April 11, 2013
SIESTA KEY, Fla. -The No. 3-ranked Florida State sand volleyball team will look to defend its titles at the fifth annual Fiesta on Siesta from Friday to Sunday on the beaches of Siesta Key.
The three-day event is the largest collegiate sand volleyball competition in the country and kicks off Friday with dual matches and practices.
FSU will face FGCU at 4 p.m. on Friday before preparing for Saturday's "Siesta Pairs Challenge" which begins at 8:30 a.m. and features pairs from 11 sand-only teams.
Saturday will also feature a "Fiesta Team Cup." The pairs challenge wraps up Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m.
"The Fiesta on Siesta is a very exciting event," Florida State head coach Danalee Corso said. "No. 1, we are playing on a natural beach. No. 2, it's the biggest collegiate event as far as participation goes. There will be close to 300 players there. We won the team cup and pairs cup last year so we are looking to defend our titles. There are some really good pairs in this region. I think it will be tougher to win this year. We've got a great chance in the Team Cup because we are so deep. It will be more of a challenge in the pairs. I'm excited to compete against good competition."
Last season, the Seminoles were crowned the team champion and won both pairs brackets at the tournament.
Additionally, current Noles Jace Pardon (second, Fiesta), Mallory Kiley (third, Fiesta) and Marija Milosavljevic (second, Siesta) all had top-three finishes with their partners during last year's event.
The Seminoles enter the weekend with an 11-2 record and have nearly locked up a second consecutive national championships berth. FSU has defeated four Top-10 teams and its only two blemishes are a pair of close losses to the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Pepperdine and Long Beach State.
Sophomore Stephanie Pellitteri and her younger sister freshman Nina Pellitteri lead FSU with 16 wins as a pair this season, while Kiley is close behind, tallying 15 wins with multiple partners.
For more information on the Florida State sand volleyball team, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_SVB.