TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Julie Brown and Jace Pardon were recognized as Beach Volleyball All-Americans as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Wednesday.
Playing as FSU’s number one pairs’ team all season long, Brown and Pardon led the Seminoles to the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship and a national runner-up finish in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Seminole duo finished the season with a 28-5 dual-match record posting victories over 16 ranked teams including nine schools that ranked in the top 10. At one stretch during the season, Brown and Pardon recorded 15 straight match victories.
“This is huge for our program,” Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said. “From a recruiting stand point, it shows that we have some really good players that want to come and compete and succeed at Florida State. These recruits know that they will be coached well and will play for a top program that will compete at the highest level and produce All-Americans. It means a lot that Florida State is well respected in the beach volleyball community which is only a sign of things to come.”
Brown and Pardon were also the catalyst for FSU’s successful run during its first season in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) which culminated in the Seminoles claiming the inaugural conference title. The pair went 12-0 against CCSA competition including a perfect 5-0 at the CCSA Conference Tournament. For their efforts, Brown and Pardon were named the CCSA Pair of the Year, garnered a spot on the CCSA All-Conference First Team and named to the CCSA Academic All-Conference Team. At the conference championship, the Seminole duo walked away with Pair MVP honors and a spot on the All-Tournament team.
The award for Pardon is her third All-America honor as she was also recognized by the AVCA in 2013 & 2014. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native is the only three-time Beach All-American in school history and joins Southern California’s Sara Hughes (2014, 2015 & 2016) and former FSU and Hawaii standout Brittany Tiegs (2012 – FSU, 2014 & 2015) as the only student-athletes to earn AVCA Beach All-America honors three times in the history of the award.
“Jace was a huge gift to our team in that she was able to come back for a fifth year after suffering an injury last year,” added Niles. “The fact that she is competing with the best players at the No. 1 spot at each school and that she was recognized as one of the best players in the country is a huge honor. We know she deserves it. She has worked so hard and we are so proud of her.”
Brown’s recognition makes her the sixth Seminole Beach All-American since the program’s inception in 2012. FSU has been honored with nine total AVCA Beach All-Americans which ranks as the third most nationally all-time.
“Julie had a tremendous season,” said Niles. “She improved so much after playing at different positions during her first three years at Florida State. To be on the one’s team and play with a player like Jace, who is so well respected nationally, to get almost every serve and to post the record they did is a testament to the hard work they both put in this year. Julie worked really hard on becoming a better player and absolutely deserves this award.”
Pardon leaves Florida State as the school’s all-time leader in matches played (177), overall wins (147) and dual-match victories (85), while ranking second all-time in tournament victories with 62. Her 61 wins at the No. 1 position are the most by any other player at FSU at any position.
Brown put the finishing touches on her collegiate career with one of her best seasons at Florida State. The Oviedo, Fla., native finished 2016 posting single-season career-highs for overall and dual-match wins (28). She played all 33 matches at the number one spot in 2016 after not playing at that position since her freshman season. Brown leaves Florida State ranked fifth all-time in overall wins (95) and third in dual wins (74).
Pardon, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sport management, earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs in the spring of 2015. Brown graduated with a double degree in marketing and business management this past spring.
AVCA Beach Volleyball All-America Team
Pair, School, Cl., Hometown
Julie Brown/ Florida State , Sr., Oviedo, Fla.
Jace Pardon Florida State, Gr., Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Madison Witt/ University of Arizona, Jr., Glendale, Ariz.
McKenna Witt University of Arizona, Jr., Glendale, Ariz.
Mackenzie Phelps/ Grand Canyon University, Sr., Prescott, Ariz.
Shannon Dugan Grand Canyon University, Sr., Gardnerville, Nev.
Megan McNamara/ UCLA, Fr., Vancouver, BC, Canada
Nicole McNamara UCLA, Fr., Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kelly Claes/ University of Southern California, Jr., Fullerton, Calif.
Sara Hughes University of Southern California, Jr., Costa Mesa, Calif.
Katie Spieler/ University of Hawai’i, Sr., Santa Barbara, Calif.
Emily Maglio University of Hawai’i, RS-Fr., Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Heidi Dyer/ Pepperdine University, Fr., San Clemente, Calif.
Taylor Racich Pepperdine University, Sr., Santa Barbara, Calif.
Vendy Strakova/ Stetson University, Gr., Brno, Czech Republic
Sara Putt Stetson University, Fr., Jupiter, Fla.
AVCA Beach Volleyball Honorable Mention All-Americas
Pair, School, Cl., Hometown
Gabrielle Dischler/ Florida Atlantic University, So., Naples, Fla.
Delaney Clesen Florida Atlantic University, Gr., Evanston, Ill.
Jansen Button/ Georgia State University, Sr., Menifee, Calif.
Sara Olivova Georgia State University, Sr., Franklin, Mich.