TEMPE, Ariz. – The Florida State Beach Volleyball team wrapped up its trip to Arizona with two more wins on Saturday as the Seminoles edged No. 15 Grand Canyon, 3-2, before ending the afternoon with a 4-1 victory over New Mexico.
“The team played great in both matches today,” Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said. “We were challenged by a very good Grand Canyon squad that was coached extremely well this morning. In the afternoon game against New Mexico, you could tell we were really focused and relaxed. Overall, I was extremely pleased with how we performed these first two days.”
The Seminoles (4-0) began the day with a morning match in Phoenix against the Lopes that went the wire and was decided at the No. 3 position as FSU’s Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez clinched the match with a three-set victory. After dropping the first set 21-19 to GCU’s Brooke Razo/Emilee Erichsen, Freire/Sanchez responded with wins in the next two sets (21-15, 15-11) to give the Noles the hard fought victory.
After forcing the third and decisive set, the Seminole duo put the pressure on Grand Canyon early running out to an early 7-3 advantage which resulted in a Lopes’ timeout. GCU’s Razo/Erichsen cut the deficit to 12-10 before Freire/Sanchez won three of the last four points to keep Florida State undefeated on the year.
Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua remained perfect on the year with a straight set victory over Aleksandra Wachowicz/Molly Turner (21-17, 21-16) at the No. 2 spot. FSU’s first point of the morning came at the fifth position as Annie Montgomery/Kayla Joyce defeated GCU’s Chloe Jenkins/Rebecca Conrad (21-18, 21-14) in straight sets.
Florida State returned to Tempe in the afternoon to face New Mexico in the Seminoles’ final game of the Sun Devil Challenge.
The two schools each earned an early point as FSU’s Hailey Luke/Blyss Harkness won at the fifth spot, while New Mexico’s Easten Baleto/Marisa Doran defeated Kayla Joyce/Annie Montgomery (16-21, 21-14, 18-16) at the fourth spot. But the Seminoles swept courts 1, 2 and 3 in straight sets in the second session for the winning margin.
FSU’s duos of Pellitteri/Paranagua and Freire/Sanchez won both of their matches on Saturday to keep the Seminoles with a perfect record on the year through the first four matches.
The Seminoles return to action on Wednesday, March 9 at No. 4 Long Beach State. FSU will then play four more matches over the next two days in California including two matches against ranked opponents in No. 6 UCLA (Thursday, March 10 in Santa Monica) and No. 1 Southern Cal (Friday, March 11 in Los Angeles).
Match 3 – Phoenix, Ariz.
No. 5 Florida State d. No. 15 Grand Canyon, 3-2
Court 1: Mackenzie Phelps/Shannon Dugan, GCU d. Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU – 21-17, 21-16
Court 2: Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua, FSU d. Aleksandra Wachowicz/Molly Turner, GCU – 21-17, 21-16
Court 3: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Brooke Razo/Emilee Erichsen, GCU – 19-21, 21-15, 15-11
Court 4: Kami Dickerson/Jordyn Sanchez, GCU d. Hailey Luke/Katherine Plessy, FSU – 21-15, 14-21, 15-8
Court 5: Kayla Joyce/Annie Montgomery, FSU d. Chloe Jenkins/Rebecca Conrad, GCU – 21-18, 21-14
Exh: Macy Jerger/Nikki Esposito, FSU d. Mia Sakasegawa/Kelli Iverson, GCU – 21-18, 21-12
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 1, 2, 3*
*clinched dual win
Match 4 – Tempe, Ariz.
No. 5 Florida State d. New Mexico, 4-1
Court 1: Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU d. Devanne Sours/Ashley Kelsey, NM – 21-16, 21-12
Court 2: Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua, FSU d. Lisa Rugland/Cassie House, NM – 21-18, 21-16
Court 3: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Hannah Johnson/Julia Warren, NM – 21-10, 21-13
Court 4: Easten Baleto/Marisa Doran, NM d. Kayla Joyce/Annie Montgomery, FSU – 16-21, 21-14, 18-16
Court 5: Hailey Luke/Blyss Harkness, FSU d. Madi Mayfield/Carson Heilborn, NM – 21-14, 21