TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 18th-ranked Florida State volleyball team begins a four-match road stretch with a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches this weekend at Boston College and Syracuse.
The Seminoles (18-5, 11-3 ACC) open the weekend on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. match against Boston College (8-16, 3-11 ACC). The meeting with the Eagles will be featured on the ACC Network Extra. Two days later Florida State will clash with Syracuse (7-17, 6-8 ACC) at 1 p.m.
Florida State enters the weekend in a third place tie in the ACC standings with Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are two matches off the pace set by league leader North Carolina and one match behind second place Duke. The Seminoles, winners of nine of their last 12 matches, are riding a five-match road winning streak that began with a four-set victory at NC State on Oct. 9.
The Seminoles own a 52-13 (.800 winning percentage) all-time mark in November in the nine years under head coach Chris Poole. Florida State has won at least six matches in November in each of the last four seasons, including a 9-1 record during the 2013 season which marked its best under Poole.
“This is the first time we have dropped two home conference matches on the same weekend since I’ve been here and as a result we are going to need to really step up the rest of the season,” said Poole. “That starts with us being better on the road this weekend. We just need to find a way to be much more consistent in each of our matches.”
Senior middle blocker Melanie Keil has been a vital part to Florida State’s success this season, anchoring a front row that is first in the ACC and seventh in the NCAA in blocks per set. The Berlin, Germany native has placed herself among the top defenders in the ACC and NCAA individual rankings.
Keil, who leads the Seminoles with 144 total blocks (1.66 blocks/set) ranks first in the conference in both total blocks and blocks per set. She is second nationally, 0.11 blocks per set off the pace set by the NCAA leader Ali Bastianelli (Illinois) who is averaging 1.77 blocks per set.
Along with being a key defensive cog, Keil has teamed with Mara Green on offense to form an efficient hitting tandems for the Seminoles. Green (.366) and Keil (.283) rank first and fifth, respectively, in hitting percentage in the ACC. They have helped Florida State post at least a .225 hitting percentage in 17 of 23 matches this season, placing the Seminoles second in the ACC and 51 in the NCAA with a .249 team hitting percentage.
The Seminoles’ match on Friday with Boston College marks the 21st all-time meeting between the two programs. Florida State has won the last 13 matches in the all-time series, including six straight in Chestnut Hills, Mass.
Boston College enters the weekend led statistically by the combination of Julia Topar (200 kills / 2.22 kills/set), Madisen Lydon (218 digs / 3.28 digs/set), Camille Oemcke (516 assists / 5.80 assists/set) and Anna Skold (72 total blocks / 0.76 blocks/set). After enduring a 13-match losing streak that spanned from September 16 through October 28, the Eagles have posted three straight wins over Wake Forest (Oct. 2), Syracuse (Nov. 2) and Virginia (Nov. 6).
Florida State’s match on Sunday marks the sixth all-time meeting with the Orange and second in the Empire State. The Seminoles have posted four sweeps in the series, including the last three head-to-head meetings dating back to a victory on Nov. 23, 2014.
Syracuse, which opens the weekend against Miami, earned a split last weekend by rebounding from a setback versus Boston College with a 3-1 win at Virginia (Nov. 4). Leading the way for the Orange were Anastasiya Gorelina (210 kills / 2.53 kills/set), Belle Sand (324 digs / 3.95 digs/set), Jalissa Trotter (521 assists / 2.51 assists/set) and Leah Levert (114 total blocks / 1.33 blocks/set).
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