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FSU Sand Volleyball Captures 1st at Pairs Challenge

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

Tallahassee - The fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team cruised to the Team Cup Championship on Saturday at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex on the second day of the Florida State Pairs Challenge.

The All-American duo of senior Aurora Davis and junior Jace Pardon finished off an undefeated 6-0 weekend by collecting the Gold Division title, while the pair of freshmen Sierra Sanchez and Hailey Luke also went 6-0 and captured the AAA crown.

Those two teams helped the Seminoles finish in first in the team competition with 53 points. Georgia State (45 points) placed second, while South Carolina (33) was third and ULM (31) was fourth.

FSU’s performance was the perfect tune-up in the last regular season event before the AVCA National Championships from May 2-4.

"We got what we were hoping for which was to win the team cup and to win both divisions,” Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. “We invited some of the best teams in the East in order to help prepare for the National Championships. I am very pleased. They battled hard."

Davis and Pardon will head to the National Championships with a nearly-perfect 36-1 record after a weekend where they were never really tested and did not drop a set.

“Coming into this weekend we had a domination mentality,” Pardon said. “We weren't going to allow any teams to beat us.”

It was a fitting performance on Senior Day for Davis as well as teammate Fatma Yildirim, who finished second with her partner junior Sarah Wickstrom in the Gold Division – which featured the top four seeds at the event. The pair was honored midway through Saturday’s competition.

“Aurora and Fatma are going to be missed next year,” Corso said. “Leadership and experience are intangibles that are hard to recruit and those two have both. They are also very well-liked by their teammates. It is always tough to lose two great players like that. We still have the National Championships to send them off on a high note.”
During two days that featured near constant rain, chilly temperatures and windy weather, the Seminoles never let the conditions affect their play.

Sanchez and Luke entered the weekend with a 6-2 record together, but doubled their win total with a fantastic weekend. The pair only dropped one set all weekend en route to winning the AAA pool.

“The sky is the limit for those two,” Corso said. “They've got youth on their side. They need a little bit more experience, but we are getting that with this kind of tournament."

Luke is a setter on the FSU indoor team and Sanchez came all the way from California to be a collegiate sand player. The pair is just now perfecting its chemistry on the court.

“We have become such great friends on and off the court and I think we are communicating really well which is allowing us to play really well together,” Luke said.

Junior Melanie Pavels and sophomore Julie Brown placed fourth in the Gold division, while sophomores Kayla Joyce and Lexy Ryan placed just behind Sanchez and Luke in second in the AAA division. Sophomore Annie Montgomery and freshman Julia Thompson placed fourth in the AAA pool, falling in a pair of three-set thrillers.

The Seminoles will host a Garnet and Gold Intersquad match at 12 p.m. in one week, on April 26, at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex as part of the final preparation for the 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships.

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

Team Cup Results
First - Florida State (53 points)
Second - Georgia State (45 points)
Third - South Carolina (33 points)
Fourth - ULM (31 points)

Saturday Team Cup Pool Results:

Gold (FSU1 3-0, FSU2 2-1, ULM1 1-2, FSU3 0-3)
Aurora Davis/Jace Pardon (FSU1) def. Zuzana Markova/Marcela Araya (ULM1) 21-11, 21-17
Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU2) def. Melanie Pavels/Julie Brown (FSU3) 24-22, 21-12
Aurora Davis/Jace Pardon (FSU1) def. Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU2) 21-10, 21-15
Zuzana Markova/Marcela Araya (ULM1) def. Melanie Pavels/Julie Brown (FSU3) 21-17, 17-21, 15-10
Aurora Davis/Jace Pardon (FSU1) def. Melanie Pavels/Julie Brown (FSU3) 21-11, 21-10
Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU2) def. Zuzana Markova/Marcela Araya (ULM1) 21-19, 21-17

Silver (GSU2 3-0, GSU1 2-1, ULM3 1-2, SC1 0-3)
Sara Olivova/Jansen Button (GSU2) def. Hadley Swartz/Hope Pawlik (ULM3) 21-15, 21-15
Katie Madewell/Moriah Bellissimo (GSU1) def. Paige Wheeler/Sarah Blomgren (SC1) 21-16, 21-18
Sara Olivova/Jansen Button (GSU2) def. Paige Wheeler/Sarah Blomgren (SC1) 21-13, 21-14
Katie Madewell/Moriah Bellissimo (GSU1) def. Hadley Swartz/Hope Pawlik (ULM3) 21-6, 21-16
Sara Olivova/Jansen Button (GSU2) def. Katie Madewell/Moriah Bellissimo (GSU1) 22-20, 21-15
Hadley Swartz/Hope Pawlik (ULM3) def. Paige Wheeler/Sarah Blomgren (SC1) 15-21, 21-15, 15-8

Bronze (SC3 3-0, GSU3 2-1, SC2 1-2, ULM2 0-3)
Mikaela Christiaansen/Jade Vitt (SC3) def. Michelle McNamee/Blanca Ocana (ULM2) 21-16, 21-23, 15-13
Katelyn Rawls/Sarah Agnew (GSU3) def. Jordan Loney/Megan Kent (SC2) 21-19, 21-15
Mikaela Christiaansen/Jade Vitt (SC3) def. Katelyn Rawls/Sarah Agnew (GSU3) 21-17, 21-18
Jordan Loney/Megan Kent (SC2) def. Michelle McNamee/Blanca Ocana (ULM2) 19-21, 21-19, 15-13
Mikaela Christiaansen/Jade Vitt (SC3) def. Jordan Loney/Megan Kent (SC2) 21-10, 21-17
Katelyn Rawls/Sarah Agnew (GSU3) def. Michelle McNamee/Blanca Ocana (ULM2) 15-21, 21-15, 15-8

AAA (FSU5 3-0, FSU6 2-1, GSU5 1-2, FSU4 0-3)
Hailey Luke/Sierra Sanchez (FSU5) def. Delaney Rohan/Alexis Townsend (GSU5) 21-16, 20-22, 15-13
Lexy Ryan/Kayla Joyce (FSU6) def. Annie Montgomery/Julia Thompson (FSU4) 19-21, 21-14, 19-17
Hailey Luke/Sierra Sanchez (FSU5) def. Lexy Ryan/Kayla Joyce (FSU6) 21-12, 21-9
Delaney Rohan/Alexis Townsend (GSU5) def. Annie Montgomery/Julia Thompson (FSU4) 21-12, 19-21, 15-13
Hailey Luke/Sierra Sanchez (FSU5) def. Annie Montgomery/Julia Thompson (FSU4) 26-24, 21-14
Lexy Ryan/Kayla Joyce (FSU6) def. Delaney Rohan/Alexis Townsend (GSU5) 21-19, 18-21, 15-13

AA (GSU4 3-0, SC5 2-1, GSU7 1-2, GSU6 0-3)
Milani Pickering/Natalie Wilson (GSU4) def. Jessica Fourspring/Molly Smestad (GSU7) 21-12, 21-18
Chyna Ratner/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) def. Karlee Kavanaugh/Alexis Elmurr (GSU6) 21-19, 21-19
Milani Pickering/Natalie Wilson (GSU4) def. Chyna Ratner/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) 21-12, 21-12
Jessica Fourspring/Molly Smestad (GSU7) def. Karlee Kavanaugh/Alexis Elmurr (GSU6) 23-21, 21-16
Milani Pickering/Natalie Wilson (GSU4) def. Karlee Kavanaugh/Alexis Elmurr (GSU6) 21-7, 21-19
Chyna Ratner/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) def. Jessica Fourspring/Molly Smestad (GSU7) 21-14, 21-18

A (SC4 3-0, ULM4 2-1, SC6 1-2, ULM5 0-3)
Alannah Cullum/Rachel Arnason (ULM4) def. Morgan LaVigne/Helen Recaborde (SC6) 21-14, 21-18
Litsa Darby/Erin Neuenfeldt (SC4) def. Celine Flores/Kaitlyn Shearer (ULM5) 15-21, 21-14, 15-8
Alannah Cullum/Rachel Arnason (ULM4) def. Celine Flores/Kaitlyn Shearer (ULM5) 21-13, 15-21, 15-13
Litsa Darby/Erin Neuenfeldt (SC4) def. Morgan LaVigne/Helen Recaborde (SC6) 16-21, 21-14, 15-4
Litsa Darby/Erin Neuenfeldt (SC4) def. Alannah Cullum/Rachel Arnason (ULM4) 21-13, 21-17
Morgan LaVigne/Helen Recaborde (SC6) def. Celine Flores/Kaitlyn Shearer (ULM5) 22-20, 28-26


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