August 26, 2010 - by
Volleyball Set for FSU Invite

Aug. 26, 2010

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The nationally-ranked Florida State University women’s volleyball team begins its season by hosting the annual FSU Invitational beginning Friday, Aug. 27, at Tully Gym. The Seminoles open their season against New Mexico State at 7 p.m., followed by two Saturday matches versus FIU and USF at noon and 7 p.m., respectively.

The Seminoles, picked along with Duke to win the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, are looking to continue their trend of winning season-opening matches. FSU has won its season-opener the last seven years, last falling at Illinois State in 2002.

FSU is led by a deep and talented class of outside hitters, including returning American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American Rachael Morgan. Senior Stephanie Neville and reigning ACC All-Freshman Team member Fatma Yildirim also return, while heralded transfers Jekaterina Stepanova and Visnja Djurdjevic add a powerful punch to the group of spikers.

After finishing with the third-highest RPI in the country last season, FSU is ready once again to take on a challenging schedule. Two of its three opponents in New Mexico State and FIU enter opening weekend receiving votes in the preseason AVCA poll, with FIU coming in as defending Sun Belt Conference champions.

This weekend is another chapter in our attempt to build a consistent Top 20 level program at Florida State, coach Chris Poole said. We lost a lot from last season, but I love a challenge and these girls believe in themselves.

The Seminoles, which hold their highest preseason ranking in school history, defeated the Aggies in Las Cruces last year by a 3-0 margin (25-17, 25-16, 25-21). FSU also defeated FIU in Miami last year, 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 25-12), and own a 35-6 mark over USF heading into their first meeting since 2005.

After undergoing a rigorous two-week schedule in which the Seminoles competed only against themselves, Poole feels that his team is finally ready to face the true opposition.

This will definitely be a team that will continue to improve as the season progresses, Poole added. We need to get started and play someone different across the net. It is difficult to know exactly how all the new players will respond in a real game situation.

Matches against New Mexico State and USF can be seen on All-Access. Fans can also follow each match through CBS GameTracker.

  Florida State Volleyball vs. New Mexico State – Live (Watch)
  Florida State Volleyball vs. USF – Saturday, 7pm (Watch)
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