TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State Beach Volleyball team notched two wins on the first day of the FSU Beach Invitational as the Seminoles (22-1) defeated UAB, 5-0, before edging No. 9 Georgia State, 3-2, on the Seminole Beach Volleyball courts. “We performed really well,” said Florida State head coach Brooke Niles.
“We are still changing things because we have a few (players) out due to injury, but Georgia State is a well-coached team and they have really good athletes. We were fortunate today to come away with two wins.”
Florida State began the day with a convincing win over UAB winning in straight sets on four of the five courts. The pairs of Annie Montgomery and Kayla Joyce along with Macy Jerger and Nikki Esposito grabbed the first two victories for the Seminoles on courts four and five, respectively.
Vanessa Freire and Sierra Sanchez defeated Amber Treace and Rachel Evans, 21-19, 21-12, on court three to clinch the match for the Seminoles. On court two, Kristina Pellitteri and Victoria Paranagua downed Gabbi Moreno and Emily Martinez, 21-19, 21-7. The Noles’ top pair of Jace Pardon and Julie Brown split the first two sets of the match with UAB’s Chelsi Carter and Sara Rishell before taking the deciding third set, 15-11, to close out the game.
In the second match of the afternoon, Florida State earned a hard-fought victory over No. 9 Georgia State. Annie Montgomery and Macy Jerger defeated Alexis Townsend and Chloe Cook on court five while Freire/Sanchez bested Brooke Weiner and Natalie Wilson on court four to give the Noles an early 2-0 advantage.
“It’s key just for morale,” said Niles on the Noles running out to early 2-0 leads in both matches on Friday. “Those four and five teams, they played really strong in both matches. For us, everybody knows that they have to do their job, but it is nice to go in 2-0 to the next three games.”
However, GSU’s Katelyn Rawls and Nina Interwies downed Pellitteri/Paranagua on court two, 21-16, 21-14, to secure the Panthers’ first point of the match.
After Georgia State closed the gap to 2-1, Florida State’s top pair of Pardon/Brown defeated Jansen Button and Sara Olivova, 21-17, 21-14, to clinch the match for the Seminoles.
“They just do their job and they don’t look at the score; they really want to win every point,” added Niles on the performance of Brown and Pardon. “That’s where we want every other team to get at too and not give any other team any breathing room at all. I am just really proud of those two as they took care of business for us today.”
To conclude the match, Florida State’s Milica Kubura and Kayla Joyce fell in the first set, 21-18. The pair fought valiantly in set two but could not extend the match falling 26-24 to GSU’s Milani Pickering and Delaney Rohan on court three. The match marked Kubura’s first dual appearance for Florida State this season.
With the 3-2 victory, Florida State avenges a 3-2 loss to Georgia State last season in Columbia, S.C., while the Noles improve to 6-0 all-time against UAB. The Seminoles remain a perfect 18-0 in home matches since the program started in 2012.
Florida State returns to action on Saturday April 16 for the second day of the FSU Beach Invitational. The Seminoles will take on the Tulane Green Wave at 2:30 p.m. and close out the weekend against College of Charleston at 6:30 p.m.
Florida State will recognize its seven seniors prior to its match against the College of Charleston. Senior Day festivities are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. This year’s senior class includes Julie Brown (Oviedo, Fla.), Blyss Harkness (Tallahassee, Fla.), Kayla Joyce (Oviedo, Fla.), Annie Montgomery (Sarasota, Fla.), Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Kristina Pellitteri (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Katherine Plessy (Marietta, Ga.).
Live stats for all matches of the FSU Beach Invitational will be available at Seminoles.com. Admission to the Seminole Beach Volleyball courts is FREE of charge. Fans can also follow the Noles on Twitter (FSU_BeachVB) and on Instagram (FSUBeachVolleyball) for updates from this weekend’s matches.
Match 22 – Tallahassee, Fla.
No. 3 Florida State d. UAB, 5-0
Court 1:Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU d. Chelsi Carter/Sara Rishell, UAB – 21-17, 20-22, 15-11
Court 2: Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua, FSU d. Michaela Ressor/Avery Hoven, UAB – 21-19, 21-7
Court 3: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Amber Treace/Rachel Evans, UAB – 21-19, 21-12
Court 4: Kayla Joyce/Annie Montgomery, FSU d. Gabbi Moreno/Emily Martinez, UAB – 21-16, 21-12
Court 5: Nikki Esposito/Macy Jerger, FSU d. Avei Logoleo/Tressa Buckland, UAB – 21-19, 25-23
Order of Finish: 5, 4, *3, 2, 1
*clinched dual win
Match 23 – Tallahassee, Fla.
No. 3 Florida State d. No. 9 Georgia State, 3-2
Court 1: Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU d. Jansen Button/Sara Olivova, GSU – 21-17, 21-14
Court 2: Katelyn Rawls/Nina Interwies, GSU d. Victoria Paranagua/Kristina Pellitteri, FSU – 21-16, 21-14
Court 3: Milani Pickering/Delaney Rohan, GSU d. Milica Kubra/Kayla Joyce, FSU – 21-18, 26-24
Court 4: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Brooke Weiner/Natalie Wilson, GSU – 21-19, 23-21
Court 5: Annie Montgomery/Macy Jerger, FSU d. Alexis Townsend/Chloe Cook, GSU – 21-12, 21-13
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 2, *1, 3
*clinched dual win