October 5, 2006 - by
Seminole Volleyball Back Home For A Pair Of Conference Matches

Oct. 5, 2006

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Vs. North Carolina • Friday, Oct. 6 • 7 p.m. • ACC Select • Gametracker
Vs. NC State • Saturday, Oct. 7 • 7 p.m. • Internet RadioGametracker
Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym (1,162) •Tallahassee, Fla.

Dig, Set, Spike (What You Need To Know):
• Following a split on the road during conference action last week, the Florida State volleyball team returns to Lucy McDaniel Court for a pair of ACC matches this weekend.

• The Seminoles play host to North Carolina on Friday (Oct. 6) at 7 p.m. The match can be seen live through ACC Select. Saturday’s (Oct. 7) 7 p.m. affair with NC State can be heard on internet radio by logging onto www.seminoles.com.

• Florida State has won its last five home matches against North Carolina after last year’s 3-2 victory. The Seminoles’ home winning-streak is ten matchs versus NC State, dating back to 1995, following a 3-0 triumph in 2005.

• FSU is ranked fourth in the country with its .297 hitting percentage. The Seminoles lead the ACC in hitting percentage in all games as well as during conference games (.296)

• With 37 digs over the weekend, libero Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) moved into fifth place in school history with 1,105 career digs.

• Florida State continues its improved start, getting its 10th win at Georgia Tech Friday (Sept. 29), compared to Nov. 15 last season. Under Todd Kress, only the 2002 squad – which qualified for the NCAA Tournament – got to ten wins faster by one day.

Seminoles Back Home For Pair Of Conference Matches
Looking to stay undefeated at home during the Atlantic Coast Conference season, the Florida State University volleyball team returns to Lucy McDaniel Court at Tully Gym for a pair of league matches this weekend. Up first is a 7 p.m. contest Friday (Oct. 6) against North Carolina that can be viewed live through ACC Select. The next day the Seminoles play host to NC State at 7 p.m. in a match that can be heard through internet radio.

Home Improvements
It may be hard to believe, but last season Florida State was better on the road than it was at home. That has changed this year as the Seminoles are 5-1 in the Big Bend — with their only loss coming to No. 6 Florida and need only two wins to match their home win total from a year ago. Under Todd Kress, Florida State has averaged 10.5 home wins a year with a high of 14 in 2002. With the exception of last season, the Seminoles have posted double-digit wins at home in his first four seasons. Surprisingly, Florida State was better defensively last season at home with higher numbers for digs and blocks. Blocks are also the only area where FSU is better on the road this year with a rate of 2.48 per game on the road, compared to 1.75 at home.

Veterans Happier At Home As Well
Three players in particular are playing much better this year at home compared to last season. Senior setter Zrinka Tomic (Nustar, Croatia) has nearly doubled her assist total from last year’s home matches as she is setting at a rate of 12.65 per game, compared to 6.32 in 2005. Senior middle blocker Sarah Griffin (Hereford, Texas) has doubled her kills per game with an improvement of 3.50 from 1.52 and is hitting .359 in Tully this year, compared to .069 as a junior. With a full year at home under her belt, junior outside hitter Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.) has seen her kills per game rise to 4.12 from 2.65.

Seminoles Among Nation’s Most Accurate Teams
Even after two of its lowest hitting matches of the season, Florida State has still remained in the top five nationally in fourth place with a .297 hitting percentage. Within the ACC, the Seminoles lead the next closest team (Georgia Tech) by 22 percentage points. Florida State is also the top team during conference matches with a norm of .296 percent. The Seminoles also lead during league play with 15.40 assists per game, on the strength of Zrinka Tomic and her ACC-best 13.05 apg rate.

Florida State Bouncing Back Better After Losses
The true character of a team can be measured in how it responds after a loss. Last season FSU was 8-9 in the next match following a loss, but that mark was 5-9 until the start of November when FSU won seven of its last nine matches. This year the Seminoles are 2-1 following a loss and after losing to No. 6 Florida, Florida State rattled off a four-matching winning streak to start the seasons. Most of FSU’s numbers are similar in the match following a loss, but one aspect that seems to get a little better is blocking with the rate increasing to 2.43 blocks per game after a loss.

Dig For The Cure
Florida State will join schools from around the country for the “Dig for the Cure” to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Seminole players and coach are collecting donations in one of two forms: 1) A flat denotation or 2) a certain amount for every dig FSU earns during its October 22 match against Duke, which falls during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information or to make a pledge, call the FSU volleyball office at (850) 644-3003.

Seminoles Rated Sixth In East Region By RichKern.com/AVCA
More evidence of Florida State’s turnaround can be found in the latest regional rankings from RichKern.com and the AVCA. The RPKI, which mimics the formula used by the NCAA for its biannual rankings, rates the Seminoles as the sixth-best team in the East Region and 61st nationally. Florida State checks in at No. 62 in the Pablo rankings. The Seminoles trail only Clemson (third) and Duke (fifth) in the region.

Scouting North Carolina
Look up the word anomaly in the dictionary and you might find a photo of the North Carolina volleyball team. Picked to finish fourth in the ACC after earning a share of the conference title in 2005, the Tar Heels are off to an uncharacteristic 3-11 start with a 1-4 mark in the league. Libero Brianna Eskola rates fourth in the ACC at 4.77 digs per game to help UNC ranks third in that category at 17.17 dpg. FSU is undefeated at home against UNC under Todd Kress, who holds a 5-4 mark versus UNC, 5-3 in the regular season.

Scouting NC State
NC State is under new leadership this year as Arizona alum Charita J. Stubbs is in her first season as head coach with the Wolfpack. Despite the infusion of new blood, NC State is still at the bottom of the ACC standings at 0-5, 2-12 overall. The Wolfpack have only gone beyond the third game five times in 14 matches this season. FSU has never lost to NC State during Todd Kress’ tenure as he is a perfect 9-0 and FSU has only lost a single game during that time. Overall, FSU has not lost to NC State since Nov. 13, 1999, a streak of 13-staight matches, as well as a ten-match home winning streak.

FSU Posts Second Best ACC Start With 3-2 Victory at Georgia Tech
Down 7-4 in game five, the Florida State was on the brink of losing at Georgia Tech after winning the first two games. However, this year’s Seminole squad has the heart and determination that teams in the past didn’t and they closed out the match with an 11-2 run that gave FSU the 3-2 victory (30-23, 32-30, 15-30, 27-30, 15-9). The win moved FSU to 4-0 in the league, it’s second-best ACC start ever and marked the first time the Seminoles have won back-to-back match at Georgia Tech.

Conference Winning Streak Snapped at Clemson In 3-0 Loss
Playing on the road in the ACC is a difficult as it comes and the strains of playing three road games in the first two weeks of the conference season finally caught up to Florida State. After a thrilling 3-2 victory at Georgia Tech the night before, the Seminoles dropped a 3-0 (30-32, 27-30, 30-32) decision at Clemson. Makini Thompson had 18 digs for the second match in a row and freshman Brianna Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) added 11.

Tomic Has Been A Good Helper During Conference Matches
At her current conference-best pace of 13.05 assists per game in conference matches, setter Zrinka Tomic is on pace to have FSU’s fourth-best assist average during ACC matches. Fiona Bolton had a rate of 14.75 in 1998 after 13.88 the year before. FSU’s all-time assist leader Jennifer Anderson posted a norm of 13.82 in 2002. After no matches with 40-assist or more last year, Tomic has eclipsed 40 helpers in each of the last seven contests, including a career-best 57 against Georgia Tech and Miami.

BonSalle Comes Off the Bench To Spark FSU Against Yellow Jackets
Freshman Jackie BonSalle (Albuquerque, N.M.) showed flashes of why she was a highly coveted recruit last year in late stages of FSU’s 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter had eight of her career-best 11 kills in the final two games. On the brink of beating the Yellow Jackets, the Seminoles went to BonSalle as she recorded Florida State’s last two kills to seal the victory. The rookie is fifth on the team with 2.23 kills per game.

News & Notes
Libero Summer Weissing continued her ascension up the career digs list as she moved past two more players for No. 5 at 1,105 digs. She needs 46 to surpass Nancy Gaspadarek. The junior had a season-best 23 digs against Clemson to move her into fifth during ACC matches at 4.35 dpg … FSU won its third five-game match last week when it beat Georgia Tech, 3-2, equaling its five-game victory total from last year. The most five-game wins under Todd Kress is six set in 2002 … Friday’s match at Georgia Tech was the fourth time the Seminoles have played in front of a crowd of 1,000 or better, which is the same number it had last season. Florida State’s average home attendance this year is 718, which is up from 549 last season …. Middle blocker Brianna Barry is second in the ACC amongst freshmen with a .332 hitting percentage overall and .378 in conference games where she trails Duke’s Rachael Moss by two points …. FSU’s match with Georgia Tech will be replayed Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. and midnight, as well as Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. on Turner Sports.

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