May 3, 2014 - by
Seminoles Advance to National Championship Match

May 3, 2014

GULF SHORES, Ala. ( – The Florida State sand volleyball team is headed to the National Championship Finals for the first time in school history after defeated No. 4 seed Hawaii, 4-1, in the first National Semifinal on Saturday.

The third-seeded Seminoles will face No. 2 seed Pepperdine at 3:30 p.m. CT.

The National Championship Match will feature only two courts playing simultaneously. Courts 4 and 5 will start at around 3:30 p.m. CT, while Courts 1 and 3 will follow. Court 2 will cap the action.

FSU’s sand volleyball twitter @FSU_SVB will have live updates.

“This is what we came to do,” FSU head coach Danalee Corso said. “We know we will win championships at some point. We have everything it takes here at Florida State. This is one step closer. We have nothing to lose later this afternoon. We are going to stay loose and have fun.

“We fought so hard today. It shows the heart we have. The team is ready.”

Noles Celebrate Berth in Finals

FSU fell to Pepperdine, 4-1, in a close match on Friday, but rebounded to cruise past FIU, 5-0, later that afternoon to advance to the Noles’ third straight Final Four.

Against Hawaii, senior Fatma Yildirim and junior Sarah Wickstrom zipped to a two-set victory to give FSU a 1-0 lead.

Junior Stephanie Pellitteri and sophomore Kristina Pellitteri also won in two sets, coming back from down 18-16 in the second set to capture a 21-19 victory that put Florida State ahead 2-0.

Courts 1, 3 and 5 all went to three sets.

Shortly after the Pellitteri sisters gave the Seminoles the 2-0 advantage, junior Melanie Pavels and sophomore Julie Brown built a commanding lead in the third set on Court 4.

Pavels drilled an ace for the game and match clinching point, 15-7 in the third set, that put FSU in front 3-0 and sent Florida State to the National Championship Final.

“This is what we have been working for, for three years – all those morning practices…all of the lifting,” Pavels said. “Everything has led up to this moment. We are playing for a National Championship. It doesn’t get better.

“After dropping the second set, Julie and I put it all out on the court and we were able to get that `W’.”

All-Americans senior Aurora Davis and Jace Pardon also won in three sets in a battle on Court 1, while freshmen Sierra Sanchez and Hailey Luke dropped a tough three-set nail-biter on Court 5.

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