Hokies begin ACC play in Florida

Match Notes

BLACKSBURG – For the first time since 2014, the Virginia Tech volleyball team won’t begin ACC play in the friendly confines of Cassell Coliseum, as the Hokies will travel to the Sunshine State to take on RV Miami (FL) on Friday at 7 p.m. ET and No. 19 Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fri. | 7 p.m. ET vs. Miami (FL) | Stats | Stream
Sun. | 1 p.m. ET vs. Florida State | Stats | Stream

Both of Tech’s matches against the Hurricanes and Seminoles will be streamed live online through ACC Network Extra. You can watch the action on your computer or on your phone via the WatchESPN app.

The last time out the Hokies went 0-2 at their own tournament, the Hokie Invitational. In front of a record home-opening crowd (873), the most since 2012, Virginia Tech was defeated by Radford, 3-0. It was the Highlanders’ third Power Five win of the season (Arizona, South Carolina and Virginia Tech).

Tech took on East Tennessee State the following day and had the same result, getting swept 3-0. A few season highs were set, though, with Alex Toben (8) and Carol Raffety (18) racking up season bests in digs, Abby McKinzie and Kylie Thomas each tallying two aces and Kelly Esch turning in six kills.

The Hokies have the sixth-best hitting percentage in the ACC, owning a mark of .228 through 11 matches. Junior Jaila Tolbert has the best hitting percentage on the team with a .322 clip and redshirt junior Rhegan Mitchell has the most assists in the conference with 383.



• Miami has had a total of five matches cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, therefore it has only played six matches on the year, owning a 6-0 record.

• Head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara is in his fifth year in Coral Gables and has led his squad to three NCAA Tournaments. Gandara, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara, played professional volleyball for a decade overseas in the Spanish, Brazilian, French and Puerto Rico leagues.

• The Hurricanes are led by Olga Strantzali, who boasts the best kills per set average in the entire conference (5.05). Strantzali earned AVCA All-American Honorable Mention honors last season and was picked preseason All-ACC in 2017. Miami also has another player who leads the league in a category, Haley Templeton (10.85 assists per set).

• Miami has a 17-7 advantage in the all-time series. The series started in 2002 when both of the teams were in the BIG EAST. The Hokies are 1-10 in Coral Gables and have not won on the road at The U since 2009.


• The Seminoles enter the weekend with a 6-2 record after losing this past Tuesday in three sets to their rival, the Florida Gators. Florida State, similar to Miami, had one of its tournaments cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. It was scheduled to play Tennessee and Arizona.

• Outside hitters Milica Kubara and Natasha Calkins lead the team in kills, combining for 221, which is over 50 percent of the teams’ total kills. Junior Brianne Burkert paces the Noles, dishing out 309 assists on the year at the setter position. Burkert owns the eighth-most assists in the ACC.

• FSU is coached by Chris Poole, who enters his 10th season in Tallahassee. Poole has led the Seminoles to seven-straight NCAA Tournaments and currently ranks as the seventh winningest active coach in Division I.

• The Hokies and Seminoles have played 34 matches in the all-time series, and Florida State owns the series 30-4. Tech has dropped seven of its last eight against the Noles, including three-straight.

For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @vthokievolleyball Instagram

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