CORAL GABLES, Fla. - After playing 19 Atlantic Coast Conference matches each, rivals Miami and Florida State have identical 17-2 league records heading into the regular season finale Friday in Tallahassee, Fla. The winner-take-all championship tilt will begin at 1 p.m. at Tully Gym and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
"It is going to be fun - Florida State is a great team and we know that," head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We had a great match with them earlier in the year and we are going to expect their best Friday. In order to win, we will have to play at our very best. It is setting up for a great situation; everyone in our program is looking forward to it."
Miami (25-4) defeated then-No. 6 Florida State at the Knight Sports Complex on Sept. 7 in front of a record crowd and national television audience (ESPNU). It was the first win over a top-10 team in volleyball in school history. Junior right side Alex Johnson, a native of Tallahassee, notched a match-high 16 kills to go with 16 digs to earn ACC Player of the Week. After the final point was won, the enthusiastic student section rushed the court to celebrate the victory.
"We played at a very high level and served and passed very well," Lantagne Welch said after the match. "Our offense was in great rhythm. We used a lot of our quickness and speed to beat them."
Miami proved that the win was no fluke, earning the most ACC wins in school history, 17. UM is the only team to have defeated all 11 conference opponents.
The Seminoles (26-3) lead the all-time series 21-18-1 dating back to 1978, with UM taking the last two meetings at home. FSU won the latest matchup at Tully Gym in three sets on Sept. 14, 2010.
The Hurricanes will be looking to end Florida State's 25-match winning streak at home, being the last team to win on their court on Nov. 26, 2010. FSU has won three ACC titles, while UM will be looking to clinch its first.
Follow @CanesVB on Twitter for updates throughout the match.