Kelly Paiva came to Florida Atlantic University as a two-time junior college All-American and didn't disappoint, earning second team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors just one year after knee surgery. In 2005, Paiva was named the Atlantic Sun Volleyball Player of the Year after guiding the Owls to the A-Sun Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Championships. She earned A-Sun Tournament MVP honors and was a guiding force in the Owls' run to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. A consistent regular-season tournament MVP, Paiva ended her FAU career in the top three in total kills, with more than 1,000 achieved and more than 1,800 attempted. She is listed among the leaders in kills in a season and a career in addition to becoming the record holder for kills in a match, with 34. During her senior season, Paiva led the nation in kills. As a team, the 2005 Owls were perfect in conference play, allowing them to tally the highest-ever FAU volleyball team win percentage.