Tallahassee, FL - The 20th-ranked Florida State University volleyball team has reaped the benefits of head coach Chris Poole’s rigorous scheduling, showing the 14th-highest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) in the country following the NCAA’s first unveiling of the all-important formula.
The RPI, one of the primary statistical measures for postseason seeding, bases a team’s strength on both its winning percentage and strength of schedule. The Seminoles (12-3, 4-1), which entered the season with eight teams on their schedule that were 2009 postseason participants, are 4-3 against the Top 40 RPI teams. The four victories include No. 19 Oklahoma (W, 3-1) in Houston, at No. 24 Miami (W, 3-1), No. 33 Virginia Tech (W, 3-2) and at No. 40 Kentucky (W, 3-2).
“This is a fair place to be right now after the first half of the season,” Poole said. “We knew this season would be a transition with losing five seniors, but the girls have stepped up and stayed competitive. Two of the three losses we had were very close matches and we have found a way to win in most of our matches this season. That speaks a lot for the potential this team has even with the new players.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference boasts five teams that rank in the Top 33, including No. 13 Duke, FSU, No. 15 North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech. The conference is tied for the second-most teams in the Top 25 RPI, tying the Pac-10 and trailing only the Big Ten (5).
“This is the strongest and most depth there has ever been in the ACC, and it makes every match a challenge for us,” Poole added. “We have still not come close to reaching our potential and we continue to improve on different aspects every week.”
Despite the competitiveness of the conference, FSU remains the only team ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll. It marks the 21st consecutive week the Seminoles have stayed in the weekly national rankings.
FSU has more opportunities to raise its RPI this season. The Seminoles, who finished with the third-highest RPI in 2009, face fellow preseason ACC favorite Duke on Sunday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. in Tully Gym. FSU also faces North Carolina again on Nov. 12 in Tallahassee, and takes on the Hurricanes at home on Nov. 26.
FSU has two matches at Tully Gym this weekend, including a Sunday afternoon tilt against Georgia Tech that will be televised on FOX Sports Florida at 1 p.m. The Seminoles also play Clemson on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
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