March 31, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State sand volleyball team dominated the field during pool play on Day 1 of the UNF Sand Invitational presented by Chicago Pizza and Metro PCS on Saturday at the Jacksonville Beach courts.
Competition was suspended at around 7 p.m. and a few more pool play matches will be played starting at 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
In what is becoming a theme in this inaugural sand volleyball season, the Seminoles spent a lot of time waiting for the weather to cooperate. Saturday’s northern Florida storms caused four separate weather delays and much of the play was spent under showers.
Those are playing conditions FSU has become accustomed to, however, and the Garnet and Gold didn’t let the severe weather have an effect on their play.
“It was a mentally fatiguing day for the players,” head coach Danalee Corso said. “It was start-stop, start-stop. That’s tough. The weather has been following us, but that’s part of the game. You’ve got to ride the wave. I’m really proud of the team. These courts are really hard to adjust to, and a lot different from our courts. We are pretty handedly in first-place, though. Hopefully, we can close out strong, and win the team competition tomorrow.”
Saturday’s competition featured seven pools of five teams. The top two finishers in each pool along with the top two third place finishers advance to Sunday’s gold bracket play. A 12-team silver bracket and a seven-team bronze bracket will also be contested on Sunday.
The Seminoles are at the top or near the top of each of their pools. Leading the way on Saturday were the duos of senior Jekaterina Stepanova and freshman Jace Pardon and senior Visnja Djurdjevic and freshman Melanie Pavels. Both teams went 3-0 and neither dropped a set.
“It was a pretty good day,” Stepanova said. “Luckily, Jace and I didn’t have any of our matches get delayed. We didn’t have to run off the court and take cover while were playing. We got our full matches in. This is a pretty good site. It’s fun to be at the beach.”
The tandem of junior Aurora Newgard and sophomore Brittany Tiegs was the only Garnet and Gold tandem to play all four of its games, winning three and tying (splitting a pair of sets) with UAB’s No. 1 squad.
For the latest news and updates on the FSU sand volleyball team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_SVB.
Please Note: Complete results were not yet available.