DELAND, Fla. – The Florida State beach volleyball team topped two conference opponents in the first day of the Stetson Spring Fling, sweeping No. 16 FAU and No. 8 South Carolina on Friday (Feb. 23).
“I think we had a great day today,” said head coach Brooke Niles. “I was really proud of the team the way they competed.”
The Seminoles won their first two matches for the third season in a row, in the same number of years under Niles. Competing against two conference opponents in its opening weekend allows FSU to check out the CCSA field early in its quest for a third consecutive conference title.
“We’re just focused on our side of the net because it’s still early on and we don’t know much about the teams, so we’re just trying to execute,” Niles said. “The good thing is we still have a lot we can work on as the season progresses.”
Florida State saw a veteran lineup in both matches, while certain players took on different roles. Junior Macy Jerger played at the No. 1 position for the first time in her career, and freshmen Alaina Chacon and Madison Fitzpatrick took to the sand in an exhibition match against FAU.
“Macy [Jerger] and Tory [Paranagua] were really clean and in system almost every time, and they were really putting a lot of pressure on teams with their serves,” Niles said.
The Seminoles return to competition on Saturday (Feb. 24), taking on CCSA opponent Georgia State at 11:30 am, and the hosting Stetson Hatters at 3:30 pm.
#4 Florida State def. #16 Florida Atlantic, 5-0 | PDF Box Score
Ext. Alaina Chacon/Madison Fitzpatrick (FSU) def. Jazmine Barker/Julia Lewkowicz (FAU) 21-18, 21-19
Order of finish: 4, 5, 3*, 2, 1
The Seminoles started off strong in the first match of the day against the Owls, with Luke/Horton and McBain/Torruella picking off their opponents in two sets at the No. 4 and 5 positions, respectively. Freshmen Alaina Chacon and Madison Fitzpatrick also picked up their first win as Seminoles, defeating Barker/Lewkowicz in an exhibition match.
Macy Jerger and Tory Paranagua finished off a quick 21-12 first set, followed by a pair of 21-16 first-set wins from Kuhlman/Freire at No. 2 and Goncalves/Putt at No. 3. The Seminoles at the No. 1 position dropped the second set, but it was Goncalves and Putt that wrapped up a quick 21-19 set to defeat FAU’s Navarro/Grant to clinch the match for FSU.
The Seminoles carried out the sweep with a two-set win from Kuhlman/Freire at No. 2 and a three-set win from Paranagua/Jerger at No. 1, taking down Florida Atlantic 5-0.
#4 Florida State def. #8 South Carolina, 4-1 | PDF Box Score
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 3, 2
Florida State saw closer competition in its second match of the day, taking down No. 8 South Carolina 4-1 on Friday afternoon.
Although the first set stayed close, the pairing of Luke/Horton was able to take the first team point for the Seminoles with a quick 21-11 win in the second set at the No. 4 position.
McBain and Torruella followed up with the next team point with a three-set win. After some long first sets in the first three positions, it was the No. 1 duo of Jerger/Paranagua that was able to clinch the win for the Seminoles with a 21-14, 21-14 win over Williams/Denney.
FSU followed up with another quick win at the No. 3 position from Goncalves and Putt, but the Gamecocks were able to hold off another sweep for the Seminoles with a three-set win at the No. 2 position.
2018 Stetson Spring Fling – Schedule of Events
Friday, Feb. 23 – #4 Florida State def. #16 Florida Atlantic* 5-0
Friday, Feb. 23 – #4 Florida State def. #8 South Carolina* 4-1
Saturday, Feb. 24 – #4 Florida State vs. #12 Georgia State* (11:30 am) | Live Stats
Saturday, Feb. 24 – #4 Florida State vs. #15 Stetson (3:30 pm) | Live Stats
*Denotes conference opponent
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