Florida State has ranked 17th or higher in each of the eight American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) polls this season, spending a program-record 82 straight weeks in the AVCA Top 25.“After dropping a conference match to North Carolina last week it makes every ACC match crucial for us if we want to stay in the running for the conference crown,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We set very high expectations for our team each year and looking to rebound this weekend.”
Senior Katie Horton enters Friday’s “Paint it Pink” match with Virginia Tech, set for 7 p.m., two kills shy of reaching 1,000 in her collegiate career. Horton, who transferred to Florida State after spending one season at Ohio University in 2013, is tied with Jordana Price with 686 kills in Seminole history. The Westland, Mich., native is eight kills shy of Jekaterina Stepanova for 16th among kill leaders in the rally scoring era.
Florida State owns a 29-4 advantage in the all-time series with Virginia Tech (8-9, 3-3 ACC), winning all 14 meetings against the Hokies in Tully Gym. Virginia Tech heads to Tallahassee after winning two of their last three matches, posting sweeps over Virginia (Sept. 30) and Wake Forest (Oct. 7) before suffering a setback to Duke (Oct. 9) in their most recent outing.
On Friday evening, Seminole fans will have the opportunity to purchase Florida State “Paint it Pink” t-shirts for $10 with proceeds going to Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center. The campaign has resulted in over $70,000 raised for the cause with donations of any amount accepted at each ‘Pink’ events that Florida State teams participate.
Friday night also marks the second installment of the Coaches Club match where members of the Net Set Club are encouraged to support the volleyball program. Those members, along with one guest, are invited to a pre-match reception prior to the Virginia Tech match. There will be light hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages available for all donors and invited guests in a reception which will take place in the main lobby of Tully Gym. Net Set club members will enjoy reserved seating at the match.
Pittsburgh travels to Tallahassee for a 1 p.m. match with the Seminoles on Sunday after a meeting with Miami to open the weekend. The Panthers (13-5, 4-2 ACC), who dropped a series of four-set outings at Duke and Wake Forest last weekend, have split their first eight meetings in the all-time series with Florida State. That includes a win over the Noles in the last match between the two programs on Oct. 30, 2015.“Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh are both good programs,” added Poole. “The Hokies have always run a great offense and we will need to be able to dig well and transition. Pittsburgh has already knocked off Top 20 Michigan team and they have built a very competitive program over the last three years. They are a dangerous team because they can match up with us physically and playing with a lot of confidence.”
On Sunday, Seminole fans will receive a special commemorative Mara Green poster that she will autograph following the match. Florida State fans who are 13-and-under are also encouraged to participate in the Coaches Clinic, conducted by players and members of the coaching staff, which will take place following the completion of the match with Pittsburgh.
Seminole fans can watch Sunday’s clash with Pittsburgh as part of the ACC Network Extra package with commentary from Cecilie Reynaud and Jonathan Schillace.
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