tech-Clemson road trip. Since 2008, the Seminoles are 3-1 at Georgia Tech and 2-2 at Clemson. Both opponents do not make a return trip to Tully Gym this season.