Feb. 26, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State sand volleyball head coach Danalee Corso couldn't have been happier Sunday afternoon as her team opened up its inaugural season with a Garnet & Gold intersquad match at the Seminole Sand Volleyball Courts.
"I think our play is fantastic," Corso said. "I'm so excited about the girls. They've been training really hard. They looked a little nervous, but that can be understood because they're so ready to compete."
Junior Aurora Newgard and sophomore Brittany Tiegs swept both of their matches for the Garnet team to finish as the top duo of the day. Newgard tallied 34 kills and 26 digs while Tiegs registered 25 kills, 16 digs and two blocks in two matches. Team 3 featuring senior Visnja Djurdjevic and freshman Melanie Pavels finished as the runner-ups on the day. Pavels paced her team with 25 kills and 22 digs in two matches and Djurdjevic added 22 kills, eight digs and two blocks.
Corso's teams played a doubleheader with the Garnet team winning three of the first four matches. Both the Garnet and the Gold teams split the four matches after a 30-minute break.
Playing on court 1, Newgard and Tiegs swept the freshman duo of Sarah Wickstrom and Jace Pardon of the Gold team, 21-16 and 21-19 in one of the top matches part one of the doubleheader in the best of three-set format. Tiegs put down 14 kills and tallied seven digs. Newgard picked up a double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs. Wickstrom finished with 13 kills.
Wickstrom and Pardon took third on the day as they later defeated the duo of freshman Stephanie Pellitteri and senior Mallory Kiley, 21-18 and 21-12. Pardon posted a double-double with 17 kills and 10 digs in that match while her teammate Wickstrom added seven kills, five digs and three aces. Pardon finished with 25 kills and 18 digs on the day. Wickstrom tallied 20 kills and 14 digs on the day.
Pellitteri and Kiley playing for the Gold team ended the day fourth. Their earlier match saw them fall in three sets to the duo of Djurdjevic and Pavels, 21-15, 7-21, 10-15. Pellittteri finished with 19 kills and 10 digs in the two matches while her teammate Kiley had 13 kills and 10 digs.
Rounding out the top eight standings were the pairs of Fatma Yildirim/Marija Milosavljevic, Jeassica McGregor/Lacey Blackman, Amanda Saxton/Caitlin Haworth and Nicole Walch joined by assistant coach Taylor Irvin.
"I've been pleasantly surprised by how well the indoor players are coming along," Corso said. "I think we're really, really deep which I love. I like that I can pick up someone from my fifth team and put them with Jace [Pardon] at No. 1 and stay competitive. I think that's what it's all about to win that team championship. We have eight strong teams right now, so at practice it's battling all the time. I tell them whoever wins then will start on Saturday so that made for a competitive day [today]."
The Seminoles begin full competition Saturday, March 3 when they travel to UAB. FSU plays at Tulane on March 5.
Match 1 Court 1 - Brittany Tiegs/Aurora Newgard defeated Sarah Wickstrom/Jace Pardon, 21-16, 21-19 Court 2 - Visnja Djurdjevic/Melanie Pavels defeated Stephanie Pellitteri/Mallory Kiley, 15-21, 21-7, 15-10 Court 5 - Fatma Yildirim/Marija Milosavljevic defeated Nicole Walch/Taylor Irvin, 21-15, 21-13 Court 4 - Lacey Blackman/Jeassica McGregor defeated Caitlin Haworth/Amanda Saxton, 24-22, 22-13
Match 2 Court 1 - Brittany Tiegs/Aurora Newgard defeated Visnja Djurdjevic/Melanie Pavels, 21-18, 21-16 Court 4 - Fatma Yildirim/Marija Milosavljevic defeated Lacey Blackman/Jeassica McGregor, 21-14, 22-20 Court 5 - Caitlin Haworth/Amanda Saxton defeated Nicole Walch/Taylor Irvin, 21-16, 21-11 Court 2 - Sarah Wickstrom/Jace Pardon defeated Stephanie Pellitteri/Mallory Kiley, 21-18, 21-12