College Sports | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

FSU Sand Volleyball Goes 3-0 in Home Tourney

By: FSU Sports Information Email
By: FSU Sports Information Email

Tallahassee - Behind impressive depth and veteran experience, the fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team captured the team championship by going 3-0 during dual play action on Day 1 of the Florida State Sand Volleyball Invitational on Saturday.

The Seminoles defeated South Carolina (5-0), LSU (5-0) and Jacksonville (4-1) on what quickly became a beautiful day at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.

The six-match event began in rainy conditions against the Gamecocks, who are in their inaugural season and previously faced the Seminoles in an exhibition in Tallahassee in November. By the end of the match, the rain was gone, the sun was out and Florida State had run away with the opening 5-0 victory.

The Seminoles didn’t drop a set in their first two matches, as they also beat LSU, 5-0.

In the afternoon, Florida State picked up a 4-1 victory over Jacksonville.

“We came out well-rested, we actually had a couple of days off this week, so the girls came out, they knew this was their big home match of the year, and they’re just firing on all cylinders,” Florida State assistant coach Brian Corso said. “We did video work through the week fine-tuning some things, so they had a lot in their minds of what they needed to work on in these few matches in the beginning, and they did that.”

LSU finished 2-1 on the day, while Jacksonville went 1-2 and South Carolina had an 0-3 mark.

All four teams will return to the FSU Sand Volleyball complex beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday for silver and gold bracket double elimination tournament play. The silver bracket will feature each team’s No. 3, 4 and 5 pairs, while the gold bracket will have each roster’s top two duos.

The Seminoles had dominant efforts from Court 1 to Court 5 on Saturday and were able to use the day to showcase some pairings that could be vital as the season enters its second half and the AVCA National Championships approach. Senior Fatma Yildirim, an honorable mention indoor All-American, and junior Sarah Wickstrom, a sand All-American and indoor setter, were playing together for the first time since the 2012 season. The pair went 3-0, routing opponents on Court 5 against South Carolina (21-9, 21-12) and LSU (21-13, 21-11).

“It’s the first time in a while, but it feels great to be playing with Fatma again,” Wickstrom said. “We get to split blocks, which we haven’t done all year, and that’s something that’s really fun and we’re having a good time, so it’s good to be back together. Hopefully, Fatma and I can stay together and continue to dominate.”

Wickstrom and Yildirim moved up to Court 4 against Jacksonville and continued their success, winning 21-12, 21-10.

Of course that pair wasn’t the only Garnet and Gold duo to finish undefeated.

The All-American duo of junior Jace Pardon and senior Aurora Davis didn’t drop a set and finished 3-0 on the day on Court 1 to move their season record to 16-1.

Pardon and Davis will be the favorites to capture the gold bracket championship on Sunday.

Junior Stephanie Pellitteri and her sister, sophomore Stephanie Pellitteri, went 2-0 with resounding victories over South Carolina (21-17, 21-13) and LSU (21-6, 21-17) on Court 2 to open the day before sitting out the final match. The sisters are 12-3 this season.

Another vital pairing as the season continues will be the duo of freshman Julia Thompson and sophomore Annie Montgomery. After playing six previous matches this season, all in tournament play, the pair began the day on Court 4 by defeating the South Carolina team of Chynna Ratner and Litsa Darby, 21-9, 21-14. Thompson and Montgomery used a 17-5 run to close the first set to help set the tone for the remainder of the match and the rest of the day.

Montgomery and Thompson also picked up a 21-13, 21-9 victory on Court 4 versus LSU and a 21-17, 21-17 win on Court 3 against Jacksonville.

Junior Melanie Pavels and sophomore Julie Brown finished 2-1 on the day with victories on Court 3 over South Carolina (21-15, 21-13) and LSU (21-15, 21-11), but fell on Court 2 against the Jacksonville duo of Kendall Courtney and Niatha Cullen, 22-20, 21-17.

Freshmen Hailey Luke and Sierra Sanchez competed on Court 5 against Jacksonville and grabbed a 21-6, 21-9 victory.

The Seminoles moved to 10-1 on the season and remain undefeated against East Coast teams since sand volleyball’s first season in 2012.

For more information visit Seminoles.com and follow the Florida State sand volleyball team’s official twitter account @FSU_SVB.

-www.seminoles.com-

Complete Results
#4 Florida State 5, South Carolina 0
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis (FSU) def. Paige Wheeler-Megan Kent (SC) 21-14, 21-11
2.) Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Mikaela Christiaansen-Sarah Blomgren (SC) 21-17, 21-13
3.) Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Jordan Loney-Jade Vitt (SC) 21-15, 21-13
4.) Julia Thompson-Annie Montgomery (FSU) def. Chynna Ratner-Litsa Darby 21-9, 21-14
5.) Fatma Yildirim-Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Erin Neuenfeldt-Koko Atoa-Williams (SC) 21-9, 21-12

LSU 3, Jacksonville 2
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Taylor Nyquist-Sammie Strausbaugh (JU) def. Meghan Mannari-Katie Lindelow (LSU) 21-11, 21-15
2.) Kendall Courtney-Gabriela Roman (JU) def. Kaitlin Hatcher-Helen Boyle (LSU) 19-21, 21-14, 15-7
3.) Victoria Boraski-Cati Leak (LSU) def. Emily Laskelle-Mayara Prestes (JU) 18-21, 21-16, 15-13
4.) Malorie Pardo-Laura Whalen (LSU) def. Lauren Homrich-Rachel Miller (JU) 14-21, 23-21, 15-11
5.) Emma Hiller-Briana Holman (LSU) def. Jizzian Gesualdo-Shelby Barnett (JU) 21-15, 21-15

#4 Florida State 5, LSU 0
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis (FSU) def. Meghan Mannari-Katie Lindelow (LSU) 21-9, 21-11
2.) Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Mimi Eugene-Kaitlin Hatcher (LSU) 21-6, 21-17
3.) Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Victoria Boraski-Cati Leak (LSU) 21-15, 21-11
4.) Julia Thompson-Annie Montgomery (FSU) def. Laura Whalen-Malorie Pardo (LSU) 21-13, 21-9
5.) Fatma Yildirim-Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Briana Holman-Emma Hiller (LSU) 21-13, 21-11

Jacksonville 4, South Carolina 1
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Taylor Nyquist-Sammie Strausbaugh (JU) def. Paige Wheeler-Megan Kent (SC) 12-21, 21-15, 15-9
2.) Kendall Courtney-Niatha Cullen (JU) def. Mikaela Christiaansen-Sarah Blomgren (SC) 19-21, 21-18. 15-12
3.) Jordan Loney-Jade Vitt (SC) def. Lauren Homrich-Hannah McMahon (JU) 21-9, 21-19
4.) Gabriela Roman-Mayara Prestes (JU) def. Chynna Ratner-Litsa Darby (SC) 21-17, 21-8
5.) Alyssa Robertson-Emily Laskelle (JU) def. Erin Neuenfeldt-Koko Atoa-Williams (SC) 21-18, 9-21, 15-6

#4 Florida State 4, Jacksonville 1
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis (FSU) def. Taylor Nyquist-Sammie Strausbaugh (JU) 21-16, 21-19
2.) Kendall Courtney-Niatha Cullen (JU) def. Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) 22-20, 21-17
3.) Julia Thompson-Annie Montgomery (FSU) def. Gabriela Roman-Mayara Prestes (JU) 21-17, 21-17
4.) Fatma Yildirim-Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Emily Laskelle-Rachel Miller (JU) 21-12, 21-10
5.) Hailey Luke-Sierra Sanchez (FSU) def. Lauren Homrich-Jizzian Gesualdo (JU) 21-6, 21-9

LSU 3, South Carolina 2
At Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.
1.) Meghan Mannari-Katie Lindelow (LSU) def. Paige Wheeler-Megan Kent (SC) 23-21, 21-16
2.) Kaitlin Hatcher-Helen Boyle (LSU) def. Mikaela Christiaansen-Sarah Blomgren (SC) 21-10, 21-19
3.) Victoria Boraski-Cati Leak (LSU) def. Jordan Loney-Jade Vitt (SC) 21-15, 21-17
4.) Chynna Ratner-Litsa Darby (SC) def. Malorie Pardo-Mimi Eugene (LSU) 17-21, 21-18,15-13
5.) Erin Neuenfeldt-Koko Atoa-Williams (SC) def. Emma Hiller-Briana Holman (LSU) 21-10, 21-19


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