Oct. 23, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 24th-ranked Florida State University volleyball team hosts rival Duke in a “Paint it Pink” match on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. at Tully Gym. The match is part of this month’s breast cancer awareness promotion that is being utilized by all of FSU’s women’s athletics teams.
Although 10 conference matches remain, the Seminoles (14-6, 6-4) look to get back on track in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, sitting three matches behind conference leader Duke. FSU is tied with Wake Forest for fourth-place in the conference, and is two matches behind North Carolina and one match behind Georgia Tech.
FSU is coming off a 3-0 loss at home to Wake Forest. The Seminoles played without one of the ACC’s top players in Visnja Djurdjevic, and will be without the versatile performer again versus the Blue Devils (17-3, 9-1) this Sunday.
“Duke is leading the conference this season and as always has a very good team,” head coach Chris Poole said. “They are big and physical, but also have a very quick offense. They were upset last weekend by Virginia Tech for their first conference loss and I’m sure they will be coming to Tallahassee to get revenge on last season.
“It will be a tall order with us again having to adjust our lineup, but this team has a lot of pride and they know what is on the line. I believe we will give our best effort possible.”
Sunday’s match will be a battle of two teams with impressive RPI’s. Duke leads the ACC with the nation’s seventh-best RPI, defeating quality opponents Middle Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami. FSU is 17th in the RPI, including four Top-50 wins over Oklahoma, Kentucky, Miami and Virginia Tech.
In Friday’s loss, senior Stephanie Neville was a bright spot for the FSU offense as she amassed 11 kills and a .417 hitting percentage. She also set a season-high with five digs, and has now posted double-digit kills in eight matches this season.
FSU is riding a two-match winning streak against the Blue Devils, its second-longest in an all-time series that shows Duke leading 33-10. Last year, the Seminoles won at home and on the road in five-set thrillers.
Senior middle blocker Becci Burling leads the Blue Devils with 241 kills, 3.17 kills per set and 73 blocks. Junior middle blocker/outside hitter Sophia Dunworth is second on the team with 202 kills and adds 26 blocks.
Junior setter Kellie Catanach has 821 assists this season, while freshman libero Ali McCurdy owns the top spot with 372 digs.
FSU senior libero Jenna Romanelli continues to inch closer toward the 1,000-dig mark for her career. She is now just 18 away from reaching the milestone, and is only four digs shy of solely taking over the 10th spot on FSU’s career digs list.
Fans can follow Sunday’s match on CBS GameTracker via the Seminoles.com volleyball page.