Nov. 20, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball program’s six-year postseason drought is officially going to come to an end as the No. 15 Seminoles swept Boston College (25-18, 25-18, 25-11) Friday night at Tully Gym and thus clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With an impeccable 26-2 overall record and 17-1 conference mark, FSU earned the right to represent itself as the best team in the ACC when tournament play starts in early December.
Now, the Seminoles will host Maryland on Sunday with the chance to officially claim the regular-season ACC Championship outright with a win.
Against the Eagles (13-18, 5-13 ACC), Florida State never really was tested as the Seminoles earned their 14th sweep of the season and extended their school-record conference winning streak to 14 matches in a row.
“I am extremely proud of the girls and I am even more excited for them tonight,” FSU head coach Chris Poole said. “They have just put in so much hard work this past year and they deserve to go to the NCAA Tournament. They went out tonight and played hard and played like they wanted to be ACC champions.”
Senior Mira Djuric led all Seminoles with 10 kills and five service aces. At one point in the third set, the Belgrade, Serbia native with the famously ferocious jump-serve was the server for nine-straight FSU points.
Djuric, who was 8-for-8 on kills attempts in the first set, finished the night with a .444 hitting percentage.
Junior Stephanie Neville accounted for nine kills from her outside hitter position as she hit a remarkable .727 for the match. Senior Jordana Price hit .500 with eight kills and true freshman Sareea Freeman, who played in place of Brianna Barry so the senior could get some rest, had a career-best hitting percentage of .827 on six kills on eight attempts.
As a team, the Seminoles hit .443 compared to just .119 by the Eagles. Duygu Duzceler led the ‘Noles with 19 assists.
Defensively, all but two Seminole finished with at least one dig with junior Jenna Romanelli’s six being the most among FSU players.
Friday’s outcome on Lucy McDaniel Court and second-place Duke’s sweep of N.C. State sets up what could be one of the most memorable days in FSU volleyball history on Sunday.
Not only will Sunday’s match serve as Senior Day where the program will honor Barry, Price, Djuric and Nikki Baker, but with a win the Seminoles would earn the program’s first ever regular-season conference title. The 1998 Seminoles boast an ACC Championship but that squad earned their title in the conference tournament.
“Sunday is going to be an important day for us,” Poole said. “It’s a big deal that we can claim the outright conference championship but we are also going for a good seed in the NCAA Tournament and we know that in order to do that we need to win out. It gives us another opportunity to come out and keep getting better.
“We want the crowd to come out Sunday and get behind us on what will be an emotional game because its Senior Day and those players deserve a good crowd that will send them out right.”
The match against the Terrapins begins at 1 p.m. For those fans that are not in the Tallahassee area, all the action can be seen online as part of Seminoles.com All-Access.”