September 29, 2011 - by
Volleyball Battles Duke, Wake Forest

Sept. 29, 2011

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After posting a flawless weekend to open conference play, the 22nd-ranked Florida State University indoor volleyball team returns to Tully Gym for another important weekend in the ACC. The Seminoles (9-4, 3-0) will battle preseason conference pick Duke (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Wake Forest (Sunday at 1 p.m.) as they try to push to a 5-0 start within the conference.

Friday night’s match against Duke will be a All-Access match.

FSU is hoping to pick up where it left off after sweeping Old Dominion State foes Virginia and Virginia Tech on the road. In those two matches, the Seminoles amassed 85 kills and recorded just 17 attack errors in 191 total attacks. Combined, FSU averaged a .356 hitting percentage while holding the Cavaliers and Hokies to an average clip of .141.

While Duke has dominated the all-time series versus FSU with a 33-11 record, the trend has shifted over the last few seasons. The Seminoles carry a three-match winning streak against the Blue Devils (8-4, 2-1), which includes a five-set comeback thriller on Oct. 24, 2010 against a Duke squad that advanced to the Elite Eight that season. Since 2008, FSU and Duke have met four times and all four matches have resulted in five-set finishes.

The Blue Devils own victories over Wisconsin (3-2), Pacific (3-1) and recently defeated Georgia Tech (3-0) and Clemson (3-2) at home last weekend. Their lone conference loss belongs to travel partner Wake Forest (1-3) on Sept. 16. Duke returns reigning ACC Player of the Year Kellie Catanach, a senior setter who is tied for first in the ACC with 11.26 assists per set.

The Demon Deacons (4-8, 1-2) defeated FSU in Tallahassee last season by a 3-0 score. Wake Forest’s victory last season snapped a nine-match losing streak to FSU that dated back to Nov. 25, 2005.

Wake Forest is led by the play of outside hitter Kadija Fornah, who leads the ACC with 4.25 kills per set in conference play. Overall, she is ninth in the conference with 3.17 kills per set.

Fast Start in Conference Play

Florida State’s consecutive 3-0 sweeps at Virginia and Virginia Tech last weekend solidified a 3-0 start in ACC play this season. FSU, however, has been somewhat accustomed to quick starts within the conference. Since 2000, the Seminoles have won their first three ACC matches on four occasions, with three coming in the last three seasons. The other year was 2006.

An Unofficial Milestone

Senior Visnja Djurdjevic has put up some tremendous career numbers, and her latest milestone proves to be no different. Now into her fourth season, including her second at FSU, Djurdjevic has totaled 1,292 career kills that include her first two years at Tulane. Although her career total won’t go in the FSU record books because two of her years were away from the Garnet and Gold, Djurdjevic joins other talented Seminole transfers who’ve put up lofty numbers.

Ready to Tie a Legend

Chris Poole is into his 25th season coaching at the Division I level, which includes his fourth year at FSU. If the Seminoles defeat both Duke and Wake Forest this weekend, Poole would tie FSU coaching legend Cecile Reynaud with 635 career victories. Reynaud, who coached FSU from 1976-2001, entered the 2011 season as the NCAA’s 25th winningest coach who has coached at the Division I level for a minimum of 10 years.

Looking for 5-0

The Seminoles look to end the weekend with a 5-0 record in conference play, which would be a rare feat since joining the ACC.

The last and only time FSU won its first five matches in the ACC was in 1993, when it started out the conference season by defeating Clemson, Georgia Tech, N.C. State twice and Virginia. In that season, the Seminoles finished 9-5 in the ACC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

FSU’s next-best conference-opening mark came in 2006 when it started 4-0 in the ACC.

Visnja on Track

Senior outside hitter Visnja Djurdjevic posted strong performances in FSU’s weekend sweep of Virginia and Virginia Tech on Sept. 23-24.

Djurdjevic continued to boost FSU’s conference-best hitting percentage by recording just two attack errors on 49 swings over the weekend. She recorded 12 kills against Virginia to tie her season high for a three-set match, and also picked up three blocks and a .393 hitting percentage.

Against Virginia Tech, Djurdjevic had 11 kills in 21 attacks with just one error, equaling a .476 mark. For the weekend, she combined to hit .429 and led FSU in kills, kills per set and hitting percentage.

Click HERE for more information on this weekend’s matches.

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