March 11, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The No. 4-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team split dual matches against No. 6 UCLA and No. 2 Long Beach State on Monday at the 49ers' sand courts.
The Seminoles swept the Bruins, 5-0, in the morning, but fell to Long Beach State, 4-1, in the afternoon. The 49ers are the defending national runners-up.
"Long Beach State was tough," Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. "They are a very good team. I'd say we kind of ran out of gas since we played them in our second match and it was at their place. We played great against UCLA and it was great to see Fatma (Yildirim) and Aurora (Davis) really bounce back today. They were phenomenal.
"This week has been a great learning experience for our team. We get a few days off and then we will face some more of the nation's top teams at the Olympic Training Center. There will be some more opportunities to test ourselves this weekend."
Florida State's No. 1 tandem of Yildirim, a senior, and Davis, a junior, won both of their contests on the day, taking down Long Beach State's No. 1 duo of Caitlin Ledoux and Alex Reid in straight sets, 21-18, 21-19 and UCLA's top squad of Meg Norton and Kelly Reeves, 22-20, 21-15.
FSU took two other matches to three sets against the 49ers in a dual that was closer than the score indicated.
Junior Jace Pardon and senior Marija Milosavljevic were barely edged in three sets on Court 3, 21-10, 17-21, 16-14, while the No. 4 tandem of Julie Brown and Sarah Wickstrom fell to Jocelyn Neely and Lauren Minkel, 21-17, 17-21, 15-11.
On Court 2, sophomore Melanie Pavels and freshman Katherine Plessy dropped their dual to Bre Mackie and Chelsea Cabrajac, 21-18, 21-16, and sophomore Stephanie Pellitteri and her sister, freshman Nina Pellitteri, were defeated by Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson on Court 5.
The match was a rematch of the double-elimination AVCA National Championship Semifinals held a year ago in Gulf Shores, Ala. in which the 49ers handed the Seminoles their only two losses, 4-1 and 3-2, of the 2012 season.
FSU cruised past UCLA earlier in the day. In addition to Davis and Yildirim winning in straight sets, so did Pardon and Milosavljevic on Court 3, Brown and Wickstrom on Court 4 and the Pellitteri's on Court 5.
Pavels and Plessy won their match on Court 2 in three sets.
Florida State returns to action from Thursday to Saturday at the USAV Collegiate Challenge in Chula Vista, Calif. at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. FSU will battle No. 9 Nebraska and No. 1 Pepperdine, the defending national champions, on Thursday before taking on CSU Bakersfield on Friday. Bracket play will take place on Friday and Saturday. Grand Canyon University is also at the event.
For more information on the Florida State sand volleyball team, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_SVB.
Results: FSU 5, UCLA 0 1) Davis-Yildirim, FSU def. Norton-Reeves, UCLA 22-20, 21-15 2) Pavels-Plessy, FSU def. Strehlow-Nightengale, UCLA 21-15, 16-21, 18-16 3) Pardon-Milosavljevic, FSU def. Todorovic-Moenoa, UCLA 21-17, 21-16 4) Brown-Wickstrom, FSU def. Lowe-Drolson, UCLA 21-12, 21-11 5) K.Pellitteri-S.Pellitteri, FSU def. Klineman-Inoyue, UCLA 21-7, 21-13
LBSU 4, FSU 1 1) Davis-Yildirim, FSU def. Ledoux-Reid, LBSU 21-18, 21-19 2) Mackie-Cabrajac, LBSU def. Pavels-Plessy, FSU 21-18, 21-16 3) Aigner-Swesey, LBSU def. Pardon-Milosavljevic, FSU 21-10, 17-21, 16-14 4) Neely-Minkel, LBSU def. Brown-Wickstrom, FSU 21-17, 17-21, 15-11 5) Johnson-Jackson, LBSU def. K.Pellitteri-S.Pellitteri, FSU 21-16, 21-19