Sept. 17, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 15th-ranked Florida State University women’s volleyball team hits the road for its Atlantic Coast Conference opener at rival Miami. The 35th meeting between the two schools takes place on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Seminoles (8-1) are riding a four-match winning streak, which includes a tournament championship at the Kentucky Invitational last weekend. FSU delivered a five-set victory over then-No. 16 Kentucky (21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 15-6), won in five sets against Kansas State (19-25, 25-19, 25-15, 20-25, 15-11) and defeated Virginia Commonwealth on the final day in four sets (25-18, 26-28, 25-15, 25-18).
Through the nonconference portion of its schedule, FSU has shown strength in its offense. The Seminoles are averaging 14.21 kills per set, ranking 23rd nationally and third in the ACC behind Miami and N.C. State. FSU is tied for third in the conference with a .271 hitting percentage.
Defensively, FSU has shown its depth at the middle blocking position. Sophomore Sareea Freeman has improved greatly from her first season, leading the squad and sitting 58th nationally with 1.22 blocks per set. Fellow sophomore Marija Milosavljevic and senior Lauren Young show 27 and 26 blocks apiece, respectively, while right-side hitter Rachael Morgan leads the team with 31.
Junior outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic leads FSU with 124 points, 111 kills and 3.36 kills per set. She joined setter Duygu Duzceler and outside hitter Jekaterina Stepanova on last weekend’s Kentucky Invitational All-Tournament Team, teaming with Stepanova to record two double-doubles apiece. Junior setter Patricia Figueiredo also registered her first career double-double as a Seminole, garnering 24 assists and 10 digs versus VCU.
The Hurricanes (10-1) carry an eight-match winning streak, recently defeating San Francisco, Bethune-Cookman and FIU at the Hurricane Invitational. Miami’s lone loss came against common opponent Oklahoma, who lost to the Seminoles in four sets at the Houston Invitational.
Miami’s tandem of redshirt junior setter Katie Gallagher and freshman outside hitter Alexandria Johnson took home the ACC Player and Freshman of the Week awards on Sept. 6. Gallagher is second in the conference with 10.89 assists per set, while Johnson has 77 digs, 35 assists and 102 digs.
Outside hitter Lane Carico is the team’s top player at the net, showing 139 kills that are currently the most in the ACC.
Saturday’s match can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM, and can be seen through a live video feed on Miami’s Official Athletic Website.
The annual clash on the volleyball court kicks off a three-week stretch involving both rivals in several sports. On Sunday, Sept. 26, both women’s soccer programs square off at Cobb Stadium at noon, followed by a matchup in men’s tennis on Oct. 8-10 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables. Both football teams then take to the field on Oct. 9 at Sun Life Stadium.