March 30, 2014 - by
Seminoles Sweep Titles at Pairs Tournament

March 30, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team used the momentum generated by Saturday’s undefeated dual-match play to post additional sensational performances on Sunday at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.

The Seminoles capped the two-day Florida State Sand Volleyball Invitational by capturing the pairs titles in both the Gold (Pairs 1 and 2) and Silver (Pairs 3, 4 and 5) brackets.

Florida State’s No. 1 team of senior Aurora Davis and junior Jace Pardon zipped past Jacksonville’s top tandem of Taylor Nyquist and Sammie Strausbaugh in straight sets, 21-15, 21-15, in the Gold bracket final. The Noles captured the first set when Pardon had a monster block. Her kill also gave the duo the second set.

“It was an awesome win,” Pardon said. “They came close to us yesterday in duals. It was just nice today to have a clean win, and win the whole thing with Aurora who is such an awesome athlete.”

Davis and Pardon improved their record to 20-1 on the season after three victories in duals Saturday, and four victories in the Pairs Tournament.

“Jace and Aurora played amazing,” Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. “They are two All-Americans who are already good, but today I was seeing some of the best volleyball that they have ever played. I think that there is something very calm about their demeanor and their confidence. They know that they are not a one trick pony. They have a lot in their arsenal and tools that they can use, and they are using them all.”

Davis is a 2012 All-American, while Pardon earned All-America honors in 2013. Their talent is evident, but their growing chemistry really has them clicking as a team.

“We are both really experienced players and really good defenders,” Davis said. “It has worked really well. Jace is just such an awesome player. She is great at everything. It is awesome playing with her.”

Davis and Pardon weren’t the only two Seminoles to hoist trophies. In the Silver bracket, Florida State’s No. 5 duo of senior Fatma Yildirim and junior Sarah Wickstrom took down the Seminoles’ third pair of sophomore Julie Brown and junior Melanie Pavels in an epic three-set thriller, 22-24, 24-22, 16-14.

Yildirim and Wickstrom dropped the back-and-forth first set, that featured 10 different lead changes after a 13-13 tie. The second set was another see-saw affair until Wickstrom’s serve hit the top of the net and dropped in to clinch a 24-22 victory.

Yildirim and Wickstrom opened the third set with an early 9-6 lead, but Pavels fought back with five consecutive kills to give she and Brown an 11-9 advantage. Attacks from Yildirim were too much, however, and her kill through Brown’s block earned them the final set, 16-14, and the match.

“Both Fatma and Sarah have been in a No. 1 position for us before,” Corso said. “I knew they were going to be hard to beat because they are better than any No. 5 team, but that just shows the depth we have. I’m going to bring them up from No. 5 to No. 4 and we will go from there. I’m happy to see that they are finally playing to their potential. I knew it was there, it was just a matter of time.”

The entire Garnet and Gold squad had impressive performances on the day.
Davis and Pardon and Wickstrom and Yildirim went 4-0 on the day, while Brown and Pavels went 2-1.

FSU’s No. 2 tandem of junior Stephanie Pellitteri and sophomore Kristina Pellitteri reached the semifinals before losing a nail-biter to the Gold bracket runner-up duo of Nyquist and Strausbaugh, 21-19, 18-21, 18-16.

The Pellitteri’s finished with a 2-2 record on Sunday.

The No. 4 pair of sophomore Annie Montgomery and freshman Julia Thompson advanced to the Silver bracket semifinals before losing to teammates Brown and Pavels, 21-16, 21-14.

Montgomery and Thompson tallied a 2-1 mark on the day.

The Seminoles are back in action next weekend in Charleston, S.C. where they will face College of Charleston, Mercer, Georgia State and South Carolina on April 5 and 6 in dual match play.

For more information visit and follow the Florida State sand volleyball team’s official twitter account @FSU_SVB.

Gold Bracket Results (Pairs Nos. 1 and 2)

Gold Round 1 (1 Game to 25)

Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis (FSU1) def. Mikaela Christiaansen/Sarah Blomgren (SC2) 25-14

Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU2) def. Paige Wheeler/Megan Kent (SC1) 25-22

Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) def. Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) 25-22

Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) def. Kendall Courtney/Niatha Cullen (JU 2) 25-13

Gold Consolation (Best 2 of 3)

Paige Wheeler/Megan Kent (SC1) def. Mikaela Christiaansen/Sarah Blomgren (SC2) 21-19, 14-21, 18-16

Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) def. Kendall Courtney/Niatha Cullen (JU 2) 21-18, 21-19

Gold Seventh-Place Match (Best 2 of 3)

Mikaela Christiaansen/Sarah Blomgren (SC2) def. Kendall Courtney/Niatha Cullen (JU 2) 21-15, 24-22

Gold Quarterfinals (1 Game to 25)

Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis (FSU1) def. Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU2) 25-17

Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) def. Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) 25-17

Gold Consolation Quarterfinals (Best 2 of 3)

Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) def. Paige Wheeler/Megan Kent (SC1) 25-23, 21-13

Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU2) def. Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) 21-12, 21-17

Gold Semifinals

Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) def. Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU2) 21-19, 18-21, 18-16

Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis (FSU1) def. Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) 21-18, 21-12

Gold Finals

Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis (FSU1) vs. Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) 21-15, 21-15

Silver Bracket Results (Pairs Nos. 3, 4 and 5)

Silver Round 1 (1 Game to 25)

Chynna Ratner/Litsa Darby (SC 4) def. Emma Hiller/Briana Holman (LSU5) 29-27

Julia Thompson/Annie Montgomery (FSU4) def. Emily Laskelle/Alyssa Robertson (JU5) 25-23

Malorie Pardo/Mimi Eugene (LSU4) def. Erin Neuenfeldt/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) 25-17

Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU5) def. Lauren Homrich/Rachel Miller (JU4) 25-15

Silver Consolation (Best 2 of 3)

Emily Laskelle/Alyssa Robertson (JU5) def. Emma Hiller/Briana Holman (LSU5) 21-14, 10-21, 15-10

Lauren Homrich/Rachel Miller (JU4) def. Erin Neuenfeldt/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) 14-21, 21-17, 15-11

Lauren Homrich/Rachel Miller (JU4) def. Emily Laskelle/Alyssa Robertson (JU5) 21-16, 21-16

Silver Quarterfinals (Best 2 of 3)

Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU3) def. Chynna Ratner/Litsa Darby (SC4) 21-4, 21-12

Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU5) def. Victoria Boraski/Cati Leak (LSU3) 21-11, 21-15

Julia Thompson/Annie Montgomery (FSU4) def. Jordan Loney/Jade Vitt (SC3) def. 21-13, 16-21, 15-11

Mayara Prestes/Gabriela Roman (JU3) def. Malorie Pardo/Mimi Eugene (LSU4) 21-14, 21-13

Silver Semifinals (Best 2 of 3)

Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU5) def. Mayara Prestes/Gabriela Roman (JU3) 21-15, 21-11

Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU3) def. Julia Thompson/Annie Montgomery (FSU4) 21-16, 21-14

Silver Finals (Best 2 of 3)

Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU5) def. Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU3) 22-24, 24-22, 16-14

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