April 13, 2014
SIESTA KEY, Fla. (Seminoles.com) - All-Americans Aurora Davis and Jace Pardon continue to prove they will be top contenders for the national pairs championship following an undefeated weekend while leading the fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team at the Fiesta on Siesta Key event.
Davis, a senior, and Pardon, a junior, captured the coveted Siesta Sand Pairs Challenge on Sunday wrapping up the three-day event without ever dropping a set.
The pair now has a nearly flawless record of 30-1 this season just a few weeks from the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. (May 2-4).
Davis and Pardon won four consecutive two-set matches on Sunday to claim their second straight pairs tournament title after also winning the gold division at the FSU Sand Volleyball Invitational two weeks ago.
On the beaches of Siesta Key, Pardon and Davis defeated North Florida's top pair of Dagnija Medina and Kim Hildreth 21-15, 21-14 in the finals.
"Jace and Aurora were super impressive today," Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. "They made me believe that they have the ability to win a national championship today. If they can play like they did today, the sky is the limit.
"They aren't the tallest team in the nation, but they make up for that by being complete players. Their defense is incredibly good. They both dig so well. They make great choices on the court. They have so many different tools - ball control, serving and setting. They can do it all and they are so much fun to coach."
The Siesta Pairs Challenge bracket featured the top 16 pairs among the 40 teams at the event.
In addition to Pardon and Davis, FSU's No. 2 tandem of junior Stephanie Pellitteri and sophomore Kristina Pellitteri and Noles' No. 3 duo of senior Fatma Yildirim and junior Sarah Wickstrom also competed in the marquee bracket.
The Pellitteri sisters fell to FIU's No. 1 team of Jessica Mendoza and Maryna Samoday in the quarterfinals, while Wickstrom and Yildirim fell to South Carolina's Sarah Blomgren and Mikaela Christiaansen in three sets in the first round.
Florida State also had four teams compete in the Sunday Funday brackets, single elimination tournaments featuring one set to 25.
"I'm very happy with the way we played this weekend," Corso said. "We won four different divisions. Sierra and Hailey made a huge leap today. They get better every match they play and this win will definitely build their confidence. I'm really looking forward to more great competition next weekend at our home pairs tournament."
The Seminoles host ULM, Georgia State and South Carolina at the FSU Pairs Tournament on Friday and Saturday at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.
For more information visit Seminoles.com and follow the Florida State sand volleyball team's official twitter account @FSU_SVB.
Siesta Pairs Results Bracket Play (Best 2 of 3 Games)
Round of 16 Aurora Davis-Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Tea Juric-Jackie Wegner (TUL) 21-11, 22-20 Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Marina Boulanger-Jessica Gehrke (FIU) 21-15, 21-16 Sarah Blomgren-Mikaela Christiaansen (SC) def. Sarah Wickstrom-Fatma Yildirim (FSU) 21-18, 14-21, 11-15
Quarterfinals Aurora Davis-Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Kaley Melville-Kaylee Anderson (SU) 21-7, 21-12 Jessica Mendoza-Maryna Samoday (FIU) def. Stephanie Pellitteri-Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) 21-14, 21-13
Semifinals Aurora Davis-Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Jessica Mendoza-Maryna Samoday (FIU) 21-16, 21-13
Finals Aurora Davis-Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Dagnija Medina-Kim Hildreth (UNF) 21-16, 21-14
Sunday Funday Results Pool Play (1 Game to 25)
Pool A 1st Round Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Chloe Jenkins-Kami Dickerson (GCU) 25-14 Quarterfinals Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Hannah Holmes-Anna Wruck (TU) 25-18 Semifinals Sarah Agnew-Katelyn Rawls (GSU) def. Julie Brown-Melanie Pavels (FSU) 25-16
Pool B 1st Round Alannah Cullum-Rachel Arnason (ULM) def. Annie Montgomery-Julia Thompson (FSU) 25-21
Pool C 1st Round Hailey Luke-Sierra Sanchez (FSU) def. Madi Wilcox-Marlene Moeller (FGCU) 25-15 Quarterfinals Hailey Luke-Sierra Sanchez (FSU) def. Miah Diirell-Sarah Strasner (TU) 25-14 Semifinals Hailey Luke-Sierra Sanchez (FSU) def. Ebony Gunn-Emily Davanzo (UNF) 25-17 Finals Hailey Luke-Sierra Sanchez (FSU) def. Emily Laskelle-Alyssa Robertson (JU) 25-15
Jordan Wilson-Talmadge-Shiloh Burgreen (SC) def. Lexy Ryan-Mercedes Vaughn (FSU) 25-21