Nov. 10, 2006
Florida State (16-9)
Virginia Tech (15-10)
Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
The Florida State volleyball team concludes its 2006 home schedule this weekend with a pair of matches. Up first for the Seminoles is a 7 p.m. contest Friday (Nov. 10) against Virginia, followed by Sunday’s home finale at 1 p.m. versus Virginia Tech.
Sunday’s match with the Hokies will be the final time FSU’s four seniors – Kim Crawford (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas), Jessica Skower (Naples, Fla.) and Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) play at home. The quartet will be honored following the match.
Freshman setter Nikki Baker (Findlay, Ohio) had a career-high 57 assists in the match against Georgia Tech. It was the most assists by a freshman since Jennifer Anderson had 57 versus Duke on November 17, 2001.
Another rookie who had a strong performance against the Yellow Jackets was middle blocker Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.). She posted a career-high 16 kills and added a team-best three blocks. Barry leads FSU with a .322 hitting percentage.
Friday is head coach Todd Kress’ 39th birthday. He is 1-1 during her career on his birthday, with a win at Fairfield (1996) and a loss at Northern Illinois (2000).
Seminoles Wrap Up Home Schedule This Weekend
A little more than two months after opening the home schedule with the FSU Invitational, the Florida State University volleyball team will conclude its home slate this weekend. The Seminoles (16-9, 10-6 ACC) will play host to Virginia (19-6, 12-4) on Friday (November 10) at 7 p.m. That match can be seen live on the Internet through ACC Select. Sunday is the home finale as Florida State takes on Virginia Tech (15-10, 9-7) at 1 p.m. in a match that can be heard on Internet radio by logging on to www.seminoles.com. F
lorida State Says Good-Bye To Four Seniors
This Sunday will be the final time the four seniors on this year’s team take to the floor at Lucy McDaniel Court. Defensive specialist Kim Crawford, middle blocker Sarah Griffin, outside hitter Jessica Skower and setter Zrinka Tomic play their final home match Sunday against the Hokies. While Kristen Rust was Todd Kress’ first recruit at Florida State, Crawford, Griffin and Skower made up his first full recruiting class. The quartet will be honored following the 1 p.m. match.
Seniors Lead By Example Part I: Back To The Middle
Even though she was a middle blocker in high school, when Sarah Griffin came to Florida State she was slated to be an outside hitter. However, last season injuries to middles Andreza Santos and Lauren Scott forced Griffin to slide into that position. In a world dominated by players over six-foot, the 5-foot-11 Griffin has excelled, leading Florida State in block this season at 1.02 blockers per game, while posting an FSU-best 139 blocks over the last two seasons. Griffin recorded a trio of aces against Georgia Tech on Sunday and needs three more to surpass Julia Todd for fifth place on the Florida State career aces list. She rates seventh in the ACC at 0.40 aces per game and is ninth during conference match at 0.41 apg.
Seniors Lead By Example Part II: Giving Up History
When her junior season was complete, Jessica Skower was a lock to move into third on the FSU career assists lists, needing just 74 to get past Fiona Bolton, and a stellar senior year at setter would have given her the chance to climb into second. But with a shortage of players on the right side, Skower left the position she had played the last seven years in order to help the team. Showing her versatility, the 6-foot-1 Skower is sixth in the ACC with a .319 hitting percentage, to go along with 2.37 kills per game. In spite of the move, Skower will still pass Bolton, needing just eight more assists over the last six matches.
Check Out The Big Brain On Sarah
During her four years at Florida State, Sarah Griffin has won virtually every academic award, but Thursday she added one more to that list. The senior became the first Seminole in 13 years to earn ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors with a Second-Team District III selection. A three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and a 2005 Academic All-ACC Volleyball Team selection, Griffin has a 3.59 grade point average in finance with a minor in law & society. She is the first Seminole to earn Academic All-District honors since Jennifer McCall in 1993 and the sixth in school history. Sherry Cowling in 1992 is the volleyball programs only Academic All-American.
Skower Earns Golden Torch Award
On a team full of academic standouts, it’s hard to separate one from the rest, but senior Jessica Skower has shone just a little bit brighter in the classroom. The Naples native was honored with the volleyball team’s Golden Torch award at the Golden Torch Gala Monday evening for having the highest GPA on the team last season. A three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and a 2005 Academic All-ACC Volleyball Team selection, Skower has a 3.447 GPA in sports management with a communications minor.
Since Florida State got its first win at Virginia since 2002, the two programs have gone in opposite directions. The Cavaliers are 6-0 since the 3-0 loss on October 14, while the Seminoles are 2-5. After the win, FSU had a three-match lead on UVA, but now trails the Cavaliers by two matches. UVA has benefited from the return of outside hitter Sarah Kirkwood, the league leader in aces (0.67 apg) and tops on the team with 3.74 kills per game. Virginia leads the conference at 2.39 aces per game. FSU has won five of the last six matches at home against the Cavaliers. Seminole court boss Todd Kress is 5-4 versus Virginia, while his UVA counterpart Melissa Aldrich Shelton is 13-10 vs. FSU.
Scouting Virginia Tech
Five teams are within three games of second place, including Virginia Tech. Coming into this weekend, the Hokies have won four of their last five matches. The Hokies rely on a strong all-around game as they rate in the top half of the league in almost every statistical category, but are no higher than fourth (blocking) in any of them. Outside hitter Katie Easbrook is fourth in the league in hitting percentage (.325) and libero Amanda Cloyd holds the same spot for digs (4.92). Todd Kress is 5-1 against Virginia Tech, 4-1 at Florida State. VT head man Chris Riley is 0-1 after his only meeting against FSU, but was on the bench as an assistant at Jacksonville in 1993 when FSU won 3-1.
Seminoles Swept At Home By Clemson & Georgia Tech Again
Florida State was its own worst enemy last weekend, as it dropped a pair of decision to Clemson (16-30, 21-30, 21-30) and Georgia Tech (30-27, 26-30, 25-30, 26-30) at home last weekend. It was the second time in two years the Tigers and Yellow Jackets swept the Seminoles. FSU was held to a season-low .065 (35-28-108) hitting, while Clemson’s .348 (44-12-92) rate was a season-high for an FSU opponent. More than half of Clemson’s points (47-of-90) came from Florida State errors. Even though Florida State held a .322 (70-24-143) to .304 (56-18-125) advantage in hitting over Georgia Tech, serving was the difference in the match. Georgia Tech got 28 points from aces (16) and Florida State service errors (12). GT held slim leads for digs (45-43) and blocks (7-6)
Baker Comes Off The Bench For Career Match Against Ga. Tech
Prior to Sunday, it had been more than two months since setter Nikki Baker had played in more than one game of any match. Midway through the match with Georgia Tech, the freshman was inserted into the lineup and played the rest of the contest. All Baker did was post a career-high 57 assists, equaling the most by an FSU setter this season. Her 57 helpers are the most by an a Seminole freshman since Jennifer Anderson had 57 versus Duke on November 17, 2001. Anderson high as a freshman was 76.
Barry Comes Alive Versus Yellow Jackets
Not since the beginning of the season had rookie middle blocker Brianna Barry had a drought as long as the one she came out of last weekend. After recording double-digit kills in 11-of-13 matches, the Winter Springs native only had one her pervious six until Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-3 Barry broke out of the funk with a career-high 16 kills to go along with three blocks. Barry is fifth in the conference, and leads all ACC freshmen, with a .322 hitting percentage.
Offensive Woes Hurt Seminoles In Second Half Of ACC Season
Prior to this season, Florida State had been 22-17 when playing conference teams for the second time, but unfortunately this season has bucked that trend as the Seminoles are 1-4 in the second meeting of the season, compared to 9-2 in the first go-around. The biggest difference has come in the Seminoles’ offense as they are hitting .208 the second time through, compared to .290 with assists dropping from 15.44 to 12.95. Contributing the diminished offense may be passing as digs per game has dropped from 14.95 to 11.95. Blocks per game is down slightly (2.26-to-2.00) as are aces per game (1.97-to-1.60) and receptions errors is the same at 1.90.
News and Notes:
Junior libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) is 38 digs from tying herself and Maggie Philgence for tenth on the single-season charts at 399 digs … The loss to Georgia Tech marked the first time the Seminoles lost a match this year when posting a hitting percentage above .300 (.322) … Florida State has lost its three matches at home, tying its longest losing streak at home under Todd Kress …. The Seminoles are 2-2 on Senior Night during Todd Kress’ previous four seasons after winning last year 3-0 over Wake Forest … Outside hitter Malorie Wessel (West Chester, Ohio) recorded three aces last week, moving her to within 10 of the freshman record of 48 set by Lynn Fullhart in 1985 … Florida State has had 9,553 fans this season during home matches and needs 2,029 to establish a new single-season mark during Todd Kress’ five years.