November 2, 2006 - by
Seminole Volleyball Starts Four-Match Home Stand With Tigers and Yellow Jackets

Nov. 2, 2006

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Florida State Volleyball
Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym (1,162) • Tallahassee, Fla.

Vs. Clemson •
Friday, November 3 • 7 p.m.
ACC SelectGametracker

Vs. Georgia Tech
Sunday, November 5 • 1 p.m.
ACC SelectGametracker

Florida State (16-7)
Home: 8-3
Away: 7-2
Neutral: 1-2
ACC: 10-4

Clemson (14-7)
Home: 10-2
Away: 3-4
Neutral: 1-1
ACC: 9-4

Georgia Tech (13-10)
Home: 10-3
Away: 1-7
Neutral: 2-0
ACC: 5-8

Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
• Tied for second place with a 10-4 mark in the ACC, 16-7 overall, the Florida State volleyball team needs one more conference victory to equal its most league wins. The 1997, 1998 and 2005 squads all won 11 contests.

• The Seminoles return to Lucy McDaniel Court this weekend to start a four-match home stand that will round out the 2006 home schedule. Florida State plays host to Clemson on Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a 1 p.m. contest Sunday against Georgia Tech.

• Averaging a team-best 3.85 kills per game – which ranks fifth on the ACC – junior Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) is on a pace to record 415 kills this season, which would be the highest total since 2002 when Kristen Frye had 469.

• Three aces by freshman Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) gave her 35 for the year. She is 13 short of the FSU freshman record of 48 set by Lynn Fullhart in 1985.

• Florida State is 5-1 this year in the next match following a loss, including a 2-0 mark at home. The Seminoles are 15-9 at home after a loss under Todd Kress.

• Senior Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) had six aces last weekend, giving her 128 for her career and putting her one back of seventh-place Alex Sevilliano.

Seminoles Start Four-Match Home Stand With Tigers and Yellow Jackets
With the dawn of the final month of the regular season, the Florida State volleyball team plays host to another key weekend. The Seminoles (16-7 overall, 10-4 ACC) will try to remain in second place in the ACC when they take on fourth-place Clemson Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. bout Sunday against Georgia Tech. This weekend’s contests starts a four-match home stand to concluded FSU’s 2006 home schedule. Both matches this weekend will be broadcast through ACC Select.

Florida State Defending Its Home Turf
The win over Wake Forest two weeks ago was Florida State’s eighth home triumph as it exceeded its home win total from 2005. A sweep of the last four matches at Lucy McDaniel Court would equal the most home triumphs under Todd Kress (12), while two more victories would give the Seminoles their fourth double-digit win total at home during the Kress era. In his fives seasons, Florida State is 48-23 at home.

Home Is The Perfect Remedy For Seminoles
The Seminoles continue to rebound very well from losses, posting a 5-1 mark in next match following a loss. Following a 3-0 defeat to Duke, FSU came back with a shutout of its own as it took down Boston College. The Seminoles seem to bounce back the best at home – bad news for Clemson – with a 2-0 mark at home following a loss with a pair of sweeps. At home following a loss, FSU is averaging more than two kills and two assists per game more than when bouncing back on the road.

Florida State Gets Out To Fast Start
Maybe there’s something to the prematch talk head coach Todd Kress delivers that fires the team up because the Seminoles play as well as any team in the conference at the beginning of the match. Florida State is 34-12 in games one and two with identical 17-6 records in each set. At home, the Seminoles are 9-2 in game one and 10-1 in game two. Game four is where FSU seems to have a breakdown as it is just 3-5 in the fourth stanza.

Everything Starts With The Serve
Perhaps the best predictor of an FSU victory is serving. In the 16 matches they’ve won this season, the Seminoles are averaging 2.4 aces per game, but in a loss, that number drops to 1.4 per game. FSU is also better on serve receive when it wins, dropping its rate of reception errors to 1.5 per game from 2.1 in a loss. During wins, setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) ups her aces to 0.54 from 0.26 in a loss. Middle blocker Sarah Griffin turns the tables on serve receive with just 19 errors in the 16 victories, but 22 reception errors in the seven losses. Junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) also passes better in victories with 12 errors in FSU’s win, compared to 10 in the seven matches its lost.

Trio May Hold The Key To Victory
It doesn’t take rocket scientist to figure out that Florida State’s offense is better when it wins, but the success of three players seems to give FSU a better chance of winning. Outside hitter Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) is hitting .427 with 2.59 kills per game in wins, compared to just a .174 rate and 1.78 kpg in a loss. Freshman Malorie Wessel goes from 3.10 kpg and .326 during a win to 2.29 kpg and 0.97 when FSU loses. Setter Zrinka Tomic’s assist rates goes from 12.35 per game to 10.93. Florida State is 12-3 when she averages at least 11.0 apg in a match, but is 4-4 when she drops below that rate.

Scouting Clemson
The Tigers were the first conference team to hand Florida State a loss this year with the 3-0 defeat on September 30 in Clemson. The match was a statistical anomaly as FSU led in virtually every category but mistakes at crucial times cost the Seminoles the match. Even though the Tigers won last year in Tallahassee, CU hasn’t fared that well against the Seminoles outside of South Carolina as FSU is 11-5 at home against the Tigers while leading the overall series 21-15. Clemson’s Danielle Hepburn leads the league with a .375 hitting percentage and 1.74 blocks per game, while Jeannette Abbott is the ACC’s best attacker at 4.61 kills per game. Clemson tops the conference with 3.29 blocks per game.

Scouting Georgia Tech
Florida State is in a position against Georgia Tech that it hasn’t been in since 1997 and can do something no FSU team has ever done: sweep the Yellow Jackets The 3-2 win at Georgia Tech on September 29 marked the first time FSU won the initial meeting with GT since Oct. 15, 1997. The only other time the Seminoles took the first match with the Yellow Jackets was 1993 and in both instances FSU lost the second match. However, the Seminoles face a Georgia Tech team that is 1-7 on the road. FSU won the first two games during this year’s first match then had to hold on for the five-game victory. The Seminoles went on a 11-2 run to end game five. With three players in the top ten, Georgia Tech is second behind Florida State with a .262 hitting percentage.

Seminoles Get Back Into Win Column At Boston College
Despite a 3-0 loss to Duke, and 12 hours of travel the day before, the Seminoles bounced back with a strong performance in the 3-0 (30-21, 30-27, 30-15) thumping of Boston College. The Eagles hung in with Florida State through the middle stages of games one and two, but committed costly errors that allowed FSU to prevail. The Seminoles got their sea legs in game three as they rolled 30-15. Jessica Skower had a match-high 14 kills, Summer Weissing added 15 digs and Brianna Barry (Winter Springs) had four blocks as well as eight kills. Boston area native Makini Thompson added seven kills.

FSU Can’t Hold Onto 2-0 Lead, Drops 3-2 Decision At Maryland
Anytime you’ve got the home team on its heels, its best to deliver the knockout punch as quickly as possible. Florida State had Maryland on the ropes several times, but couldn’t put the Terrapins away as the hosts won the last two games for the 3-2 victory. Topping the FSU defensive effort was libero Summer Weissing with 20 digs. Setter Zrinka Tomic had a double-double with 10 digs and 57 assists to tie her career-high. Sarah Griffin led the way with five blocks. The Seminoles had four players with double digit kills, led by outside hitter Makini Thompson at 19.

Thompson Putting Up Impressive Offensive Numbers
With four weeks left in the regular season, outside hitter Makini Thompson is on her way to having the best offensive season by a Seminole since Todd Kress’ first season. The 6-foot junior is on pace to record 415 kills, the most since Kristen Frye notched 469 during 2002. Her current average of 3.85 kills per game would tie her with Julie Todd for 10th on the FSU single-season list. If Thompson reaches the mark of 415 for the year, she’ll need 290 kills to become the 21st player at Florida State to reach 1,000 kills. Including her one season at Long Beach State, Thompson currently has 784 kills for her career.

Wessel Has A Shot At Freshman Aces Record
By notching a trio of aces at Boston College, rookie outside hitter Malorie Wessel upped her season total to 35. Given her rate of 0.58 aces per game, which ranks second in the league – she’s first at 0.49 apg during ACC matches – Wessel is on pace for 47 aces this season. The Florida State record for aces by a rookie is 48, set by Lynn Fullhart in 1985.

News and Notes:
Florida State dropped a spot to fifth in the RKPI/AVCA Regional Rankings this week and 71st in the nation. Last season, only the top three teams in the East Region received at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament … Junior libero Summer Weissing has 334 digs this season -ranking her seventh at 4.02 digs per game – and needs 65 more tie herself and Maggie Philgence for 10th on the single-season charts at 399 … The Seminoles are 12th in the NCAA rankings with an attacking rate of .280 … Senior Jessica Skower had five assists at Maryland Sunday and now needs 12 to take over third place in school history … The win over Boston College was the first time this season Florida State has hit under .200 and still won … The Seminoles are undefeated this year (11-0) when they hit .300 or better … For the second time in her career, Sarah Griffin put together a trio of aces with three against Boston College and Maryland to put her two back of the No. 7 spot in FSU lore … Florida State is a perfect 3-0 in the first match of the new month this year with a trio of 3-0 sweeps (Mississippi Valley State, Stetson, North Carolina) … Friday’s match is sponsored by Bagel Bagel Cafe with giveaways and a bagel tossing contest between games two and three.

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