Nov. 26, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - For the first time since the 2005 season, the FAU volleyball team posted 18 wins in a season as the Owls went 18-12 in 2014 with a 9-7 mark in Conference USA.
"It was a very good season, I'm very proud of the amazing group of girls I had the chance to coach this season and how hard they worked," said FAU Volleyball Head Coach Fernanda Nelson. "We made a lot of progress individually and as a group. We've laid the foundation for the future of the program."
The Owls opened the season by hosting the FAU Invitational over Labor Day weekend. Despite a loss to McNeese, FAU won the tournament. Junior Katarina Stepanovic and senior Liene Mellupe were named to the all-tournament team, while setter Genesis Viera was named tournament MVP.
The next week, the Owls kicked off a month long stretch of tournaments, followed by the start of conference play. Brittany Brown was named to the all-tournament team of all three events the Owls played in. FAU won nine of 12 matches during that time, including a four set win over FIU to begin the C-USA schedule.
October proved to be a very good month for the Owls. Stepanovic started the month off by becoming the first FAU player in nearly eight years to win a weekly conference award when she was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week. On Halloween night, the Owls swept Charlotte and clinched a berth in the C-USA tournament.
The final weekend of the season saw the team return home for Senior Night to honor Ivana Bulajic and Liene Mellupe.
"It was important to recognize Liene and Iva for their leadership and contributions to helping our younger girls grow," said Nelson.
The Owls swept Louisiana Tech to finish the season with a winning conference record for the first time in nine years. The 2014 season also saw a handful of individual players earn several accolades. In addition to Stepanovic's honor, Viera was named Setter of the Week later in the season for a week that included a career high 61 assists vs. FIU. Stepanovic was also named First Team All-Conference, while Brittney Brown was named to the Second Team.
The Owls are expected to return five starters plus their libero for the 2015 season.
"I'm very excited about where the program is headed and can't wait to start our spring practice schedule," said Nelson.