Jan. 30, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State sand volleyball team will host a Garnet and Gold intersquad exhibition on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.
The Seminoles will play against each other in back-to-back matches in preparation for the 2014 season that will begin March 8.
"The preseason Garnet and Gold intersquad match is huge for us because it's a dress rehearsal," FSU sand volleyball head coach Danalee Corso said. "We get to see how players compete. It's different from how people practice - playing with a whistle brings a different element. This is where we can see the cream rise to the top. We always keep practices very competitive and we scrimmage all the time, but this month of February starting Saturday is when it really matters for our players that are gunning for those starting spots come March."
Florida State brings three All-Americans and back-to-back third-place finishes at the AVCA National Championships into the third collegiate season of sand volleyball.
Last year, juniors Jace Pardon and Sarah Wickstrom collected All-America accolades after advancing to the quarterfinals of 2013 National Pairs Championship, while senior Aurora Davis captured the honor in the inaugural 2012 season.
The `Noles are heavy in veteran experience, bringing back nine of its 10 competitors at the 2013 national championship event - Pardon, Wickstrom, Davis, senior Fatma Yildirim, juniors Melanie Pavels and Stephanie Pellitteri and sophomores Julie Brown, Nina Pellitteri and Katherine Plessy.
Pardon, Davis, Yildirim and Pellitteri will be looking to compete in their third consecutive AVCA National Championship from May 2-4 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Brown and Pavels wrapped up last season as FSU's No. 2 team and competed in the pairs portion of the national championship, while Stephanie and Nina Pellitteri combined to hold a Florida State-best 34-5 overall record.
Yildirim was an honorable mention indoor All-American in 2012 and Davis made it to the semifinals of the pairs championship in 2012.
Last season, the Seminoles finished with a 17-4 dual match record. In two years, FSU holds a 33-6 mark in dual matches, including a 30-2 mark in the regular season. Florida State is undefeated against teams from the East Coast.