The Florida State Seminoles volleyball team finished the month of October with a 7-1 record, their lone loss of the month coming this past week against Miami in five sets. But a great month has put them right in the middle of a race for the ACC title.
With a win over the Virginia Tech Hokies on Sunday, the Seminoles are now 10-2 in conference play, just one game behind first-place Pitt Panthers. The Pittsburgh and Louisville split the ACC crown last season with the Cardinals winning the tie-breaker. For any chance of the 'Noles winning the conference championship this season, they will need to continue winning against the top teams as well as the struggling teams.
Over the next three weeks, Florida State will take on the top teams in the conference. They also face off with Notre Dame, currently sixth in the ACC, on two occasions, once at home and once on the road. The record of their opponents for their next four games is a combined 37-11, and they are lucky and play a red hot Pittsburgh team at home.
Pittsburgh currently only has the one loss, but if Florida State can finish the season without losing another match, they could win the conference with a tie-breaker over the Panthers. There is still a lot of season left though, with their next four matches against teams in the top-six in the ACC.
The last time Florida State played Pittsburgh was September 30, and the Seminoles took their first loss in conference play. But the star of FSU's team also had probably her worst performance of the season. Payton Caffrey finished with more errors(7) than kills (6) in the four-set match.
The 'Noles at least have some opponents that have struggled to end the season. North Carolina is 1-11 in conference play while NC State is 4-8, but the biggest part of these last six matches is where they are played.
FSU has struggled on the road this season with a 3-5 road record compared to their 10-1 record in Tully Gym. Four of the six matches will be on the road, so they have to prove they can consistently play in front of hostile crowds if they have any hopes of finishing atop the ACC.
Nov. 02: @ Notre Dame
Nov. 04: @ Louisville
Nov. 11: vs. Notre Dame
Nov. 16: vs. Pittsburgh
Nov. 21: @ UNC
Nov. 23: @ NC State
The 'Noles have a pretty good shot of making it into the NCAA Tournament again this season even if they can't win the conference. Last season, six teams from the ACC made it into the field of 64. Unless they fall apart, they should be seen as one of the better teams in the country over the last two months of the season.
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