TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team is set to host No. 11 Florida for the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown, as the two face off in Tully Gym on Wednesday (9/12) at 6:00 pm. The Seminoles, 4-4 overall and riding a three-match win streak, will welcome the Gators to their home court for the 30th time in the series on this week.
“I think for both teams it has always been a great match, because it helps give you a little bit of competition before you go into conference play,” said head coach Chris Poole. “We love playing this match every year.”
Florida State has defeated Florida three times since 2013, and four times since Poole took over the program. The Seminoles hold the advantage over Florida in the series when playing in Tallahassee, holding a 15-14 record against the Gators in Tully Gym.
“Having a great home crowd is so important,” Poole said. “We’ve played in some great venues already, Colorado State had a big crowd, Minnesota had a big crowd, so it would be great to have a big crowd against a top-ranked team like Florida. I think having that just gives your team extra confidence and allows them to really understand that they can get the crowd behind them.”
It is a rivalry both teams are familiar with, but for a lot of FSU’s lineup, hosting the team’s in-state rival in Tully Gym will be a new experience. The only Seminoles who have seen Florida in Tallahassee are senior setter Brianne Burkert, redshirt senior outside hitter Christina Ambrose, and junior defensive specialist Madison Sullivan, while 14 players will get to experience the atmosphere for the first time this week.
“I’m really excited, this will be my first time playing Florida at home,” said sophomore middle blocker Taryn Knuth. “It’s a huge rivalry that’s really hyped up, so this will be a good way to show our fans how we perform against a really good team.”
The last time the Seminoles defeated the Gators was on December 3, 2016 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville. FSU was down 0-2 in the match, but came back to take the win and advance to the Sweet 16. Burkert is the only current member on the team who was in the lineup that defeated Florida that year.
The match will stream live on ACC Network Extra. Fans are encouraged to wear garnet, and the first 250 fans in Tully Gym will receive a garnet #BlockTheBlue shirt.
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