October 27, 2016 - by
Louisville, Notre Dame Await No. 11 Seminoles This Weekend
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 11th-ranked Florida State volleyball team completes October play this weekend when it takes the road to face Louisville and Notre Dame in a series of critical battles as the ACC race heads into the final month of the season.
The Seminoles (16-3, 9-1 ACC) open the weekend with a 6:00 p.m. match against Louisville (7-13, 2-8 ACC) on Friday. Florida State’s 18th all-time meeting with the Cardinals will be featured as part of the ESPNU package (Comcast SD 735/HD 396; DirecTV 208; Dish 141) with commentary from Sam Gore and Jennifer Hoffman.
The Noles have won all six previous meetings in Louisville, dating back to the first meeting in the Bluegrass State between the two programs on Nov. 1, 1985. A victory over Cardinals would mark its second this season by Florida State after posting a four-game win on Sept. 25 in Tully Gym. It would also mark the third time in the series history (1989, 1990) that the Noles have completed a season sweep of Louisville.
Two days later Florida State will turn its attention to the Fighting Irish (18-4, 9-1 ACC). The two teams, who enter the weekend tied for second place in the ACC, look to remain within one game of North Carolina as they battle for the league championship. The Seminoles, who have posted sweeps in their last six meetings against Notre Dame, have won the last seven consecutive matches in the series. The match is being featured on ACC Network Extra with commentary from Derek Georgino and Madeline Keller.
Milica Kubura highlights the Florida State offense with a team-high 108 kills (3.09 kills/set) in ACC action and has led the Seminoles in kills in six of the 10 conference matches since league play began on Sept. 23. Kubura, who has enjoyed 10 double-digit kill outings this season, is fourth among the best hitters in the league with a .356 hitting percentage.
While Kubura leads the way for the offense, senior Melanie Keil has anchored the Seminoles’ front row defensive efforts with 115 blocks (1.67 blocks/set) in 2016. Keil, who ranks atop the ACC in both blocks and blocks per set, is 0.11 off the pace set by national leader Ali Bastianelli (Illinois) who is averaging 1.78 blocks per set.
Cecilie Woie leads the way for the Florida State back row with 234 digs. She moved past Jennifer Anderson into 14th in program history among career dig leaders (663) in the rally scoring era. Woie, with 15 double-digit dig outings this season, has helped Florida State to hold the opposition to a lower attack percentage (.180) this season than in 2015 (.190) through the first 19 contests.
The Seminoles’ first opponent this weekend, Louisville, has dropped four of its last five matches after capturing the ACC championship in 2016. The Cardinals are led statistically by the combination of Melanie McHenry (232 kills; 3.69 kills/set), Kali Eaken (572 assists; 9.69 assists/set), Molly Sauer (320 digs; 4.21 digs/set) and Tess Clark (66 total blocks; 0.87 blocks/set).
Notre Dame, which has enjoyed a complete turnaround from 2015 where it finished 7-25 overall and 2-18 in ACC action, closes out October led on offense by Jemma Yeadon (200 kills; 2.86 kills/set) and Caroline Holt (834 assists; 10.97 assists/set). That tandem, along with four Fighting Irish hitters that have topped 140 kills this season, led the way for an offense that is averaging 12.88 kills per set (.224 hitting percentage).
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