TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State volleyball head coach Chris Poole announced the 2018 schedule on Tuesday (June 12). The slate features five teams ranked in the final 2017 AVCA poll, and nine opponents who made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
“The schedule this fall will again challenge our team during the pre-conference matches” said head coach Chris Poole. “I’m a big believer that if you want to prepare your team for conference and post season, you have to be willing to play great teams with the non-conference schedule.”
The Seminoles have a top-heavy schedule this season. In a challenging preseason, Florida State will face five opponents that made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, four of which finished in the AVCA Top 25 last season.
The team opens the season in its first of three non-conference tournaments at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. FSU and North Carolina will represent the ACC and will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers – two teams that finished the season ranked No. 10 and No. 12 in the AVCA poll, respectively.
FSU will then head to Fort Collins, Colorado for its second non-conference tournament, taking on 2017 opponents Colorado State and TCU, and the addition of Cincinnati in a four-team round-robin tournament.
In its home opener, the Seminoles will host Virginia Commonwealth, Southern Mississippi and Florida A&M in the Home2Suites Tallahassee Seminole Volleyball Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8. FSU’s home opener against VCU will take place Friday at 6:00 pm.
The Seminoles will host 2017 national runner-up Florida in Tully Gym in the team’s only midweek match at home this year. This will mark the 30th meeting between the two in-state rivals in Tallahassee, a series that FSU leads 15-14. FSU then sees its second SEC opponent in one week, as the team will head to Auburn for the second home-and-home match that was scheduled as a result of Hurricane Irma last season.
Following one of the best seasons ACC volleyball has ever seen, the Seminoles will open the conference season at home, hosting Duke and Wake Forest at the end of September. FSU will see some of the ACC’s top teams twice during the season, including NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and co-conference champions Pittsburg and Louisville.
The Seminoles will host the Fighting Irish and the Panthers for their final home weekend and will wrap up the season in North Carolina. By facing some of the toughest conference opponents at the end of the season, the Seminoles will prep for their tenth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under Poole.
“With seven freshman experiencing their first spring, we made great strides as a program,” Poole said. “The players are working very hard physically and we built a schedule that will challenge them all season. We hope that fans will take advantage of a lot of great matches at home this year.”
Before the season officially kicks off, FSU will host South Alabama in a scrimmage on Friday, August 17 at 6 pm, and will host its annual Garnet and Gold scrimmage the following day at 3 pm.
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