GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After the date for the matchup was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, the No. 19 Florida State volleyball team is set to take on the No. 3 Florida Gators on Tuesday (Sept. 19) at 6:00 pm for the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown.
This matchup against Florida is FSU’s first ranked contest of the season, as the No. 19 Seminoles and the No. 3 Gators both enter the match as ranked teams for a 10th consecutive meeting.
Just three days before taking on the Gators, FSU took down another SEC opponent, Auburn, at home. FSU became the only ACC opponent to take down the Tigers, as Auburn had already defeated Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State and Clemson earlier in the season. UF has also defeated two ACC programs already this season, sweeping North Carolina and NC State at the SEC-ACC Challenge.
Florida State is hoping to carry its momentum from its last wins to take down the Gators on Tuesday. Florida has gone undefeated so far this season, seeing one of the best starts in program history. The age of the two teams is likely to show in this week’s matchup, as Florida returned five veteran starters while Florida State brought on five freshmen this season.
Just last season, the Seminoles went 1-1 against the Gators, losing to them at home in September, and then defeating them in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville.
Seminoles Stat Leaders
The Seminoles’ offense will be led by senior outside hitter Natasha Calkins, who is currently averaging 3.52 kills per set, with 102 kills on 249 total attacks already this season. Senior Milica Kubura follows right behind her outside counterpart, averaging 3.63 kills per set (98 total) so far this season. Calkin’s 3.52 kills per set currently ranks 127th nationally, while Kubura’s 3.63 kills per set currently ranks 95th nationally.
The offense has been supported by junior setter Brianne Burkert this season, as the Seminoles’ lead setter has already notched 284 assists (9.79 assists/set). Burkert has also recorded a double-double in six of the seven matches the team has played so far, and has now recorded 19 double-doubles in her career. Burkert’s 9.79 assists per set currently ranks 98th nationally.
On the defensive side, senior libero Cecilie Woie leads the team with 135 digs. Woie’s 4.66 digs per set currently ranks 68th nationally. Freshman middle blocker Taryn Knuth has been holding down the defense in the front row, leading the Seminoles with 39 total blocks (1.34 blocks/set) this season. Knuth’s 1.34 blocks per set currently ranks 48th nationally.
Scouting the Opponent
Series Record: UF leads 39-30 (all-time)
Last Meeting: The No. 16 Seminoles beat the No. 11 Gators 3-2 (13-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-12) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, Fla.
Following the Action
New Safety Measures at Exactech Arena
For fans attending Tuesday’s match in Gainesville, read up on the new security measures that can be expected at the arena: http://floridagators.com/news/2017/8/18/general-exactech-arena-introduces-new-safety-measures.aspx?path=general
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