BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University volleyball team defeated Stetson in four sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-13) to win the FAU Invitational.
The Owls (2-1) had a six-point lead midway through the first set, before the Hatters (2-1) rallied to take a 16-15 lead. The two teams exchanged the next several points, leading to a 19-19 tie. FAU closed on a 6-2 run to take the set.
Set number two began with Genesis Viera serving the Owls out to a 4-0 lead. Stetson eventually tied the score at seven, before FAU worked its way to a four-point cushion. The Hatters again responded and managed to knot the score, this time at 20. The Hatters were able to complete the rally this time and won the set 25-23 to tie the match.
It was Stetson's turn to start fast in the third set, taking a 10-6 lead. The margin grew to as many as six, at 17-11 before the Owls scored six unanswered points to level the score. Stetson took the next two points to gain a 19-17 edge, but aided by the serving of Nathalie Rosado, FAU fought back to win the frame 25-21.
Katarina Stepanovic and Kristina Rankovic's serving assisted in helping the Owls storm out to a 15-5 lead in the fourth set. FAU eventually won 25-13 to take the set and the match. Stepanovic and Liene Mellupe led the Owls with 12 kills each. Mellupe added 13 digs for her first career double-double. Mellupe, Stepanovic and Viera were named to the all-tournament team, with Viera earning MVP honors.
The Owls will travel to Jacksonville for next weekend's Jacksonville Marriott Classic.