Aurora Davis and Jace Pardon advanced to the Pairs National Semifinals on Sunday
Nine Seminoles registered a grade point average above 3.00 for the academic year
The All-America duo of Jace Pardon and Sarah Wickstrom fell in the pairs quarterfinals
FSU fell to the defending national champions, 3-2, on Saturday
No. 3 seed Florida State swept No. 6 seed ULM to open the National Championships.
In just two years, the Florida State sand volleyball program has produced five All-Americans, advanced to consecutive AVCA National Championship Final Fours and collected a 30-2 mark in regular season dual match competition.
The Seminoles are a bona fide juggernaut and unquestionably the nation's top program in the East as sand volleyball enters Year 3 of emerging sport status.
The architect of the success is Danalee Corso (formerly Danalee Bragado), a former professional beach volleyball player and coach, whose detailed instruction, motivation and recruiting has jumpstarted the Garnet & Gold program to the top of the pack among sand volleyball teams.
As one of the most respected teachers of the sport in the world, Corso continues to push the NCAA's latest emerging sport and the Seminoles to new heights.
Florida State finished the 2012-13 season with a 17-4 dual match record. Corso led the Seminoles to their second consecutive semifinal at the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships after falling to No. 1 seeded and national champion runner-up Pepperdine, 3-2. Top pair and 2013 All-Americans, Jace Pardon and Sarah Wickstrom, reached the pairs quarterfinals at the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. The `Noles had big wins against then No. 3 USC in Los Angeles, Calif. and defended its Fiesta on Siesta Team Cup title in Siesta Key, Fla. for the second year in a row.
FSU was at the forefront of sand volleyball's first season of collegiate competition in 2012. The Seminoles hired Corso as the nation's first full-time head coach in the summer of 2011 and she went to work building and preparing a championship caliber team. The results were impressive to say the least.
The Seminoles didn't lose a regular season dual match, sporting a 15-0 mark and a 72-3 overall record in pairs play in dual contests. Florida State also captured the team titles at Clash of Collegians, FSU Sand Tournament, UNF Invitational and the Fiesta at Siesta Key.
The Garnet & Gold won six pairs championships throughout the season and the top tandems of Jekaterina Stepanova and Jace Pardon and Aurora Newgard and Brittany Tiegs advanced to the semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively, of the first-ever AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., in April.
At the national tournament, Stepanova, Newgard and Tiegs earned three of the 10 individual All-America awards from the AVCA.
The Seminoles finished third at the National Championships, leaving the squad and Corso wanting more for the 2013 campaign.
FSU's success should come as no surprise since Corso has enjoyed a standout career as a player and coach. She is well-known throughout the beach volleyball circuit after a highly successful professional career both domestically and internationally.
Corso was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School. Corso is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, CA, where she majored in Business and played indoor volleyball from 1989-92. She captained the team and was a First Team All-West Coast Conference pick. After graduating she went straight to the 4 woman pro beach tour for one year prior to 13 seasons excelling in several professional double tours. In 1989, Corso played professional court volleyball in Paris France for Racing Club de Villibeon.
In 2004, Corso received a Brazilian Pro Beach Coaching Accreditation and helped coach the United States National Beach Volleyball Team from 2004-07 as the coach of national team members, Rachel Wacholder and Tyra Turner. She has also coached 2008 Summer Games Olympian Nicole Branagh as well as top professionals Makare Wilson, Michelle More and Suzanne Stonebarger.
In 1993, Corso started Aloha Ball Club, a beach volleyball academy in Hermosa Beach, CA. In 2004, Her husband Brian Corso, another pro beach player joined her in the business which branched out to a full service academy that offers classes and private lessons for amateurs and professionals as well as sport specific fitness training.
She was also head coach of the USA Junior National Beach Team where she coached 12 pairs of men and women that competed at the Under-19 and Under-21 U.S. National Teams, and of the World University Championship (WUC). Her teams' accomplishments included a silver medal in the Boys Under 19 team World Championships and a bronze medal in the Boys WUC.
Some of Corso's greatest playing achievements include being ranked among the top 10 teams for 9 years on the USA Volleyball Pro Tour. In 1996, she was the #15 ranked team in world on the FIVB tour. Her finishes include a 2nd place finish at a FIVB World Series event in Osaka, Japan, a 3rd place finish in Deerfield Beach, FL on USA Pro Beach Tour and a 1st place finish, at a FIVB Satellite Tournament in Jona, Switzerland. In 1998, on the Switzerland Pro Beach Tour, her team was ranked the #1 team of the tour and was voted she was voted MVP. Corso won the 1995 Motherlode Open in Aspen, CO. Corso also took first place at two Norceca Tournaments in both San Juan, Puerto Rico and Mexico City in 2003.
Corso and her family moved to Tallahassee after she spent 20 years in Los Angeles. Her husband Brian Corso, has a Master's Degree in Sports Science, and coaches with her as the assistant coach of the FSU sand volleyball team. They have two young children, Camryn and Asher.