TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Collegiate sand volleyball will enter its fourth year in 2015 and Florida State, which has been to three consecutive Final Fours, is expected to continue to be the East Coast’s premier program this spring.
On Thursday, Seminoles head coach Danalee Corso released the 2015 Florida State sand volleyball schedule. The schedule also includes a fall tournament, the Collegiate Sand Clash, hosted by Georgia State on Nov. 15 in Emerson, Ga.
Florida State, the 2014 National Championship runner-up, will host a pair of events in April at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex, welcoming LSU and ULM on April 7 before hosting Georgia State, UAB and Eckerd College for dual and pair play on April 18 and 19.
“Our home events will be exciting and competitive,” Corso said. “We’ll host some great teams. LSU and ULM are two of the best in our region. That will be a great test and likely on a Tuesday night under the lights which will be a blast and something we haven’t done before. Our other home event is important to prepare us for the National Championships. We will set it up similar to the national tournament. It’s the last weekend for nominations for Gulf Shores so we will be looking to close strong.”
The Seminoles’ spring schedule will open on March 7 in DeLand, Fla. against Stetson and FIU before a week-long trip to the West Coast.
In California, Florida State faces Irvine Valley College and perennial power Long Beach State on March 10 in Huntington Beach.
The next day FSU will look to enact some revenge versus defending national champion Pepperdine in Huntington Beach on March 11. The Seminoles fell 3-2 to the Waves in a back-and-forth National Championship final last May.
Florida State will wrap up its California trip against Southern California and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 13-14.
“We’re playing the top teams in the nation on our California trip,” Corso said. “We’ll face USC, Long Beach State and be hosted by Pepperdine for the first time. They are the defending national champions. We should be in great position to hold the top spot in the rankings after that trip.”
Following the West Coast trip, the Seminoles will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to face the host Gamecocks, ASU, Tulane and UAB from March 20-22 before meeting Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla. on March 28.
After hosting LSU and ULM on April 7, FSU will make its annual trip down to Siesta Key for its yearly tournament. There, the Noles will open against Florida Atlantic on April 10 and participate in the nation’s largest tournament on April 11-12.
The Seminoles will wrap up their regular season schedule at home on April 18-19 and then likely prepare for the AVCA National Championships in Gulf Shore from May 1-3.
The Seminoles will return 13 players in 2015, including two-time All-American and rising senior Jace Pardon and three of her classmates – Sarah Wickstrom, Stephanie Pellitteri and Melanie Pavels. Wickstrom was a 2013 sand All-American and is a four-year letterwinner with FSU’s indoor volleyball team while Pellitteri and Pavels have both played near the top of the lineup throughout their careers. The four senior Noles were all part of the inaugural FSU sand volleyball team in 2012 that helped kick off the first season of the collegiate sport.
“This is the strongest team we’ve ever had,” Corso said. “We have eight girls that have played at either the No. 1 or 2 position on the team at some point in their career. We return two All-Americans so we will go into the season very confident. I’m excited about the season and can’t wait for it to start.”