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FSU volleyball returns home for match against UAB

Posted at 1:35 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 13:35:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After three straight road games, the Florida State volleyball team (7-3) returns to Tully Gym for a Saturday afternoon match with UAB (4-6). First serve is set for 2 p.m. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra with Shawn Davison (Play-by-Play), former Seminole head coach Cecile Renaud (Color) and Alex DeCapua (Sideline) on the call. Admission to the match is free and doors to Tully Gym will open at 1 p.m.

Mental Health Awareness Match

Saturday’s match will serve as FSU’s “Mental Health Awareness Match.” Fans are encouraged to arrive early to pick up their green ribbons while supplies last. Fans will also be able to write encouragement notes to the athletes. All of these supplies can be found at the marketing table at the entrance of Tully Gym.

Scouting the Blazers

The UAB Blazers are off to a 4-6 start and are coming off an 11-14 campaign in 2021. Head Coach Betsy Freeburg is in her third season with the Blazers with a 23-29 record. The Blazers have dropped three out of its last four matches, however, the losses to Troy and Auburn were each five set matches. The Blazers are led by 2021 First Team All-Conference USA selection Fernanda Maida. Maida has tallied 147 kills this season and averages 4.08 kills per set which is tied for 43rd nationally. Maia Rackel and Alex Kells each have 133 and 106 kills respectively for the Blazers.

New Blood

The Noles have added three new key pieces to the 2022 squad. Freshman Audrey Rothman, senior Andjelija Draskovic and graduate student Emily Ryan have all had immediate impacts for the Noles.

The 2021 USA Today Girls Volleyball Player of the Year has been as good as advertised. Rothman is currently dealing with an ankle injury, but in eight matches, Rothman has tallied 79 kills and also leads the team in digs with 86 and has nine aces this season as well.

The setter and middle duo of Draskovic and Ryan has been phenomenal for the Noles this season. Draskovic, a transfer from UMBC, has a team-high 218 assists, and Ryan is second on the team in kills with 91 and leads the team in blocks with 35.

Spreading the Wealth

The Noles have several athletes who are factors at the net. The Noles have five athletes with more than 70 kills through 10 matches this season. FSU is the only team in the conference to accomplish this feat. In fact, no ACC team has more than three players with over 70 kills.

The Best Birthday Present

Senior setter Andjelija Draskovic made history on her 22nd birthday in the Garnet and Gold. On Sept. 8 against Nebraska-Omaha, Draskovic reached 1,000 career assists at the Division I level. Draskovic tallied 846 assists last season at UMBC and currently has 218 assists in 10 matches. this season. Draskovic became the 20th Seminole setter to tally 1,000 career assists. Draksovic is 519 assists from cracking the top 15 list for total career assists in program history.

No Gator Hangover

The Noles have had great success in games immediately following their rivalry game with Florida in recent history. In the past 10 seasons where the Noles have faced the Gators, FSU has won eight out of the last 10 matches that follow the Florida match.

Serving Up Aces

Sophomore Audrey Koenig has been a great surprise for the Noles behind the service line this season. A 2021 ACC All-Freshman Team selection, Koenig leads the team in aces with 17 and is averaging 0.47 aces per set which ranks sixth in the ACC. This comes after Koenig rarely served last year for the Seminoles and did not record a single ace during the 2021 season.

Starting Quick

The Noles have gotten to great starts in the majority of their matches this season. The Noles have been the first team to 15 in 21 out their 36 sets this season. The Noles are 15-6 in sets where they are the first team to reach 15 points.

Last Time Out

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida State volleyball team (7-3) fell in straight sets (19-25, 27-29, 22-25) to No. 15 Florida (7-2) Tuesday night at Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Fla.

The Noles got off to a great start to the match, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. The Gators fought back, but the Noles were still the first team to 15 with the 15-13 lead. The Gators then went on a 12-4 run to take the first set 25-19.

The second set was tight from start to finish, but the Noles were able to get to set point at 24-23. The Noles would have three total set points, but the Gators came back to take set two 29-27.

The Noles controlled set three for the first 20 points, but the Gators went on a 5-0 run after a Florida State timeout to take the match-clinching set.

Emily Ryan led the Noles with 11 kills with an impressive .429 hitting percentage. Audrey Koenig added nine kills while Skye Ekes tallied a season-high eight kills.