March 1, 2013
TALLAHASSE, Fla. - The Florida State sand volleyball team will open the 2013 season with the Garnet and Gold match on Sunday at 12 p.m. at the Florida State Sand Volleyball Complex.
The first 100 fans will receive vouchers to redeem tank tops at the first intermission. The Seminoles are expected to have 10 matches - each best-of-three, first-to-21 format - at the five-court complex located between Florida State's Mike Long Track and the Spirit Way parking garage.
Florida State went 15-0 in the regular season a year ago in sand volleyball's inaugural campaign as a collegiate sport. The Noles were one of four teams invited to compete at the AVCA National Championships where they finished third.
FSU has 22 players on this year's team, including returning All-American junior Aurora Davis (née Newgard) and indoor volleyball All-American senior Fatma Yildirm.
Additionally, sophomore Jace Pardon will be one of the Garnet and Gold's leaders and top performers after advancing to the semifinals of the national pairs tournament.
"We had a fantastic first season last year and I'm confident we can improve even more." Head coach Danalee Corso said. "We have the largest group in the country. We have a lot of depth and return a lot of sand experience. We return an All-American in Aurora (Davis) as well as indoor All-American Fatma Yildirim and Jace Pardon, who finished third at the Pairs National Championship. We'll add a couple of other All-Americans from the indoor team, too. I feel much more prepared this year on and off the court. Our coaching staff has a year under our belts and we've been practicing on our five courts since Day 1. I expect us to be very successful again."
Joining Davis as a captains are senior returners Mallory Kiley and Amanda Saxton, while junior Jeassica McGregor and sophomores Sarah Wickstrom and Stephanie Pellitteri each have national championship experience.
The Noles will be bolstered by a seven-member freshman class of sand-only players as well as a strong group of FSU indoor volleyball players led by Yildirim, Wickstrom and senior Marija Milosavljevic.
For updates and more information on the Florida State sand volleyball team, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_SVB.