March 9, 2014
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team wrapped up its opening weekend undefeated at the UNF Sand Invitational, defeating Jacksonville, 5-0, and North Florida, 5-0, on Sunday at the St. John’s County Pier.
On Saturday, FSU routed No. 9 Florida International, 4-1, and ULM, 5-0.
“This weekend was a good start for our team,” FSU head coach Danalee Corso said. “We played three of the toughest teams in the Southeast Region and we came out on top. We had a lot of players really excel. Jace (Pardon) continues to prove she is one of the best players in the country. She and Aurora (Davis) were dominant all weekend. They were very confident and Jace just keeps improving.”
Pardon, a junior, and Davis, a senior, went 4-0 on Court 1 on the weekend, defeating Jacksonville’s Sammie Strausbaugh and Taylor Nyquist, 21-18, 21-16 and North Florida’s Dagnija Medina and Kim Hildreth, 21-18, 21-19, on Sunday.
Florida State’s No. 2 tandem of junior Stephanie Pellitteri and her sister sophomore Kristina Pellitteri cruised past Jacksonville’s duo of Kendal Courtney and Gabriela Roman (21-14, 21-13) in the morning before recording a come-from-behind victory in the afternoon.
After falling to UNF’s Anna Budinska and Cari Whitmire, 21-14, in Set 1, the sisters rebounded to take Set 2, 22-20, and then squeezed out the win in a back-and-forth Set 3, 15-12.
“It was great to see the Pellitteri’s fight back against a very good and athletic UNF team,” Corso said. “They were challenged like they haven’t really been before and it was fun to see them execute a game plan and come back – it was a character building match.”
Sophomore Julie Brown and junior Melanie Pavels made short work of their opponents on Court 3 on Sunday, picking up a 21-11, 21-10 victory over Jacksonville’s Emily Laskell and Niatha Cullen and handedly defeating UNF’s Emily Strack and Britt Claessens (21-14, 21-10).
On Court 4, senior Fatma Yildirim and sophomore Kayla Joyce defeated Jacksonville’s Mayara Prestes and Alyssa Robertson, 21-10, 21-19 and took down Tanner Garbutt and Cameron McGuire of UNF (21-13, 21-15).
Juniors Sarah Wickstrom and Katie Mosher blew past JU’s Lauren Homrich and Shelby Barnett, 21-7, 21-12, on Court 5 in Mosher’s season debut. The indoor volleyball pair followed that effort with a 21-16, 21-8 win against UNF’s Julie Trembley and Emily Davanzo.
The undefeated Seminoles return to action Wednesday in a road matchup with defending national champion and third-ranked Long Beach State at 4 p.m. ET.
Florida State 5, Jacksonville 0
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis (FSU) def. Sammie Strausbaugh-Taylor Nyquist (JU) 21-18, 21-16
2.) Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Kendal Courtney-Gabriela Roman (JU) 21-14, 21-13
3.) Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Emily Laskell-Niatha Cullen (JU) 21-11, 21-10
4.) Fatma Yildirim-Kayla Joyce (FSU) def. Mayara Prestes-Alyssa Robertson (JU) 21-10, 21-19
5.) Sarah Wickstrom-Katie Mosher (FSU) def. Lauren Homrich-Shelby Barnett (JU) 21-7, 21-12
Florida State 5, North Florida 0
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis (FSU) def. Dagnija Medina-Kim Hildreth (UNF) 21-18, 21-19
2.) Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Anna Budinska-Cari Whitmire (UNF) 14-21, 22-20, 15-12
3.) Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Emily Strack-Britt Claessens (UNF) 21-14, 21-10
4.) Fatma Yildirim-Kayla Joyce (FSU) def. Tanner Garbutt-Cameron McGuire (UNF) 21-13, 21-15
5.) Sarah Wickstrom-Katie Mosher (FSU) def. Julie Trembley-Emily Davanzo (UNF) 21-16, 21-8