UPDATE: Due to the threat of tropical storm Ida, Florida State will now play two matches on Saturday vs. Michigan (11AM ET) and LSU (9PM ET). There will be no matches played on Sunday.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Indoor Volleyball Team prepares for the 2021 season by heading to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La., for the Tiger Classic held Aug. 27-29 and hosted by LSU.
The Seminoles open the season facing Northern Arizona on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, followed by a Saturday matchup vs. Michigan at 3 p.m. ET. FSU finishes facing LSU on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET in a match that can be streamed via the ESPN app on SEC Network+.
“We are spending a lot of time just trying to get the team to know each other better on and off the court,” FSU Head Coach Chris Poole said. “We are making sure the freshmen have what they need; that they understand the routines we need to be into. It is the youngest team I’ve personally had since 1994, and the youngest team at Florida State since 1999.”
FSU’s youth movement will be on full display this weekend in Baton Rouge with six freshmen that comprise a Top 15 2021 signing class. But key veteran pieces remain including junior middle blocker Emma Clothier, a preseason All-ACC Team member who earned AVCA All-America honors last year.
She is the ACC’s returning leader in hitting percentage, hitting .483 which ranks as the fifth-highest by a Seminole in a season.
“We’re on the younger side this year, but they’ve been working so hard in practice,” Clothier said. “I’m trying to communicate to them effectively and make sure we’re on the same page so we can all achieve that common goal of winning an ACC Championship. It’s been an interesting year so far, but I’m excited for what the season has.”
Florida State Volleyball was selected fifth in the ACC preseason order of finish. The Seminoles finished fifth last year in the conference (13-5, 8-5). Redshirt junior outside hitter Morgan Chacon and Clothier are FSU’s two returning All-ACC Team members from 2020-21, with Chacon earning second-team honors and Clothier taking first-team honors.
Florida State’s roster is almost halfway filled of freshmen (46.2 percent) – the highest percentage of freshmen in the Coach Poole era (since 2008) and the highest at FSU since 1999 (50 percent in that year – 7 of 14).
FSU returns 49 percent of its kill total from last year, 32 percent of its assists, 63 percent of its service aces, 64 percent of its dig totals and 39 percent of its block totals.
The Seminoles have a series history with all three opponents this weekend, owning a 1-1 record vs. Northern Arizona, 3-2 record vs. Michigan and 13-8 against tournament host LSU.
FSU is looking to snap a three-match losing skid in season openers, which have included tough opponents in Georgia Tech (2020), Wisconsin (2019) and Minnesota (2018). The Noles’ last season-opening win came in 2017 at Baylor (W, 3-1).
Although FSU’s first two matches vs. Northern Arizona and Michigan won’t be broadcast, fans can follow along via Statbroadcast live stats and the team’s Twitter (@FSU_Volleyball) account.