April 5, 2014
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team improved its record to 12-1 after sweeping South Carolina (5-0) and Mercer (5-0) at the CofC Sand Classic in Charleston, S.C.
The Seminoles only dropped one set the entire day en route to their victories over the Gamecocks and Bears.
FSU's top pair of senior Aurora Davis and junior Jace Pardon reached 20 wins on the season by defeating Victoria Penrod and Emma Peel of Mercer 21-11, 21-10. Florida State's No. 1 tandem has a 20-1 record. Davis and Pardon defeated Paige Wheeler and Megan Kent of South Carolina earlier Saturday 21-15, 21-9.
"They're playing unbelievably well together right now," FSU head coach Danalee Corso said of her No. 1 pair. "They're dominating and are definitely one of the best teams in the nation. Aurora is playing better than she ever has and has really improved since last year. Jace has become such a better blocker and is more explosive. They are so fun to watch."
Senior Fatma Yildirim and junior Sarah Wickstrom were bumped up to the No. 4 slot because of their stellar play as of late and did not disappoint. With an 11-2 run to start the second set, Yildirim and Wickstrom rolled over Chynna Ratner and Litsa Darby 21-12, 21-7 in their match against the Gamecocks. The quick starts carried over into their next match against Zoe Becton and Emily Rochefort of Mercer as the Seminole pair led 9-0 in the beginning of the second set. Yildirim and Wickstrom finished off the Bears 21-12, 21-12 and are 8-0 together for the season.
"Sarah and Fatma are really rounding into shape," Corso said. "Both have been on our No. 1 team in the past so it's no surprise they are playing well together. I've seen them make big strides and I expect them to get even better."
Corso changed the lineup in the second match of the day against Mercer. Yildirim and Wickstrom switched spots with third pair junior Melanie Pavels and sophomore Julie Brown, while freshmen Sierra Sanchez and Hailey Luke played on court 5.
Sanchez and Luke made the most of their opportunity getting the start against the Bears. The duo won both sets easily against Caroline Carlton and Avery Hoven 21-12, 21-12.
Pavels and Brown improved to 15-7 on the season with wins over Jordan Loney and Jade Vitt of South Carolina 21-10, 21-13 and Erin Brett and Hannah Sorensen of Mercer 21-10, 21-10.
Junior Stephanie Pellitteri and sophomore Kristina Pellitteri won both matches today as well. The sisters ran into some adversity in their second match against Jamie Duffy and Natalie Brown of Mercer after dropping the first set 21-17. The Pellitteri's fought back and won the next two sets to finish off the sweep.
The Florida State sand volleyball team will be back in action Sunday where the Garnet and Gold face off against eighth-ranked Georgia State at 8 a.m. followed by a match against the College of Charleston at 10 a.m.
"Georgia State is the other top team in the East, so this will be a big matchup," Corso said. "This is a win we need to solidify our spot in the National Championships."
For more information visit Seminoles.com and follow the Florida State sand volleyball team's official twitter account @FSU_SVB.
#4 Florida State 5, Mercer 0
1.) Jace Pardon-Aurora Davis def. Victoria Penrod-Emma Peel 21-11, 21-10
2.) Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri def. Jamie Duffy-Natalie Brown 17-21, 21-13, 15-12
3.) Sarah Wickstrom-Fatma Yildirim def. Zoe Becton-Emily Rochefort 21-12, 21-12
4.) Melanie Pavels-Julie Brown def. Erin Brett-Hannah Sorensen 21-10, 21-10
5.) Sierra Sanchez-Hailey Luke def. Caroline Carlton-Avery Hoven 21-12, 21-12