Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Back in the game

Following a disappointing season, the Lady Owls hope to prove this year that last season was just a case of bad luck.

FAU went 6-19 last year, and only two of those games were in front of a home crowd. The team couldn’t manage to string together more than two consecutive wins while struggling to overcome an injury-ridden roster.

Head coach Jody Brown feels that this year will be different because he has all his players returning, with the exceptions of junior Kristen Cleland, who suffered a career-ending knee injury last year, and now-graduated Krystena Castro, one of few bright spots in last year’s campaign.

“This year — knock on wood — we think that we are much stronger and we have everyone returning,” said Brown. “The girls have been training really hard all summer and all spring. Everyone looks like they are in fantastic shape and so we think we are going to be much more competitive this year.”

Not only do the players agree with Brown, but they have their goals set and are determined to reach them.

“The whole team got better, and most of them stayed here over the summer and have been working really hard towards our goal,” said senior Joanne Tate, the team’s starting setter. “And that goal is to win the Sun Belt and go to the NCAA Championships this year.”

According to Brown, three players will have major roles this season: sophomore Cintia Nightingale and seniors Joanne Tate and Anne Vaughan.

Nightingale is the team’s libero. According to Brown, Nightingale will be one of the top two or three libero’s in the Sun Belt this year.

Tate is FAU’s returning setter, and Brown believes she’ll be the best setter in the Sun Belt Conference by season’s end.

Vaughan is the team’s starting right side. Last season she suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the year. However, according to Tate, Vaughan is 100-percent recovered.

A healthy team is a welcomed relief for the Owls, who lost Vaughan and

Cleland last season to knee injuries. The loss of these two starters made it difficult for the team to play at the level they know they are capable of.

“It was majorly injuries [that contributed to the bad season] because it takes two starters out of the six,” said Brown. “It puts you down pretty fast.”

The Lady Owls struggled to function as a team on the court as they tried to become familiar with the new players who were thrown into the starting lineups.

“I felt a little overwhelmed with what we had to accomplish with so many new players,” said Tate. “But overall it was great, the group became pretty tight.”

The Lady Owls have a lot to prove, but they are confident that by the end of this season they will have won enough matches to help them forget last year’s hardships.


Woman of the Year nominee

Earlier this month, graduated player Krystena Castro, last season’s star middle blocker, was nominated to receive the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The award “honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership,” according to the NCAA website.

While Castro’s final season did not end on a good note for the team, she still had an incredible season individually and ended her career in the top 10 in numerous school categories.

Blair Bodenmiller of FAU’s softball team is also a nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Women’s soccer

09/21 Florida Gulf Coast 6:30 p.m.

09/24 North Texas 6:30 p.m.

09/25 Denver 6:30 p.m.

09/28 Stetson 6:30 p.m.

10/15 Western Kentucky 6:30 p.m.

10/16 Middle Tennessee State 6:30 p.m.

11/02 Florida International 6:30 p.m.

11/05 Louisiana-Lafayette 6:30 p.m.

11/06 Louisiana-Monroe 6:30 p.m.

11/12 South Alabama 6:30 p.m.

11/13 Troy

[Source: http://www.fausports.com]

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