The Daily Nole

FSU Beach Volleyball: Noles Fall to USC in National Championship

Bill Love/FSU athletics

A national championship just wasn’t in the cards for Florida State on Sunday as the Seminoles were defeated by USC, 3-0, in the title match.

The Women of Troy forced FSU to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 victory over the Seminoles on Saturday, but Florida State earned a rematch with a 3-1 win over USC’s rival UCLA to begin Sunday.

Nikki Esposito and Macy Jerger got the day off to a good start for FSU with a 21-16, 21-15 straight set victory over UCLA’s duo Reily Buechler and Julie Consani. The Bruins evened the match after Kamila Tan and Ivey Schmitt beat the FSU combo of Kristina Pellitteri and Victoria Paranagua, 21-13 and 21-14.

Julie Brown and Jace Pardon gave the Seminoles a 2-1 lead by beating Nicole and Megan McNamara, 21-19 and 24-22. Vanessa Freire and Sierra Sanchez overcame a 21-19 loss in the first set to UCLA’s Izzy Carey and Elise Zappia to clinch the match with 21-15 and 15-11 victories.

In the national championship, the FSU combinations of Esposito and Jerger and Freier and Sanchez were each defeated in straight sets. Esposito and Jerger lost to USC’s Jo Kremer and Zoe Nightingale, 21-14 and 21-12.

Freier and Sanchez overcame a 23-21 loss to Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler in the first set to win the second, 21-18, and force a third set. In the decisive third set however, FSU fell 15-10.

Trailing 2-0, the Seminoles were forced to win the final three duels, but it didn’t happen for FSU. Brown and Pardon fell to the Women of Troy’s Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, 21-15 and 21-10 as USC claimed the first NCAA-recognized beach volleyball national championship.

Florida State closes the season with an overall record of 32-3.

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