May 24, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head coach Chris Poole and the athletics administration staff officially released the 2010 volleyball schedule Monday morning.
Looking to defend its first-ever regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference championship as well as build off the first Elite Eight appearance in school history, the Seminoles will once again face a daunting schedule full of challenging non-conference games in preparation for ACC play.
“Our non-conference schedule was one of the best in the nation last year and that is one reason why our NCAA RPI finished third overall in the country,” said Poole, who is set for his third season at the helm of the FSU volleyball program. “I always want to challenge my team during the pre-season and we want to prepare for conference games by playing a competitive non-conference schedule.”
FSU will play a total of 13 matches against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season, including Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, Florida International, Tennessee and Florida A&M. ACC foes Miami, Duke, Clemson and Georgia Tech also made the big dance.
The game against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky. will be a rematch from last season’s Sweet 16 showdown. FSU won that matchup, 3-2, on the campus of the University of Minnesota to advance to the Elite Eight.
As far as conference games go, the ‘Noles and ‘Canes will collide on Sept. 18 in Coral Gables, Fla. After a home match against the Gators, FSU plays at North Carolina and NC State before a weekend at home against the Yellow Jackets and Tigers.
The Seminoles play at Boston College and Maryland on Oct. 15 and 17, respectively, before matches in Tully Gym against Wake Forest and Duke the weekend of Oct. 22.
Back-to-back weekends on the road will then be followed by five-straight home matches in the month of November. FSU concludes its regular-season on Nov. 27 down the street at FAMU.
“The ACC has really stepped up the past two years and we will have seven to eight teams that could compete for the conference crown this season,” Poole said. “We have a lot of great coaches in this league and it makes every match a great challenge for us.”
While FSU’s 2010 schedule surely has its challenges, perhaps the biggest task facing Poole and his staff is replacing five key players from a season ago.
“Our non-conference schedule could potentially be better than it was last fall, so we just need to take it one match at a time,” Poole said. “After losing five players with starting experience over the last two seasons, we know that we really need our returners and new recruits to step up this summer and be ready by Aug. 1. We are really excited with the way the fans supported our team last fall and hope that we can start the season with the same type of excitement.
“The fans can make a big difference for us at home and that will be important with a lot of new players on the court for us this season.”