October 2, 2011 - by
First Practice Rocks

Oct. 2, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Over 50 members of the Florida State athletic band kicked off the FSU women’s basketball team’s first practice of the 2011-12 season by greeting the Seminoles with a few songs in the team’s film room at the Basketball Training Center on Sunday afternoon.

The music was a fitting start to a season in which the Noles hope to go “dancing” for an eighth consecutive year at the NCAA Tournament.

“A few years ago I asked the band to come perform and to talk about working together to perform at a high level,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “Since then it has become a tradition. It’s a lot of fun. We had a great practice. I was impressed with our intensity and our communication.”

The band played the FSU fight song as well as “War Chant” and the women’s basketball team’s favorite, “Seminole Uprising.”

Semrau talked to the team and the band about the similarities in the programs, as work ethic, teamwork and focus are essential for success in both.

Members of the band told the players how much they enjoyed pumping them up during games and both sides thanked each other for their support.

Florida State Director of Athletic Bands David Plack said there is never a shortage of volunteers when it comes to performing for the women’s basketball team at the start of the season – a tradition that has gone back for four or five years now.

“I had several that told me this is one of their favorite things that we do over the course of the year,” Plack said. “We’ve done it for four or five years now. It’s always fun. It’s always neat. They absolutely love to come out here and support the women’s team.”

Many players danced along to the beat during the performance and senior forward Cierra Bravard even played the bass drum for a few of the songs.

“It got us pumped,” Bravard said. “We were excited. It’s the first day. It’s great to be back. It was fun playing the drum. It was harder than I thought. I was sweating before practice even started.”

Bravard was a First Team All-ACC selection and an honorable mention All-American in 2010-11. She is one of three starters and nine letterwinners that return from last season’s 24-8 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Garnet and Gold hope to go even further in this year’s “Big Dance.” The quest to do that started on Sunday.

Florida State opens the season on Nov. 5 with an exhibition contest against Florida Southern at 2 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.

The Noles kick off the regular season at the WBI Tipoff Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla., from Nov. 11-13.

FSU’s first home game of the 2011-12 season is on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. versus Georgia State.

To purchase tickets, fans can contact the Seminole Ticket Office at 1-888-FSUNOLE. Tickets may also be purchased on Seminoles.com

For more information on Florida State women’s basketball follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball.

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