Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State sand volleyball team provided fans with an exciting exhibit of collegiate athletics’ fastest growing sport on Saturday at the Garnet and Gold Intersquad Match held at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.
The Seminoles split up into pairs and faced off against themselves in two different matches. The Garnet and Gold match is extremely competitive because it is one of the last chances the players have to prove they belong in the starting lineup of 10 players.
“We are deep throughout,” Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. “That has been our biggest strength. We are even deeper this year. We carry a huge roster and therefore their competition is really tough. Garnet and Gold matches are one of our toughest days of the entire season just because of it.”
All-American’s junior Jace Pardon and senior Aurora Davis teamed up and were one of two pairs to win both of their matches. The duo defeated junior Katie Mosher and sophomore Julie Brown in their first match in straight sets 21-14, 21-11. Pardon and Davis then faced Stephanie and Kristina Pellitteri, a pair that held a 34-5 record last season. After falling in the first set 18-21, Pardon and Davis dominated the next two sets. The pair capped off the third set on a 7-3 run to pull away with victory.
“I think we did well,” Pardon said. “We definitely have room to improve. We were off in the beginning of the first set against the Pellitteri sisters. We just weren’t in our groove. Once we started to figure things out we came out much better the second game and came out with a win.”
Corso was pleased by their effort, but was more impressed with the experience they showed to make the correct adjustments in order to comeback.
“I think the biggest difference for Jace [Pardon] and Aurora [Davis] was a change in strategy and they started split blocking,” Corso said. “They did that on their own and that’s what’s really huge. I’m not able to be at everybody’s courtside, so when players can make adjustments like that, because everyone is good, that is going to be a difference maker and that’s really what happened there. They were struggling and came across a hot team. They were able to make a change, and it worked.”
The other pair to win both matches today was sophomore Kayla Joyce and senior Fatma Yildirim.
“I think we mesh really well together,” Joyce said. “I get onto myself a lot. Fatma is always there to pick me up. She is an awesome player herself.”
Joyce and Yildirm won all four sets that they played on Saturday and the Seminoles now wait for the season to officially begin.
“I think the team is ready to compete,” Corso said. “They’ve been working hard in the weight room and on the track. It is really starting to show. This is the part where it becomes so fun for the players and for the coaches to see them develop.”
This was the team’s last competition before it begins its 2014 season in St. Augustine, Fla. where the Seminoles will travel to face North Florida, Florida International, Louisiana-Monroe and South Carolina on Saturday, March 8.
For more information on Florida State sand volleyball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_SVB and like their official Facebook page.
Court 1- Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis def. Katie Mosher/Julie Brown 21-14, 21-11
Court 2- Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri def. Sarah Wickstrom/Melanie Pavels 21-19, 21-17
Court 3- Fatma Yildirim/Kayla Joyce def. Milica Kubura/Annie Montgomery 21-13, 21-13
Court 4- Julia Thompson/Hailey Luke def. Lexy Ryan/Mercedes Vaughn 21-13, 21-17
Court 1- Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis def. Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri 18-21, 21-10, 15-10
Court 2- Fatma Yildirim/Kayla Joyce def. Julia Thompson/Hailey Luke 21-15, 21-19
Court 3- Katie Mosher/Julie Brown def. Sarah Wickstrom/Melanie Pavels 21-18, 21-18
Court 4- Milica Kubura/Annie Montgomery def. Lexy Ryan/Mercedes Vaughn 16-21, 21-16, 15-12