EMERSON, Ga. – The Florida State Beach Volleyball team (27-1) completed pool play in group one of the 2016 CCSA Championship with a perfect 3-0 record following Saturday morning’s 5-0 victory over UAB. “Coming into this tournament, we had a few different goals and that first goal was to win our pool, so we could get that bye for Sunday,” Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said.
“The bye is huge for us and it’s always nice to achieve a goal. We played strong today and are ready for tomorrow.”
With the win, the Seminoles advance to Sunday’s first semifinal where they will face South Carolina at 8:00 a.m. on the Rally Courts at Lakepoint Sporting Community.
“In this tournament, we have gotten better after every single match, which is exactly what I wanted to see from our team,” added Niles. “We approached this weekend looking at it as two different tournaments. Right now we have to take a deep breath; we are in a different tournament and there is a lot more at stake with it entering the single-elimination stages of the bracket. It’s a different pressure but it’s really good for us at this point in the year.”
Florida State won in straight sets on four of five courts, while Jace Pardon and Julie Brown needed three sets to complete the sweep. Vanessa Freire and Sierra Sanchez registered FSU’s first point of the match defeating Amber Treace and Rachel Evans, 21-14, 21-9, on court three, while Hailey Luke and Nikki Esposito gave the Noles a 2-0 advantage with a 21-9, 21-11 victory on court five.
Victoria Paranagua and Kristina Pellitteri sealed the match on court two defeating Michaela Ressor and Avery Hoven, 21-15, 21-14. Macy Jerger and Annie Montgomery pulled out a tough straight set win over Avei Logoleo and Tressa Buckland as both sets were decided by extra points with the Noles prevailing 22-20, 24-22.
On court one, Brown and Pardon secured their 12th straight match victory after downing UAB’s Chelsi Carter and Sara Rishell in three sets for the second time in as many weeks. After the Blazers captured set one 21-18, the CCSA Pair of the Year evened the match at a set apiece winning set two 21-19. Both teams exchanged points early in set three before Brown and Pardon used an 8-0 run to take a commanding 9-2 lead. The deficit proved to be too much for UAB as the Seminole duo won set three 15-7.
Florida State enters Sunday’s CCSA semifinal winners of 13 in a row. The Seminoles are 2-0 against South Carolina this year defeating the Gamecocks to open the 2016 campaign and then again during pool on Friday, both by identical 5-0 margins. FSU is 5-0 all-time against South Carolina.
The rest of pool play at the CCSA Championship finished as following:
Florida State, 3-0
South Carolina, 1-2
Georgia State, 3-0
South Carolina d. FIU, 4-1
LSU d. FAU, 3-2
A win in Sunday’s first semifinal will advance the Noles to the championship match which will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday and will air live on ESPN3. Stay tuned to Seminoles.com for more information on this weekend’s championship. As always, fans can also follow the Noles on Twitter (FSU_BeachVB) and on Instagram (FSUBeachVolleyball) for continued updates on this year’s team.
Match 28 – Emerson, Ga.
No. 3 Florida State d. UAB, 5-0
Court 1:Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU d. Chelsi Carter/Sara Rishell, UAB – 18-21, 21-19, 15-7
Court 2: Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua, FSU d. Michaela Ressor/Avery Hoven, UAB – 21-15, 21-14
Court 3: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Amber Treace/Rachel Evans, UAB – 21-14, 21-9
Court 4: Macy Jerger/Annie Montgomery, FSU d. Avei Logoleo/Tressa Buckland, UAB – 22-20, 24-22
Court 5: Nikki Esposito/Hailey Luke, FSU d. Gabbi Moreno/Emily Martinez, UAB – 21-9, 21-11
Order of Finish: 3, 5, *2, 4, 1
*clinched dual win