Nov. 21, 2003
Florida Atlantic University opened the 2003 Atlantic Sun Tournament with a 30-28, 30-21, 30-27 win over no. 4 Mercer on Friday afternoon Iana Andonova compiled a career-high 24 kills and added 15 digs to avenge a loss to the Bears earlier this season.
A Jennifer Smith service ace gave Mercer a 1-0 lead in game one but FAU put its first point on the board when Jeana Boyle (Boca Raton, FL) connected with Abby Miner (Largo, FL). The Owls would not trail for the remainder of game, but saw the Bears score three straight points as the Owls were stuck at game point. Mercer came within 29-28 before an Andonova (Margate, FL) kill put Mercer away.
The momentum carried over into game two as FAU jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Mercer then turned around to score seven straight to take a 7-4 lead. The Bears would take a five-point cushion at 17-12 before FAU tied the game at 18-18 on a Lindsey Bell (Colorado Springs, CO) kill. The two teams battled to tie it again at 21-21 before FAU closed out game two on a nine-point run behind the serving of Bell. The First Team All-Conference selection tied her career-high 24 kills set last year at the A-Sun Tournament.
Game three was tied at 23 before FAU went on a 7-4 run to close out the match on a Boyle dump. Boyle finished the match with 46 assists and led the team with 17 digs.
"We felt confident that we could give Mercer all that they wanted," said head coach Jody Brown. "When Mercer was in Boca Raton they played fantastic. We switched some things up to accommodate our defense for their offense a little bit and that helped out a lot."
Jennifer Smith and Katie Plummer both posted double-doubles for Mercer. Smith finished with 18 kills and 13 digs to go with a match-high six service aces, while Plummer posted 10 kills and 14 digs.
Florida Atlantic will return to play no. 1 UCF tonight at 5 pm at UCF Arena. The winner of the match advances to the finals to play for the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.