TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the second season in a row, Florida State Volleyball will begin its season by competing in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on August 30 and 31. The Seminoles are traveling to Chapel Hill, N.C., and will face No. 5 Wisconsin on Friday at 3:30 p.m., and take on No. 3 Minnesota on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
It is also the second-straight year that the Noles will start with matches against the Badgers and Golden Gophers, as Minnesota was a host site for the Challenge in 2018. Florida State dropped each match a year ago, falling 3-0 to the No. 4 Gophers (17-25, 21-25, 21-25) and 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 23-25, 22-25) to the No. 9 Badgers.
“Opening the season against a pair of top-five teams, it allows us to get on the court and play against the best,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “And as we play against teams that are among the highest in the country, you learn a lot about your team, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. During preseason, it is hard to know what is working or what is not working, because the team is familiar with each other. So this weekend will give us a chance to go in and throw it out on the court and see how the girls respond, knowing that we need to learn from it, no matter what.”
Friday’s match marks the third time that the Noles and Badgers will play in their history and FSU is seeking its first win the matchup. In addition to UW’s victory in 2018, Wisconsin earned a 3-1 victory (15-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-25) in the Regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota holds an 11-6 advantage in the all-time series with Florida State, dating back to 1979. The Golden Gophers have won each of the last five matches, and nine of the last 10, dating back to 1987. Minnesota has been ranked in the Top 11 of the country in each of the last four meetings (No. 5 in 2005, No. 11 in 2009, No. 6 in 2016 and No. 4 in 2018) and enter the 2019 season as the No. 3 team in the nation.
The last time that the Seminoles have defeated the Gophers was on September 12, 1992 in a five-set victory – 15-7, 13-15, 13-15, 15-13, 15-6.
Both matches this weekend will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, with links for the broadcast and live stats available on the volleyball schedule page of Seminoles.com. Admission is free for all matches at Anderson Arena in Chapel Hill.
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