TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The two-time defending CCSA Champion Florida State beach volleyball begins its seventh season in 2018, headlined by a star-studded returning class, one of the strongest freshman classes the program has ever seen and one of the nation’s most elite coaching staffs.
With a schedule that includes three home events and a lineup filled with AVCA Top-10 programs, the team is hoping that a tough regular season will prepare it for another deep postseason run.
“I’m really excited about this upcoming season,” said head coach Brooke Niles. “We lost some really talented seniors last season, but we have a really good group of returning players this year and some very athletic incoming freshmen. This schedule will give everyone a chance to compete at the collegiate level and will get everyone ready to make a run for a National Championship this season.”
The season will kick off with a tournament at Stetson from February 23-24. The Seminoles will face the hosting Hatters as well as conference opponents Georgia State, FAU and South Carolina in DeLand.
The Seminoles then return home after a short stint on the road for its first of two home tournaments, playing host to College of Charleston, Stetson and St. Petersburg College.
“I’m definitely looking forward to our first home event this season,” Niles said. “We’re partnering with a local hotel here, Hampton Inn & Suites, which will help us bring in some highly competitive teams to Tallahassee. Usually fans have to wait until April to see us play at home, so having an event the first weekend of March will give our fans a chance to come out and see us play instead of just following along all season.”
Following its first two weekend events, FSU heads to California for spring break, facing UCLA, Hawaii, Pepperdine and the defending national champions USC in the East Meets West Challenge in Manhattan Beach. The Seminoles will stay in Southern California to face Pepperdine in a midweek match on March 14, and will take on Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount on March 15.
FSU returns to Florida the following weekend to face Houston Baptist and Jacksonville University in the Hickory Point Lake Bash hosted by Stetson in Tavares, Fla. With a week off in between tournaments, the Seminoles will host its annual Garnet and Gold Scrimmage on March 24, with a kids’ clinic immediately following the scrimmage.
The team will face familiar competition the following week in Miami, as the Seminoles head to South Beach to face UCLA, GCU and conference opponents FIU and Tulane in the Surf & Turf Invitational hosted by FIU.
The Seminoles will host its final home event of the season on April 6 and 7, playing host to TCU as well as CCSA members UAB, UNC Wilmington, FAU and Georgia State. FSU closes out the regular season in Baton Rouge, heading to LSU to face the hosting Tigers as well as New Orleans, Jacksonville State and Georgia State.
Following the regular season, FSU looks to take its third consecutive conference title at the CCSA Beach Volleyball Championships from April 20-22. The tournament will be held in Cartersville, Georgia at the Rally Volleyball Complex at LakePoint Sporting Community.
Once conference play is complete, the Seminoles will set their sights on a national championship, as the third NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship kicks off on May 4th in Gulf Shores Alabama at Gulf Beach Place. FSU finished as the national runner up in 2016 and finished in fourth place in 2017 at the NCAA Tournament.
FSU’s All-Time Records Against 2018 Opponents
College of Charleston: 4-0
Georgia State: 5-1
Grand Canyon: 3-0
Houston Baptist: 1-0
Long Beach State: 4-4
Loyola Marymount: 4-0
New Orleans: 1-0
UNC Wilmington: 2-0
South Carolina: 10-0
Southern Cal: 3-7
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