TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State sand volleyball team opens the 2013 campaign ranked fourth in the nation in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Poll released Monday.
The Seminoles, who finished with a 15-0 dual match record in the regular season a year ago, are behind only defending national champion No. 1 Pepperdine, defending runner-up No. 2 Long Beach State and No. 3 Southern California.
Florida State finished third at the inaugural AVCA National Championships last season.
FSU opened the 2013 season on Sunday with a Garnet and Gold Intersquad event at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex in front of over 300 fans.
The Seminoles travel to Los Angeles to face USC and Loyola Marymount on March 10.
Florida State returns sand All-American Aurora Davis (née Newgard) as well as indoor All-American Fatma Yildirim and national championships participants Mallory Kiley, Stephanie Pellietteri, Jeassica McGregor, Sarah Wickstrom and Jace Pardon.
This season 15 schools joined the sand volleyball ranks, putting the number of teams in the nation at 30.
Once the number of varsity teams crosses the 40-school threshold, which is anticipated to occur in the spring of 2014, the NCAA will begin making plans to transition sand volleyball to championship sport status. It is also anticipated that the sport, which is internationally known as Beach Volleyball, will undergo a name change at that time.
This season’s Top 10 preseason teams, as voted on by the participating institutions, are:
4. Florida State
5. University of Hawai’i
7. College of Charleston
8. Florida International University