EMERSON, Ga. – The Florida State Beach Volleyball team (28-1) earned a spot in the finals of the inaugural CCSA Conference Championship with a 5-0 victory over South Carolina in the first semifinal Sunday morning on the Rally Courts at the Lakepoint Sporting Community. “These girls really wanted to make a statement and play strong this morning,” Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said.
“South Carolina is a great team. They played really well and played us tough, but the fact that we kept withstanding their pushes throughout the match was really good us.”
The Seminoles won in straight sets on all five courts against the Gamecocks for the second time this weekend and will now face the winner of the second semifinal featuring Georgia State and LSU at 1:00 p.m. The match will air live on ESPN3.
“This is where we wanted to be,” said Niles on advancing to the championship final. “We are very comfortable here; we are ready to play. The girls want the pressure, they love the pressure. They just want to compete and get better every time.”
FSU got off to a great start cruising to victories on courts four and five to grab an early 2-0 lead. Annie Montgomery and Macy Jerger earned the first point of the match with a 21-14, 21-10 victory over South Carolina’s Delaney Wood and Jade Vitt. On court five, Hailey Luke and Nikki Esposito made quick work of Erin Neuenfeldt and Lisa Darby winning 21-14, 21-14.
Jace Pardon and Julie Brown, the CCSA Pair of the Year, clinched the match for Florida State defeating Julia Mannisto and Shannon Williams on court one, 22-20, 21-12, to run their win streak to 13 in a row.
Victoria Paranagua and Kristina Pellitteri and Vanessa Freire and Sierra Sanchez completed the sweep with victories on courts two and three, respectively. Paranagua/Pellitteri defeated Sarah Blomgren and Aubrey Ezell, 21-16, 21-17, while Freire/Sanchez concluded the match with a 21-19, 21-18 victory over Macie Tendrich and Katie Reilly.
The Seminole duos on courts one, two and three moved to a perfect 12-0 record this weekend as 10 of those 12 matches have been won in straight sets.
Stay tuned to Seminoles.com for more information on Sunday’s CCSA Championship match. 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 29 – Emerson, Ga. – CCSA Semifinals
No. 3 Florida State d. South Carolina, 5-0
Court 1: Julie Brown/Jace Pardon, FSU d. Julia Mannisto/Shannon Williams, SC – 22-20, 21-12
Court 2: Kristina Pellitteri/Victoria Paranagua, FSU d. Sarah Blomgren/Aubrey Ezell, SC – 21-16, 21-17
Court 3: Vanessa Freire/Sierra Sanchez, FSU d. Macie Tendrich/Katie Reilly, SC – 21-19, 21-18
Court 4: Macy Jerger/Annie Montgomery, FSU d. Delaney Wood/ Jade Vitt, SC – 21-14, 21-10
Court 5: Nikki Esposito/Hailey Luke, FSU d. Erin Neuenfeldt/Lisa Darby, SC – 21-14, 21-14
Order of Finish: 4, 5, *1, 2, 3
*clinched dual win