TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Volleyball has been selected fifth in the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, announced on Wednesday by the conference.
In addition to the preseason prediction, two seniors in middle blocker Taryn Knuth and outside hitter Jasmyn Martin have been named to the 15-member preseason All-ACC team.
“The ACC is only getting better and better every year,” FSU Head Coach Chris Poole said. “There are no easy matches and the top of the conference is very competitive nationally. This will be an unusual year, because our championship season is in the spring and that is our main focus, but we are playing matches in the fall that will count in the spring.
“Most teams will look very different between October and March so this will be a challenge to keep the team focused and healthy for a much longer time period. Taryn and Jasmyn will carry a heavy load for us this season and deserve the recognition.”
The Seminoles return 14 athletes from a squad last season that went 19-10 overall and 12-6 in the conference. Knuth, a Johnston, Iowa, native, made the All-ACC First Team in 2019 after finishing fourth nationally with 1.52 blocks per set. She was the first non-libero to earn ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors last year, and also was an offensive force hitting .362 on the season.
Martin was an All-ACC Second Team selection in 2019 after finishing third on FSU with 206 kills, 80 blocks and a .259 hitting percentage. One of the highlights to her superb year was a 16-kill performance in a 3-0 sweep over No. 3 Minnesota, carving up the Golden Gophers with a .500 hitting percentage in the match.
One noticeable absence to the team, but certainly worthy of the recognition, is sophomore middle blocker Emma Clothier. The Carrollton, Texas, native proved herself as one of the nation’s better freshman last year, earning All-ACC Freshman Team honors. Clothier finished fifth in the ACC with 1.24 blocks per set. She teams with Knuth to form one of the nation’s best blocking duos.
Pitt has been tabbed as the preseason favorite, followed by Louisville, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and FSU. Syracuse was picked sixth in the poll, followed by North Carolina (7), Boston College (T8) and Miami (T8), Duke (10), NC State (11), Clemson (12), Virginia (13), Wake Forest (14) and Virginia Tech (15).
The fall season in ACC play consists of an eight-match regional schedule for every team. FSU begins the season hosting Clemson on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. at Tully Gym. The teams play again at Tully Gym on Friday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m.
FSU’s other home match weekend in the fall is Oct. 23-24 against Wake Forest. The Seminoles play Georgia Tech on the road on Oct. 7-8 as well as at Miami on Oct. 15-16.
2020 ACC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Pitt (192 points, 11 first-place votes)
2. Louisville (175 points, two first-place votes)
3. Georgia Tech (172 points, two first-place votes)
4. Notre Dame (158 points)
5. Florida State (145 points)
6. Syracuse (126 points)
7. North Carolina (121 points)
T8. Boston College (89 points)
T8. Miami (89 points)
10. Duke (82 points)
11. NC State (70 points)
12. Clemson (68 points)
13. Virginia (42 points)
14. Wake Forest (28 points)
15. Virginia Tech (18 points)
2020 ACC Volleyball Preseason All-ACC Team
Amaka Chukwujekwu, Boston College, Sr., MB
Taryn Knuth, Florida State, Sr., MB
Jasmyn Martin, Florida State, Sr., OH
Julia Bergmann, Georgia Tech, So., OH
Mariana Brambilla, Georgia Tech, Jr., OH
Matti McKissock, Georgia Tech, Jr., S
Tori Dilfer, Louisville, Sr., S
Aiko Jones, Louisville, So., OPP
Anna Stevenson, Louisville, Sr., MB
Elizaveta Lukianova, Miami, Sr., OH
Destiny Cox, North Carolina, Jr., OH
Melissa Evans, NC State, Sr., OPP
Charley Niego, Notre Dame, Jr., OH
Zoe Nunez, Notre Dame, Jr., S
Lexis Akeo, Pitt, So., S
Kayla Lund, Pitt, Sr., OH
Chinaza Ndee, Pitt, Sr., RS
Polina Shemanova, Syracuse, Jr., OH