Volleyball team in good shape as season nears end

There are a few weeks left in the Florida Atlantic women’s volleyball season, and the team is happy with their position in the Atlantic Sun conference.

As of October 23, the Lady Owls, 7-2 in conference play, are ranked fourth, but that could easily change, because there are several inter-conference matches left for the three teams at the top of the standings.

FAU will play Troy State University on Oct. 26. TSU is ranked just ahead of the Lady Owls with a 4-1 conference record.

FAU Head Coach Jody Brown is confident that his team can beat Troy State. “We should be able to beat TSU fairly easily,” he said.

Coach Brown feels that his team should be ranked third in the conference, because even though Troy State has only one loss, they haven’t played the better teams, like UCF, Georgia State, and Florida Atlantic.

Although Brown is happy with the team’s current standing, he’s thinking of the future, too. He’d like to finish third in the conference and consequently draw a sixth seed in the conference tournament.

“I would like [to play] UCF in the semifinals, rather than the finals,” the head coach said. The conference tournament will be played in Orlando, where the University of Central Florida is located, and he doesn’t want to have to worry about a large UCF crowd in the finals.

Coach Brown would also like his team to have some momentum heading into the tournament so that they can be prepared to play two matches on the first day of the tournament.

Brown also has the Lady Owls focusing on conditioning and weight training to get them ready for the end-of-season competition. “We’re really hitting the weights hard. We’re really conditioning very hard. We’re basically at an early season training mode,” he said.

Lady Owl outside hitter Giovanna Milaneze attested to this, saying that she and her teammates are very focused on their weight training as they look ahead to their final two conference games and the conference tournament.

Milaneze, Brown said, is one of the players on the team who has been playing very well as of late. Over the team’s nine conference matches, she has tallied 52 kills and recorded a career night versus UCF with 12 kills and 15 digs.

Iana Andonova, Jeana Boyle, Jessica Kahn, and Abby Miner have also picked up their play.

Andonova totaled 98 kills and is currently second on the team in kills with 2.59 kills per game average.

In the past nine games, Abby Miner has a total of 124 kills and 69 digs. She leads the team with a 3.84 kills per game average.

Jessica Kahn, who is first on the team with a 3.15 hit percentage, totaled 59 kills over the nine conference matches.

Coach Brown said that Jeana Boyle has done a great job leading the Lady Owls’ offense. She totaled 344 assists over the nine conference matches and averages 10.64 assists per game.

The Lady Owls have 5 matches remaining. Two of those are against conference opponents Troy State and Stetson. If they can win the match against Troy State, they can move up to third in the conference. If UCF (8-0) and Georgia State (8-1) lose two or three of their remaining conference matches, FAU could possibly move up even further in the standings. The next couple weeks will be crucial in determining what seed FAU gets when it enters in the Atlantic Sun conference tournament.