Hokies begin homestand with Florida State, Miami

Game Notes

BLACKSBURG – Beginning its four-match home swing, the Virginia Tech volleyball team will take on Florida State on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Miami (Fla.) on Sunday at noon at the Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.

The Hokies (9-18, 3-13 ACC) will clash against two teams that were perfect last weekend in The Sunshine State. Both of the Seminoles (14-10, 8-8 ACC) and Hurricanes (17-5, 11-5 ACC) took down Tech, 3-1, opening weekend of ACC play. Head coach Jill Wilson’s squad won the second set against each team by the same score of 25-23.

Fri. | 6:30 p.m. ET vs. Florida State | Stats | Stream
Sun. | Noon ET vs. Miami | Stats | Stream

Both of Tech’s two matches will be streamed live on 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 in league play to close the eighth week of ACC competition. Tech went on the road for the final time and lost to Notre Dame and Louisville by a score of 3-0.

Against the Irish, middle blocker Cara Cunningham put down six kills on 17 errorless swings, marking the first time this season she completed a match with no errors.

Versus the first-place Cardinals, the Hokies played right with UofL with there being a total of 29 ties and 10 lead changes.

Freshman Kaity Smith played like she was back in her home state as the outside hitter racked up 17 kills, marking the second-most for her in conference play. Smith had a hitting percentage of .324, her best clip in ACC action and highest mark since opening weekend. She is coming off winning ACC Freshman of the Week, announced on Monday by the league office, for the second time in her young career.

Maryland native Stacey Christy has been a force defensively as of late, tallying three or more blocks her last four matches. The redshirt senior had a team-high four blocks and chipped in two kills.

Tech is third in the league for opponent digs, owning a 12.90 average per set. Redshirt junior Rhegan Mitchell is fifth among all ACC players in total assists with 967, and libero Carol Raffety is fifth in the league with 381 digs, averaging 3.81 per set.



• The Seminoles enter the weekend with a 14-10 overall record and are an even 8-8 in ACC play. Florida State is coming off two wins this past weekend, taking down Syracuse, 3-0, and Boston College, 3-1, on senior day.

• Outside hitters Milica Kubara and Natasha Calkins lead the team in kills, combining for 579, which is over 48 percent of the team’s total kills. Middle blocker Taryn Knuth paces the ‘Noles at the net, owning 1.41 blocks per set - the second-most in the league.

• FSU is coached by Chris Poole, who picked up his 800th career win over Syracuse on Nov. 10 and enters his 10th season in Tallahassee. Poole has led the Seminoles to seven-straight NCAA Tournaments and currently ranks as the fifth winningest active coach in Division I.

• The Hokies and Seminoles have played 35 matches in the all-time series, and Florida State owns the series 31-4. Tech has dropped eight of its last nine against the ‘Noles, including four-straight and a 3-0 loss on Sept. 22, 2017.


• The Hurricanes, who were Tech’s first ACC opponent of the year, enter Week 13 of the season with a 17-5 overall record and 11-5 reading in conference play. Miami (Fla.) also played in The Sunshine State this past weekend, defeating Boston College, 3-2, and Syracuse, 3-1, to stay tied for fourth in the ACC standings.

• 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 ‘Canes are led by Olga Strantzali, who boasts the best kills per set average in the entire conference (4.63). Strantzali earned AVCA All-American Honorable Mention honors last season and was picked preseason All-ACC in 2017. Miami also has another player who is one of the best in the league, with setter Haley Templeton owning the second-most assists per set in the conference (10.77).

• Miami has an 18-7 advantage in the all-time series. The series started in 2002 when both of the teams were in the BIG EAST. The 'Canes got the best of the Hokies to kickoff ACC play on Sept. 22, defeating Tech 3-1.

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

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