September 11, 2006 - by
Seminole Volleyball Plays Host To Instate Rival #6 Florida On Tuesday

Sept. 11, 2006


Florida State Volleyball
Hosts #6 Florida • September 12, 2006 • 7 p.m.
Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym • Tallahassee, Fla.
TV: Sun Sports – Tom Block (PBP) & Barry Milligan (Color)
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Florida State (6-2)
Home: 3-0
Away: 1-0
Neutral: 1-2


#6 Florida (6-1)
Home: 4-0
Away: 2-0
Neutral: 1-1


Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
• After winning its first game against an SEC opponent since 2002, the Florida State volleyball team will try to knock out another team from that conference when it plays host to No. 6 Florida at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 12).


• Tuesday’s instate battle will be broadcast live on Sun Sports. Tom Block will handle the play-by-play duties with Barry Milligan providing the color. The game can also be heard on internet radio by logging on to www.seminoles.com.


• Florida State broke its drought against the SEC when it defeated South Carolina 3-2 (30-25, 26-30, 30-23, 26-30, 15-13) in the final match of the Gamecock Invitational.


• The Seminoles have lost their last 14 matches against Florida with the Gators leading the all-time series 28-21. FSU’s last win was a 3-0 decision on October 31, 1994. The Seminoles are 8-10 at home against UF.


• Junior outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) was named to the Gamecock Invitational All-Tournament team after setting a career-high with 21 kills against USC.


• Saturday’s victory over the Gamecocks was FSU’s six of the season. Last year the Seminoles sixth victory didn’t come until October 28 when they beat Boston College 3-2. The win was also Florida State’s third away from home, which last season didn’t happen until November 5.


• With 12 digs against St. John’s, junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) moved passed Joan Morris for ninth place in FSU history. She has 1,002 for her career, putting her just 17 back of eighth-place Latoya Washington (1995-98).


Seminoles Host Instate Rival Florida On TV Tuesday
The oldest volleyball rivalry in the state of Florida has its 50th installment Tuesday (Sept. 12) when the Florida State volleyball team plays host to No. 6 Florida at 7 p.m. at Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gymnasium. The match will be broadcast live on Sun Sports with Tom Block handling the play-by-play action and Barry Milligan providing the color commentary. Fans can also listen to an audio broadcast of the match by logging on to www.seminoles.com and going to the volleyball schedule pages.


FSU Trying To Break 14-Match Losing Streak To Gators
Over the last decade, the Florida State-Florida rivalry has turned into a one-sided affair as the Gators have won the last 14 matches. The Seminoles (6-0 oveall) last defeated Florida 3-0 (15-9, 15-13, 15-12) on October 14, 1994. Until the run by the Gators (6-1), Florida State had held a 21-14 advantage in the all-time series after winning 13 of the first 14 contests. That victory by Florida State in 1994 is the last triumph by an instate school over Florida as the Gators won their 36-straight when they took down UCF over the weekend.


Seminoles Getting Closer To Gators Under Kress
While Florida State hasn’t broken through for that first victory over Florida in Todd Kress’ first four seasons, the Seminoles have fared better than in previous years. In the first two meetings under Kress (2002 & 2004) the Seminoles took the first game before succumbing to 3-1 defeats. Prior to Kress’ arrival, Florida State had only taken two games off Florida in the previous ten matches. Included in those game one victories was a first-set triumph during Kress’ first trip to Gainesville and until 2002 FSU had only won one game at Florida since beating the Gators there in 1990.


Florida State Tries To Break Drought Against Ranked Teams
The Seminoles will try to snap their ten-game losing streak to ranked teams that dates back to 2002 when they take on No. 6 Florida on Tuesday. During FSU’s first year under Todd Kress, it took down North Carolina twice when the Tar Heels were ranked in the top 25. The first was an epic five-set battle in Tallahassee on October 27, 2002 when North Carolina was ranked No. 11. Then Florida State advanced to the ACC Tournament finals with a 3-0 sweep of No. 12 UNC on November 23. Under Kress, Florida State is 2-12 against ranked teams and 0-8 versus the top 10 after losing 3-0 to No. 10 USC on Friday to open the Gamecock Invitational.


Reversal of Fortunes
Eight games into the 2005 season, Florida State was reeling with a 2-6 mark, but the Seminoles have done a 180 in 2006 with a 6-2 mark, including a trio of victories on the road. Last season the sixth victory of the year didn’t come until October 28 when the Seminoles beat Boston College 3-2 at home. Along those same lines, the third road victory didn’t happen until November 5 at Georgia Tech. Speaking of road victories, the win over the Gamecocks snapped a 12-game road losing streak against SEC schools that spanned 13 years. FSU last beat an SEC team on its home court on September 10, 1993, when it took down LSU 3-0 to open the LSU Tournament. As is to be expected, the increase in victories has brought improved statistics as Florida State has picked it up in nearly every facet of the game. Last season, FSU was being outscored 18.3-to-16.9 (1.4) points per game this year, while in 2006 they’re outscoring opponents 20.2-13.9 (6.2).


FSU Plucks Gamecocks 3-2
Through the first three weeks of the season, it was never been more apparent the Seminoles retained the fight they showed at the end of 2005 than during this weekend’s match at South Carolina. After a tough 30-28 loss in game four, the Seminoles refused to let the hosts keep the momentum as they built a 14-10 lead and held on for the victory, beating USC 3-2 (30-28, 21-30, 30-17, 28-30, 15-13) to close out the Gamecock Invitational. Junior outside hitter Makini Thompson led the way with a team-high 21 kills, while middle blockers Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) and Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) added 17 and 11 kills, respectively.


Florida State Competes With #10 USC, But Can’t Pull Off Upset
When head coach Todd Kress put the 2006 schedule together, he wanted every weekend to get a little tougher for his team, building up to the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of the schedule. The competition definitely went up a notch last weekend for the Seminoles at the Gamecock Invitational. Florida State had the tall order of opening the tournament against No. 10 USC. The Seminoles hung in with the Women of Troy better than any other team in the tournament before falling 3-0 (22-30, 22-30, 26-30). Rookie Brianna Barry had a team-high 11 kills.


Strong Start Not Enough To Beat St. John’s
Florida State got out to a strong start by taking game one against St. John’s, 30-25, but couldn’t sustain the momentum for the rest of the match. FSU wouldn’t hit better than .175 the rest of the way as Redstorm came back for the 3-1 victory (30-25, 26-30, 23-30, 26-30). Three players got into double figure in kills with Makini Thompson leading the way at 16, followed one back by Brianna Barry — who also had a match high 3.5 total blocks — and 12 more from Sarah Griffin. Florida State outblocked the Redstorm 13-6 but SJU did a better job of keeping the ball off the ground with a 71-48 advantage in digs.


Scouting Florida
Another year, another Florida team ranked in the top five. The Gators started the year ranked fifth by the AVCA, but slid down one spot after dropping their lone match of the season, a 3-0 decision to No. 10 UCLA in Hawai’i. Florida State head coach Todd Kress is 0-3 against the Gators, while UF court boss Mary Wise holds a 21-2 mark versus the Seminoles. Florida has been ranked in the top 25 in the last 22 matches against Florida State, reaching as high as No. 1 on November 12, 1996 and as low as 12th during the 2000 meeting. FSU has only been ranked for one match with the Gators, the September 21 affair when the Seminoles were rated 21st.


Block Party
One element that got some needed attention in South Carolina was blocking. After a solid effort in the first three matches, the Seminoles blocking decline to 11th in the ACC at 2.20 blocks per game. Florida State raised that average to 2.50 thanks to a pair of 13-block performances against St. John’s and South Carolina. So far in 2006 the Seminoles have outblocked their opponents six times with a 5-1 record in those contests, compared to 2005 when FSU was 5-6 when it posted more blocks. Leading the block effort in Columbia was rookie Brianna Barry as she tallied 18 total blocks for a per game average of 1.50.


Killers B’s Not Playing Like Freshmen
One freshmen solidified a starting spot while two others made serious pushes to get into the line-up over the weekend. Middle blocker Brianna Barry had the best all-around weekend of any Seminole, averaging 3.08 kills and 1.50 blocks while scoring 46 points. Barry was the only player on the team to record double-digit kills in all three matches, including a team-high 11 against No. 10 USC. Outside hitter Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M. had two of her best matches, tallying eight kills versus South Carolina and seven more versus the Women of Troy. Defensive specialist Caitlin Belvin (Winter Park, Fla.) got the nod versus South Carolina and produced six digs and four assists.


News and Notes:
Setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) eclipsed the 50-assist mark for the first time at Florida State when she amassed 56 against the Gamecocks. It was the first 50-assist match by a Seminole since Jessica Skower had 57 against Clemson on October 2, 2005 … Libero Summer Weissing is the ninth player in school history to reach 1,000 digs thanks to six against South Carolina. She needs 18 to pass Latoya Washington for eighth in Seminole lore … Last season Florida State didn’t win a five-game match until Oct. 28 when it took down Boston College 3-2 at home … Saturday’s match was the first time this year Weissing did not lead Florida State in digs as Sarah Griffin topped the squad with nine.

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