October 6, 2016 - by

No. 16 Seminoles Make Weekend Trek to North Carolina

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 16th-ranked Florida State volleyball team will travel to Tobacco Road this weekend for its first Atlantic Coast Conference road matches of the season as the Seminoles (11-2, 4-0 ACC) face ninth-ranked North Carolina and NC State. Florida State, embarking on the first of three road trips this month, enters Friday’s match against the Tar Heels on a five-match winning streak that began on Sept. 18 with a sweep of LSU. The Seminoles have enjoyed tremendous success in October since head coach Chris Poole’s arrival in 2008, posting a 61-12 record (.836 winning percentage).

The clash with the Tar Heels (12-2, 4-0 ACC), set for 6 p.m. on Friday, marks the third AVCA Top 10 matchup for Florida State this season after clashes with No. 6 Minnesota (Sept. 3) and No. 7 Florida (Sept. 14). The match in Chapel Hill, N.C., marks the seventh time in program history that the Seminoles will face at least three AVCA Top 10 opponents in the same season.

North Carolina, competing in its first ACC home match this season, began its recent four-match winning streak with a five-set victory over NC State on Sept. 22 and followed with road victories against Boston College, Georgia Tech and Clemson. The Tar Heels are led by the combination of Julia Scoles (163 kills), Abigail Curry (399 assists), Sheila Doyle (239 digs) and Sydnye Fields (66 total blocks).“With both us and North Carolina undefeated, we know this is a huge weekend for our program,” said Poole. “North Carolina has wins already over Penn State and Wisconsin and they are playing great volleyball. It will be a big challenge for us to go play on their home court.”

The Seminoles return to action at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, when they head to Raleigh, N.C., for a clash with NC State (9-7, 2-2 ACC). Florida State owns a 45-5 all-time record against the Wolfpack and has won its last 30 matches in the series dating back to a four-set victory on Sept. 29, 2000.
The Wolfpack, who open the weekend against Miami on Friday evening, enter the weekend with a pair of ACC wins over Syracuse and Clemson. They rank seventh in the ACC standings after splitting their last four matches. Leading the way for NC State statistically is Julia Brown (227 kills), Maggie Speaks (601 assists), Rachel Eppley (245 digs) and Lauryn Terry (47 total blocks).
“NC State has always given us problems at their place,” added Poole. “They typically play very well at home and have a new coach that has really gotten them playing very hard this season. We need the players to be very focused on all the little things this weekend. We are capable of playing with anyone in the country when we’ve taken care of the ball and value our touches. I always expect us to be competitive and to play up to our fullest potential.”
In the nine matches over the last month, Florida State has earned an 8-1 record, 418 kills (13.48 kills/set), 432 digs (13.94 digs/set), 134 assisted blocks, 84 total blocks and 40 service aces. The Seminoles’ all-around improvements during this stretch have allowed them to complete six sweeps, including two in ACC play, and finish with at least 30 kills in every match.
Junior Milica Kubura has been the catalyst for the Florida State offense that has 180 kills (13.85 kills/set) in the first four ACC matches. She leads the Seminoles with 49 kills (3.77 kills per set) and a .444 attack percentage by virtue of limiting herself to nine miscues in 80 total attacks. On defense, the combination of Katie Horton (50 digs) and Melanie Keil (19 total blocks) top the FSU lineup in league matches only.
Seminole fans will have the opportunity to watch both matches as part of the ACC Network Extra package. Friday’s match will include commentary from Kyle Straub and on Sunday, Florida State fans will hear commentary about the match from Andrew Sanders.
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