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

FSU Sand Volleyball Sweeps Duals at Home Tourney

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

Tallahassee, FL - In a day that had four dual matches and the first rounds of bracket play, the Florida State sand volleyball team lived up to its No. 3 ranking by sweeping the College of Charleston and UAB, 5-0. Georgia State saw also saw action against FSU as three of the four Seminole pairs in bracket play added victories of their own to create an edge going into the rest of bracket play on Sunday.

In the first dual match of the day, Florida State squared off against the College of Charleston. A clean sweep was in jeopardy when the pair of Julie Brown and Melanie Pavels dropped the first set to the duo of Darcy Dorton and Andi Zbojniewicz, 19-21, but they kept their composure and fought back to win the next two sets and the match, 23-21, 15-12.

The Seminoles’ No. 1 team of Jace Pardon and Sarah Wickstrom, despite having limited playing time together, conquered the pair of Lizzie Theesfeld and Melissa Morello in straight sets, 21-10, 21-13.

“We just started playing together but we keep getting better every time we play,” Wickstrom said. “We are just getting used to it, trying to get better every time.”

One of the big strengths of Florida State is its depth and ability to change partners to give them an advantage against other teams.

“We are just so deep. That’s what our coaches have said,” says Aurora Davis. “They feel like they can put any team anywhere. It’s so nice. We change partners all the time and are doing just as good. It’s really nice to have that depth.”

Florida State has trusted their depth all season and hopes it brings them a National Championship in two weeks. Head coach Danalee Corso said, “We have a lot of depth and we’ve talked about that all year and that’s really what this sport is about. It’s a team championship. You have to win two out of the three duals.”

The ‘Noles also played UAB in a dual match this afternoon. The Seminoles continued where they left off from their first match with the College of Charleston, and won each match on all five courts against the Blazers. The sister connection of Stephanie and Nina Pellitteri shined on court five with a 21-9, 21-11 victory over Becca Howard and Kate Morrell of UAB.

Although Florida State swept both schools, coach Corso thought there was much room for improvement. “I think we were a little flat today,” Corso said. “We had a really tough weekend last weekend, 12-hour days in the hot sun and a lot of competition. I think that we kind of took it easy this week and maybe we went a little too easy.”

The Seminoles dominated regardless of playing flat, and relied on the fundamentals the coaching staff has been preaching all year long to earn home victories. “I think we have better fundamentals than anyone in the country so I think we have that to rely on even on days where we don’t play great.”

In a day filled with plenty of smiles, nothing made coach more proud than being able to honor four seniors on Senior Day. Mallory Kiley, Marija Milosavljevic, Amanda Saxton, and Fatma Yildirim were recognized on center court in front of the Seminole crowd.

“As I stood there next to them I realized how much they bring to the team as far as maturity,” said Corso. “Amanda is such a special girl. Mallory is a fifth-year senior so she is kind of the grandma of the team. She’s got a lot of wisdom. That’s an honor. There’s age behind that, and there’s maturity and wisdom as well. The other two [Marija and Fatma] are older international players and so they have a lot of different experiences as volleyball is concerned with playing forever. We are really going to miss them. It’s going to feel like a lot younger of a team without those four. We will definitely miss them a lot.”

The day concluded with the first round of bracket play. There were two brackets, Gold and Silver, with each school’s top two teams playing in the Gold bracket, and the school’s next three teams playing in the Silver bracket. The No. 3 teams from each school received a first round bye. Three of the four Seminole teams were victorious in the first round with the only team, Brown and Pavels, falling to the best pair in the tournament, Lane Carico and Katie Madewell from Georgia State, 21-18, 16-21, 6-15.

Bracket play resumes tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Seminole Volleyball courts.

For more information on the Florida State sand volleyball team, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_SVB.

Results:

Duals

Florida State 5, College of Charleston 0
Court 1 – Jace Pardon/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Lizzie Theesfeld/Melissa Morello (C. of C.) – 21-10, 21-13
Court 2 – Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Darcy Dorton/Andi Zbojniewicz (C. of C.) – 19-21, 23-21, 15-12
Court 3 – Aurora Davis/Katherine Plessy (FSU) def. Emily Neideffer/Kelly Kolich (C. of C.) – 21-13, 21-14
Court 4 – Mallory Kiley/Fatma Yildirim (FSU) def. Sloane White/Taeler Davis (C. of C.) – 21-17, 21-17
Court 5 – Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Emily Shelton/Catey Warren (C. of C.) – 21-17, 21-15

Georgia State 3, UAB 2
Court 1 – Lane Carico/Katie Madewell (GSU) def. Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) – 21-10, 21-11
Court 2 – Jansen Button/Sara Olivova (GSU) def. Ally Slaughter/Kirsten Gallagher (UAB) – 21-15, 21-19
Court 3 – Milani Pickering/Katelyn Rawls (GSU) def. Alison Woods/Sam Serley (UAB) – 15-21, 21-15, 15-12
Court 4 – Rachel Fairbanks/Sara Rishell (UAB) def. Molly Smestad/Alexis Elmurr (GSU) – 21-16, 25-23
Court 5 – Becca Howard/Sam Skinner (UAB) def. Nikki Senopoulous/Kaitlynn Kavanaugh (GSU) – 16-21, 21-14, 15-7

Florida State 5, UAB 0
Court 1 – Jace Pardon/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) – 26-24, 21-14
Court 2 – Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Ally Slaughter/Kirsten Gallagher (UAB) – 21-17, 21-15
Court 3 – Aurora Davis/Katherine Plessy (FSU) def. Alison Woods/Sam Serley (UAB) – 21-14, 21-14
Court 4 – Mallory Kiley/Fatma Yildirim (FSU) def. Rachel Fairbanks/Sara Rishell (UAB) – 18-21, 21-18, 15-11
Court 5 – Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Becca Howard/Kate Morrell (UAB) – 21-9, 21-11

College of Charleston 3, Georgia State 2
Court 1 – Lane Carico/Katie Madewell (GSU) def. Lizzie Theesfeld/Melissa Morello (C. of C.) – 21-19, 21-18
Court 2 – Jansen Button/Sara Olivova (GSU) def. Darcy Dorton/Andi Zbojniewicz (C. of C.) – 21-10, 21-15
Court 3 – Kelly Kolich/Emily Neideffer (C. of C.) def. Katelyn Rawls/Milani Pickering (GSU) – 14-21, 21-15, 16-14
Court 4 – Sloane White/Taeler Davis (C. of C.) def. Molly Smestad/Alexis Elmurr (GSU) – 21-18, 16-21, 15-8
Court 5 – Emily Shelton/Catey Warren (C. of C.) def. Karlee Kavanaugh/Alexis Townsend (GSU) – 21-15, 21-18

Bracket Play

Gold
Court 1 – Jace Pardon/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Jansen Button/Sara Olivova (GSU) – 21-7, 21-13
Court 2 – Lane Carico/Katie Madewell (GSU) def. Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU) – 18-21, 21-16, 15-6
Court 3 – Lizzie Theesfeld/Melissa Morello (C. of C.) def. Ally Slaughter/Kirsten Gallagher (UAB)– 20-22, 21-13, 15-10
Court 4 – Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) def. Darcy Doron/Andi Zbojniewicz (C. of C.) – 14-21, 21-15, 17-15

Silver
Court 1 – Becca Howard/Sam Skinner (UAB) def. Molly Smestad/Alexis Elmurr (GSU) – 19-21, 21-14, 15-9
Court 2 – Mallory Kiley/Fatma Yildirim (FSU) def. Emily Shelton/Catey Warren (C. of C.) – 21-18, 21-14
Court 3 – Rachel Fairbanks/Sara Rishell (UAB) def. Karlee Kavanaugh/Alexis Townsend (GSU) – 21-9, 18-21, 18-16
Court 4 – Stephanie Pelletteri/Kristina Pelletteri (FSU) def. Sloane White/Taeler Davis (C. of C.) – 22-20, 21-10


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