Florida State Advances to Minneapolis Regional Semifinal
Dec. 7, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – After clinching the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship and the league’s automatic berth in the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championship with a 19-1 conference record, the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles (American Volleyball Coaches Association) won its first and second round matches (Dec. 5-6) to advance to the Round of 16. The Seminoles are the first ACC team to advance to the third round of NCAA action since 2004, when Georgia Tech won its first and second round matches before losing to Minnesota, 3-2.
Florida State, the tournament’s third overall seed, hosted the first and second rounds in Tully Gymnasium in Tallahassee, Fla. and posted a 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-10) sweep of Alabama A&M in the first round on Saturday, December 5. The win was the 600th career victory for second-year head coach Chris Poole, who was named the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year last week. Poole is the 16th active Division I coach with 600 victories.
In second-round action, the Seminoles upended Jacksonville State, 3-0, with set scores of 25-18, 26-24, and 25-22, to improve to 30-2 for the season. Florida State, which is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA volleyball championship, won just its second first-round match in program history—and first NCAA match in Tallahassee—and is advancing to the Round of 16 for the first time in school history.
Florida State was one of a league-record five teams to earn berths in the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championship, with Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Miami also making appearances. In addition to becoming the first team since Georgia Tech in 2004 to advance past the second round, the Seminoles are just the third ACC team to accomplish the feat since 1980, when the league first sponsored volleyball. Duke advanced to the third round of action in 1993 and 1994, but was swept by Texas and UCLA, respectively, in each season. Two current ACC teams—North Carolina and Miami (as a member of the Big East Conference—advanced to the third round in 2002, but were swept by Hawaii and Nebraska, respectively. Georgia Tech made third-round appearances in 2003 and 2004, and played in the regional final in 2003, losing in four sets to Hawaii.
Florida State will have the opportunity to become the second ACC team to advance to the regional final when its plays Kentucky (29-4), currently ranked 13th by the AVCA, on Friday, December 11 at 6 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minn. The winner will play the winner between No. 11 Minnesota, the regional host, and No. 25 Colorado State on Saturday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. The match will be televised by ESPNU.