TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 2-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team placed three student-athletes on the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Preseason All-Conference team as announced by the CCSA on Wednesday. Senior Sierra Sanchez along with juniors Victoria Paranagua and Vanessa Freire were named to the preseason all-conference team, with both Paranagua and Freire recognized as the league’s Co-Preseason Players of the Year. Freshman Francesa Goncalves was named to the CCSA’s Preseason Watch List.
The preseason accolades were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. Florida State joined the CCSA for beach volleyball in October of 2015 as one of eight charter members including UAB, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia State, LSU, South Carolina and Tulane.
This past offseason the CCSA once again expanded and added two new team to the competition, UNC Wilmington and the College of Charleston.
“The recognition is always nice,” said second-year head coach Brooke Niles. “To have three girls earn preseason conference honors is great for them and the program. Even though we received these honors we still have a lot that we need to prove this year. We are a young team and I know these guys are up for the challenge.”
Paranagua was a part of the 2016 CCSA All-Conference team and has been a consistent starter for the Seminoles since she arrived on campus in 2015. Paranagua comes into the season with 54 career wins and is the 12th-winningest Seminole of all time. Paranagua was an instrumental part in getting Florida State to the NCAA Championship finals in 2016. While paring with then-senior Kristina Pelliteri, the duo tallied a team-best 29 wins.
Sanchez was a member of the 2016 CCSA All-Tournament team. She is one of two four-year seniors on the Seminoles’ 2017 squad and was a member of the 2016 national runner-up team as well as the 2014 squad that also finished second in the nation. Sanchez posted a record of 27-5 a year ago – just two wins shy of the team lead. She enters her senior season with 59 wins, the 10th-most in Florida State history.
Freire also captured CCSA All-Tournament team honors in 2016. She tied Paranagua for the team lead with 29 victories. Her 48 wins in her first two years on campus already ranks her No. 14 in FSU history. She played mostly the No. 3 position with Sanchez during 2016, and the duo combined to post 27 wins, while helping lead the Seminoles to the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship.
Paranagua, Sanchez and Freire will team with the rest of the Florida State beach volleyball team to open the 2017 season this weekend at the Seminole Beach Volleyball Courts for the Garnet and Gold exhibition match on Sunday at 11 a.m. Admission to the event is free.
Preseason CCSA Beach Volleyball All-Conference Team
Name, School, Cl, Hometown
Vanessa Freire, Florida State, Jr., Windermere, Fla.
Victoria Paranagua, Florida State, Jr., Austin, Texas
Gabrielle Dischler, Florida Atlantic, Jr., Boca Raton, Fla.
Megan Rice, Florida Atlantic, Gr., Boca Raton, Fla.
Sierra Sanchez, Florida State, Sr., Valencia, Calif.
Delaney Rohan, Georgia State, Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Katie Lindelow, LSU, Gr., Covington, La.
Mandi Orellana, LSU, Jr., Guatemala City, Guatemala
Tea Juric, Tulane, Sr., New Orleans, La.
Mandi Mertz, Tulane, Jr., New Orleans, La.
CCSA Beach Volleyball Preseason Players of the Year
Victoria Paranagua, Florida State
Vanessa Freire, Florida State
Preseason CCSA Beach Volleyball Watch List
Name, School, Cl, Hometown
Avery Hoven, UAB, Jr., Hoover, Ala.
Krissey Mummey, College of Charleston, Jr., Hudson Ohio
Nicole Navarro, Florida Atlantic, So., Boca Raton, Fla.
Federica Frasca, Florida International, Fr., Rome, Italy
Francesa Goncalves, Florida State. Fr., Dallas, Texas
Chelsea Ross, Georgia State, Gr., Murfressboro, Tenn.
Lilly Kessler, LSU, So., Augusta, Ga.
Katie Zimmerman, South Carolina, Gr., Cypress, Texas
Lan Nguyen, Tulane, Jr., Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Nicole Lott, UNC Wilmington, Sr., West Chester, Pa.