March 21, 2014
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The fourth-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team returns to action beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday at an event on Panama City Beach near Pier Plaza.
The Seminoles will face off against Gulf Coast State College and a group of amateur adult teams. The format will feature four pools of three pairs. Following pool play there will be a gold, silver and bronze bracket.
A year ago, at a similar event in Panama City held at the Pier Plaza, current senior Aurora Davis and Fatma Yilidirm finished first in the championship bracket, while junior Jace Pardon paired with former Nole Marija Milosavljevic to place second.
Saturday marks FSU's first event since a 10-day season-opening road trip that saw the Seminoles defeat three ranked teams (No. 9 FIU, No. 3 Long Beach State and No. 6 UCLA).
"We had 10 successful days," head coach Danalee Corso said. "What we learned is we still have work to do. I still think this is the best squad we've ever had, but just as we're getting better so is the rest of the country. It's a good time for us to try to do some tweaks in the lineup and try to figure some things out. There's definitely room to improve for sure, which is exciting."
This season FSU has been led early on by the No. 1 pair of Pardon and Davis, who are 11-1.
¬The Seminoles are already in great position to secure an invitation to their third consecutive AVCA National Championships with their 7-1 record against a tough schedule. FSU's only loss came to No. 2 Southern California, 3-2, in Los Angeles.
This weekend will serve as tune-up before Florida State welcomes UAB and LSU for a two-day event in Tallahassee on March 29-30.
"I like the idea of playing different level of teams, because you have to see everybody compete," Corso said. "We have a young team still. Playing in Panama City is a great opportunity to compete on the beach and play a lot of matches. Any time you can get out and compete all day it can be a great learning opportunity."
For more information visit Seminoles.com and follow the Florida State sand volleyball team's official twitter account @FSU_SVB.