Aug 29, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State sand volleyball head coach Danalee Corso announced the 2014 schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday. The Seminoles will host two events in the spring, as well as a showcase in November against Georgia State and South Carolina.
In addition to hosting three events, Florida State will hit the road to face the nation's top teams, including last year's national champion Long Beach State. In all, FSU will battle four of the five teams that were in the 2013 AVCA National Championships with the Noles. FSU finished third at the 2013 National Tournament for the second consecutive season.
The Seminoles kick off competition on Nov. 9 with an exhibition match against Georgia State and South Carolina. This is the first season the Gamecocks are fielding a sand volleyball team.
"The fall event will give us a good indication of what the team is going to shape up to look like," Corso said. "It's not our complete team because our indoor players are not with us, but I feel like it really helps the team to have that one event going into the next semester."
In the regular season opener from March 8-9, the Seminoles will head to Jacksonville to face North Florida and ULM, two other AVCA Championship finalists, as well as FIU and South Carolina.
Following the season opener, FSU will make a trip to California for the third straight season. The Seminoles will face Loyola Marymount in Santa Monica, Calif., on March 12 before facing Southern Cal, UCLA, and Long Beach State from March 14-15 in Los Angeles.
"We plan on going to California every year," Corso said. "The competition over there is very strong. It's great because if we can beat some big teams early on, we're ranked high the entire year and we become almost a `shoe-in' for the National Championships."
The Seminoles will host dual matches against UAB and LSU from March 29-30. LSU joins the Gamecocks as the second team in the Southeastern Conference to begin playing sand volleyball.
From April 5-6, the Seminoles will travel to Charleston, S.C. to face College of Charleston, UAB, Georgia State, and South Carolina. The following weekend, April 11-13, FSU will be in Siesta Key, Fla., to participate in duals against Webber and Tulane, as well as that weekend's Siesta Key Tournament. The Seminoles have won the past two team cup titles at the tournament.
The second and final home event of the spring season will be held April 18-19. The Seminoles welcome Georgia State, ULM, and South Carolina for a pairs tournament at the FSU Sand Volleyball Complex.
The season will wrap up from May 2-4 in Gulf Shores, Ala., home of the AVCA Championships for the third straight season.
Corso is excited about the prospects that the upcoming season holds and is anxious to get the season underway.
"We're at Year 3 and I'm confident that we are going to be an even better team this year than last," Corso said. "We are losing three seniors, but we have two strong freshmen coming in and we return three All-Americans. Our indoor team has more experience now, and we had the youngest sand-only team in the country last year - who have gotten much better."
"I'm excited to get started."
The Seminoles will be led by All-Americans Jace Pardon and Sarah Wickstrom, last season's No. 1 pair, along with 2012 All-American Aurora Davis. FSU also will look for strong performances from sisters Kristina and Stephanie Pellitteri, court partners who went 34-5 last year and tallied a 3-1 mark at the AVCA National Championships.