Box Score Sept. 17, 2014
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MIAMI, Fla. - Liene Mellupe's
second double-double of the season powered the Florida Atlantic University volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-18, 25-16) win over FIU in its Conference USA opener on Wednesday night.
The eighth and final tie of the first set came at 8-8, before the Owls (8-3, 1-0 C-USA) launched a 12-4 run to take control of the set, eventually winning 25-16. FIU (3-8, 0-1) held a 14-8 lead midway through set number two when FAU rallied to tie the score at 17. The set remained close the rest of the way. The Owls had a chance to close out the set at 24-23, but FIU scored the next three points to tie the match at one set each.
Kristina Rankovic's serving helped the Owls to an 11-3 lead in set number three. FIU managed to rally to within two points at 19-17, but FAU closed on a 6-1 run to take the frame. The fourth set was tight in the early going but six Panther errors helped FAU seize a 16-9 advantage. Three of Mellupe's five kills in that set came down the stretch as the Owls clinched the match with a 25-16 victory.
Mellupe ended the night with 14 kills and 13 digs. The Owls won their conference opener for the first time since 2009 and won at FIU for the first time since 2005. FAU will wrap up tournament play this weekend at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic.