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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
FSU band fires up home games

By Ashley Neff

FSU band
The Seminole Sound marching band takes game days to a new level as they play the FSU fight song and the fans do the Seminole chop.

There's no place like home. And for us, Tully Gym is our home.

This past weekend, we played our first home matches of the season and our last home matches until Oct. 11. We take a lot of pride in playing on our home court in front of our Seminole fans, family and amazing band, the Seminole Sound.

There is something about running out to the FSU fight song and our fans doing the Seminole chop. It gives me chills down my spine and lights a fire deep within to want to put my whole heart out on the court. There are moments where maybe we are down a few points and the second the band starts playing and the fans start cheering -- it's the perfect pump-up and motivation to keep fighting on.

The Seminole Sound is a huge factor to the atmosphere that makes game days so great. Even though they were unable to attend for our home tournament, I saw some of the members still attending our matches, which we appreciate so much! Their upbeat music and enthusiastic attitudes bring the whole gym together as one.

Florida State Seminoles
The FSU volleyball team knows when to have fun and when to get serious. They have a tough road ahead of them before starting ACC play.

After the first half of our warm-up, when we are done with hitting lines, we run down to our locker room to change our jerseys. Once everyone is ready to go, we charge out of the locker room yelling the war chant, then we enter the gym and the fight song starts playing. At that moment, three years later, I still get chills running onto the court.

We pass by the fans and head to our bench while the other team finishes their warm-up. Once we complete our warm-up, we sign volleyballs to throw to the fans. We all line up, join hands and listen to the Seminole Sound perform the national anthem. The other team's starters are called, and now it's our turn.

One by one our starters are called, next my name is called. "Senior middle blocker from Kennesaw, Georgia, number 14 Ashley Neff." I go down the line giving high-fives to my teammates, and this week I threw my ball to my mom. Luckily it actually made it into her hands. I'm not the best thrower in the world, which is good because we don't have to throw in volleyball, just hit, pass and block. One year, I actually misthrew it and it hit our athletic director in the foot, which was really awkward.

We came out of our opening home weekend with two wins and one loss. Our record is now 4-2, and we are ranked 16th in the AVCA polls. These next few weeks are going to be huge for our team! We head to Texas A&M for our last tournament to play A&M, Siena, and No. 7 Michigan. After the weekend, we head to Gainesville on Tuesday for a rival match against the Florida Gators. Then we finally play Auburn in our last weekend before we start ACC play. We are continuing to improve as a team and as individuals to work as one.

I'll leave you something Coach Mac tells us every day ... "One way to play, one day at a time."

Go Noles!