March 13, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Freshman Grace Weaver posted a team-leading 16 kills and senior Nikki Osuna tallied 12 digs, but it was not enough as the Tulane University sand volleyball team dropped a pair of 5-0 decisions to host Florida State on Tuesday at the Seminole Sand Volleyball Complex.
The Seminoles posted straight-set victories in all 10 matches and won by 10-or-more points in 13 of 20 sets on the afternoon. With the losses, Tulane falls to 0-4 on the year. Florida State, which played its first home matches in the emerging sport's history, remains undefeated on the year at 6-0.
The closest contest of the day came in the first half of the twinbill as Milica Jovic and Shefali Arora fell to the FSU tandem of Jeassica McGregor and Lauryssa Blackman - 21-18, 21-11 - in No. 5 action. Jekaterina Stepanova and Jace Pardon downed Tulane's Weaver and Cori Martone 21-8, 21-13 at the top of the lineup while Aurora Newgard and Brittany Tiegs throttled the Green Wave's Osuna and Milena Dragovic at No. 2 - 21-6, 21-7. In No. 3 play, Melanie Pavels and Visnja Djurdjevic downed Anna Wruck and Lilly Wolfe - 21-13, 21-7 - and Stephanie Pellitteri and Mallory Kiley followed suit at No. 4 with a 21-4, 21-12 decision over Olivia Utt and Azarri Badawi.
Weaver was one of four Green Wave players to finish with double-digit kill totals as Wruck had 14, Badawi tallied 13, Arora posted 11 and Martone added 10. Osuna, meanwhile, was followed in digs by Wolfe with 11 while Martone posted nine. Arora led Tulane with three service aces and Dragonovic paced the squad with a trio of blocks.
Stepanova paced the Seminoles with a match-high 24 kills and 23 digs. She was one of seven Florida State players to tally at least 20 kills as Newgard posted 23, Blackman, Tiegs and Kiley had 22 apiece, Pardon added 21 and Djurdjevic chipped in with 20. Stepanova was also one of three Seminoles to post at least 20 digs as Newgard had 22 and Pardon had 20. Newgard, Pavels and McGregor shared match-high aces honors with seven each, and Djurdjevic led the team with a pair of blocks.
The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, March 14, when they travel to DeLand, Fla., to play a pair of matches against Stetson. First serve of the opening contest is slated for 2 p.m. while the nightcap is slated to begin at 4 p.m. From there, Tulane will enjoy a two-week break before heading to Birmingham, Ala., to square off against UAB.
MATCH 1: FLORIDA STATE (5-0) DEFEATS TULANE (0-3), 5-0
No. 1: Jekaterina Stepanova / Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Cori Martone / Grace Weaver (TLN) - 21-8, 21-13
No. 2: Aurora Newgard / Brittany Tiegs (FSU) def. Milena Dragovic / Nikki Osuna (TLN) - 21-6, 21-7
No. 3: Melanie Pavels / Visnja Djurdjevic (FSU) def. Anna Wruck / Lilly Wolfe (TLN) - 21-13, 21-7
No. 4: Stephanie Pellitteri / Mallory Kiley (FSU) def. Olivia Utt / Azarri Badawi (TLN) - 21-4, 21-12
No. 5: Jeassica McGregor / Lauryssa Blackman (FSU) def. Milica Jovic / Shefali Arora (TLN) - 21-18, 21-11
MATCH 2: FLORIDA STATE (6-0) DEFEATS TULANE (0-4), 5-0
No. 1: Aurora Newgard / Brittany Tiegs (FSU) def. Cori Martone / Grace Weaver (TLN) - 21-11, 21-13
No. 2: Jekaterina Stepanova / Jace Pardon (FSU) def. Milena Dragovic / Nikki Osuna (TLN) - 21-6, 21-8
No. 3: Mallory Kiley / Stephanie Pellitteri (FSU) def. Anna Wruck / Lilly Wolfe (TLN) - 21-16, 21-11
No. 4: Melanie Pavels / Visnja Djurdjevic (FSU) def. Azarri Badawi / Olivia Utt (TLN) - 21-7, 21-9
No. 5: Jeassica McGregor / Lauryssa Blackman (FSU) def. Shefali Arora / Amber Bennett (TLN) - 21-12, 21-11