Noles and Canes to continue volleyball rivalry on ESPNU

Posted at 2:34 PM, Oct 15, 2013
and last updated 2015-03-04 17:31:29-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  – The 19th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team renews its rivalry with conference opponent Miami on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in a nationally-televised contest airing on ESPNU at 8 p.m. in Tully Gym.

Calling the 40th match between the Seminoles (12-5, 5-1) and Hurricanes (13-3, 6-0) will be Adam Amin on play-by-play and former Georgia volleyball player Maria Taylor providing color analysis.

Florida State finds itself in a four-way tie for second place in the conference standings with No. 13 North Carolina, No. 24 Duke, and NC State with each team looking up at first-place Miami. FSU leads the all-time series 21-17-1, and own a 7-6 home record versus the Hurricanes.

Wednesday night’s televised matchup is another student loyalty point match, where students can come to Tully Gym and earn points that count toward different prizes.

“They are undefeated right now. They’re the only undefeated team left in the ACC,” head coach Chris Poole said of Miami. “This is a huge match for us and we hope the fans will come out and try to get us over that hump and tie this thing back up in the standings.”

For the third consecutive year, the Seminoles and the Hurricanes will square off in a nationally-televised ESPNU contest. Two seasons ago on Sept. 14, 2011, FSU defeated then-No. 20 Miami in a three-set sweep. Last year on Sept. 7, 2012, Miami upended then-No. 6 FSU in four sets on ESPNU.

In the Chris Poole era (2008-present), FSU has a winning record against every current ACC opponent except Miami. The ‘Canes and ‘Noles are 5-5 against each other since the 2008 season.

FSU has strung together an impressive home winning streak against ACC competition. The ‘Noles have won 20 straight matches at home versus conference foes and haven’t lost since falling to Miami on Nov. 26, 2010.

The last meeting between these two rivals occurred last season on Nov. 23 in a de facto ACC Championship match. With both teams holding identical 17-2 conference records heading into the final ACC match, Florida State sealed its second straight ACC title with a 3-1 win aided by Olivera Medic’s 10 kills and 18 digs.

Senior middle blocker Ashley Neff posted an incredible hitting performance in both wins last week over Maryland and Pitt. In the two matches, the reigning ACC Player of the Year recorded 18 kills on 23 swings for a .783 hitting percentage. Neff also totaled 11 blocks in the two matches combined.

In six ACC matches so far, Florida State’s stellar defense has held conference foes to a .172 hitting percentage. Offensively, the ‘Noles have hit .257 in ACC play.

In her three career matches against Miami, senior right-side hitter Elise Walch has enjoyed some success. In two matches played in 2011, Walch combined for 21 kills and a .390 hitting percentage. Overall, the Stuart, Fla., native has recorded 33 kills and a .329 attack percentage against Miami while donning the Garnet and Gold.

The ‘Canes are guided by the hitting of juniors Alexis Mourning and Emani Sims. Mourning is fourth in the ACC with a .345 hitting percentage and Sims is fifth, hitting at .342. Fellow junior outside hitter Savanah Leaf leads Miami with a 3.85 kills per set average, which is third in the conference. Leaf is also potent in her service game with 21 aces on the season.

Miami leads all ACC teams in hitting percentage in conference playing, showing a .274 clip. The Hurricanes are coming off consecutive three-set shutouts at home over Maryland and Pitt.

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