While the Seminoles have never faced Stanford they have played seven teams that currently make up the PAC-12. That includes a series of matches against California (1989), UCLA (2011) and Arizona State (2015) in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State is 1-2 all-time against PAC-12 programs in the postseason, earning their first win a season ago when they downed the Sun Devils in straight sets 25-13, 25-17 and 25-21 in an opening round clash.
Among the statistical leaders for Florida State’s offensive attack include Milica Kubura (365 kills; 2.99 kills/set), Katie Horton (354 kills; 2.90 kills/set) and Mara Green (233 kills; .368 attack percentage). That trio, named AVCA All-East Region on Tuesday, has helped the Seminoles amass 1,587 kills and a .252 attack percentage by virtue of posting at least a .225 hitting percentage in 22 of 31 matches this season.
Another key to the offensive success of the Seminoles has been the setting tandem of Hailey Luke and Brianne Burkert. Luke, the three time senior captain, climbed to third in Florida State history in assists in NCAA Tournament matches (166) after combining for 48 in wins over Cincinnati and Florida last weekend. Burkert, with a team-high 753 assists in 2016, is the eighth Seminole setter in the rally scoring era to have at least 700 in a single season.
The individual defensive leaders for Florida State include Melanie Keil, an honorable mention honoree by the AVCA, who leads the team with 192 total blocks (1.59 blocks/set). Keil was a key cog in the Seminole defensive attack that limited Florida’s attack percentage to .250 or less as Florida State posted the 20thcome-from-behind victory in NCAA Tournament in the rally scoring era. She is joined among the front row blocking leaders by Mara Green, who has tallied 130 blocks (111 assisted blocks).
Cecilie Woie and Horton add depth to the Seminole defense as they have accounted for 49.3 percent of the digs this season. Woie, who leads Florida State with 479 digs, finished with a team-high 19 in the five-set win over archrival Florida. Horton came through with a career-high 26 in the opening round victory against Cincinnati, tying Visnja Djurdjevic for the fourth-most digs in a single match in program history.
Stanford, which finished third in the PAC-12 with a 15-5 conference mark, is led individually by the combination of Kathryn Plummer (371 kills; 3.31 kills/set), Jenna Gray (971 assists; 8.67 assists/set), Morgan Hentz (519 digs; 4.63 digs/set) and Audriana Fitzmorris (162 blocks; 1.45 blocks/set).
The Cardinal are averaging 14.17 kills per set after recording 1,587 strikes in 30 matches this season as five hitters have tallied at least 200 kills this season. The Stanford roster, which consists of 12 players who are at least six feet tall, has limited its opponents to a .178 hitting percentage by recording 374 total blocks (3.34 blocks/set).
A victory by the Seminoles in the Sweet 16 sets up an Elite Eight matchup with the winner of the Ohio State-Wisconsin match that is set for 7 p.m. (EST) on Friday. Florida State has only one previous meeting with the host Badgers, which came in the 2013 NCAA Tournament when the two clashed in the Sweet 16.
It would mark the fifth all-time meeting with Ohio State and fourth in Poole’s nine-year tenure at the helm of the Seminoles. Florida State is 14-10 (.583 winning percentage) against current Big Ten programs under Poole.
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