April 5, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State sand volleyball team will look to keep its unbeaten streak alive in dual matches on Friday against Stetson and Florida Atlantic at the Stetson Sand Volleyball Complex in Deland, Fla.
The Seminoles will meet the Hatters at 10 a.m. before facing the Owls at Noon.
FSU improved to 11-0 in duals on March 29 when it beat Hawaii, 4-1, twice in a doubleheader in Tallahassee.
This past weekend, the Garnet and Gold captured the team title at the UNF Sand Invitational, while junior Aurora Newgard and sophomore Brittany Tiegs finished runner-up in the pairs tournament.
“Our team is playing awesome and we are excited to get some great competition from Stetson and FAU,” FSU head coach Danalee Corso said. “One of our top players – Jekaterina Stepanova – is out with an ankle injury, so we are going to change some things up a little bit. I’m basically trying to line ourselves up to beat those top teams we will have to face in a few weeks at the national championships. The important thing right now is we have a couple weeks to really push it physically, then we are going to taper down and fine tune our team dynamic. I’m really excited. Our girls are some of the most prepared in the country and they have a lot of experience in sand. I think that can carry us far in the national tournament.”
The national championships will be April 27-29 in Gulf Shores, Ala. Florida State has clinched one of four spots to the tournament.
Without Stepanova, who sprained her ankle at the UNF competition, Corso said she would shuffle FSU’s five-team lineup.
Tiegs and Newgard will remain at the No. 1 position, while senior Visnja Djurdjevic and freshman Melanie Pavels will move to No. 2. Freshman Jace Pardon will team with teammate Stephanie Pellitteri at No. 3. Sophomore Jeassica McGregor will pair with freshman Sara Wickstrom at the fourth spot, while graduate student Caitlin Haworth and senior Mallory Kiley will play at the fifth position.
Stetson holds a record of 4-6 this season and lost to the Seminoles, 5-0, in Tallahassee at the FSU Sand Tournament on March 24. FAU finished seventh at the UNF Sand Invitational.
For updates and more information on the Florida State sand volleyball team, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_SVB.