TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - You have to drive an hour and a half from Tallahassee to get to white sandy beaches, but the beach comes to Tallahassee if we're talking volleyball.
"We've been practicing and working out really hard so we're really excited to get it going and finally see the results," said junior Madison Fitzpatrick.
Florida State beach volleyball is consistently one of the top programs in the country, and after finishing fifth at last year's National Tournament, they're hungrier than ever.
"This year, we've come out more confident and definitely in our strength training," said senior Molly McBain. "The conditioning test we all crushed it so we're feeling really good about ourselves and we're ready to go."
"Last year coming in fifth place, that feeling sticks with you," added Fitzpatrick. "In the off season we hold that feeling in our hearts and we keep working at it because we know we never want to feel that way again."
The feeling of falling short is one this program knows all too well. Even with a young team, confidence is high this time around.
"We're all super excited. We had a super long off season and I think everyone is ready to go and play," said McBain. "There's not a lot of differentiation between the skill levels this year, so we have a lot of new freshman who are good to go."
"I think this year more than ever it's wide open," said head coach Brooke Niles. "There's a lot of great coaches and a lot of great playersat a lot of schools across the country. We just can't take anybody lightly. That's the end goal, but I think we have a lot of little goals that we have to hit first before we think about that."
Florida State opens their season this weekend at home with the Seminole Beach Bash. For their schedule, click here.