September 11, 2018 - by
Volleyball Hosts No. 11 Florida for Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown

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.


Match Notes

  • The Florida State-Florida series is the longest-running series in program history, with the two teams meeting 70 times since 1974.
  • Chris Poole and Mary Wise have played each other every year since 1994, when Poole founded the volleyball program at Arkansas.
  • The last time the two teams met was in the 2017 non-conference season, when UF swept FSU in Gainesville.
  • The last time FSU beat UF was in 2016, when the Seminoles came back from a 0-2 deficit to defeat the Gators in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville.
  • Florida State has won three matches against the Gators since 2013, all of which were five-set decisions. FSU has defeated UF four times since Poole’s arrival in 2008.
  • The Seminoles have defeated a ranked Florida team without being ranked twice — once in 1993 and once in 1994. The Gators were ranked 8th both times.


Scouting the Gators

  • Florida finished the 2017 season as the National Runner-Up, falling to Nebraska on the Cornhuskers’ home court. UF turned around to beat Nebraska in this year’s season opener.
  • Since then, the Gators have fallen to two ranked teams (No. 3 Texas and No. 7 USC), defeated Louisville and UCF, and most recently beat Cal State Northridge and Southern Illinois but lost a five-set decision to Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.
  • Freshman Thayer Hall has been on a roll for the Gators in her first year, leading the team in all major hitting statistics. Her 10.79 attacks per set is ranked 61st in the nation.
  • Rachael Kramer leads the Gators at the net with 40 total blocks. Her 1.21 blocks per set is ranked 84th in the nation and fifth in the SEC.
  • Defensively, junior Allie Gregory has stepped up as the Gators’ libero this season, tallying 124 digs (3.76 per set). Gregory saw a season-high 22 digs in UF’s five-set loss to Northern Arizona.
  • Allie Monserez has been supporting the offense this season, tallying 226 assists through the first eight matches (6.85 assists per set). The team’s 12.15 assists per set ranks 117th in the nation.


Broadcast Information

ACC Network Extra (Shawn Davison, Cecile Reynaud, Kathryn Phillips)
Live Stats



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