Volleyball: Owls win two of three in Mayo Invitational Tournament

Beat Bethune Cookman and Campbell to total seven sweeps on season.

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Volleyball: Owls win two of three in Mayo Invitational Tournament

The Owl’s celebrate after a successful volley against Stetson on during the FAU Invitational Tournament. FAU continued its success at UNF's Mayo Invitational, winning two games. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

The Owl’s celebrate after a successful volley against Stetson on during the FAU Invitational Tournament. FAU continued its success at UNF's Mayo Invitational, winning two games. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Max Jackson

The Owl’s celebrate after a successful volley against Stetson on during the FAU Invitational Tournament. FAU continued its success at UNF's Mayo Invitational, winning two games. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Max Jackson

Max Jackson

The Owl’s celebrate after a successful volley against Stetson on during the FAU Invitational Tournament. FAU continued its success at UNF's Mayo Invitational, winning two games. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Sports Editor

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Volleyball made it all the way to the final of North Florida’s Mayo Invitational Tournament on Saturday after two sweep wins, but fell in a five set match to earn second place.

Florida Atlantic now sits at 7-3, fourth out of all teams in Conference USA who have yet to play a conference opponent.

Here’s a rundown of what happened in this week’s action:

Game One

FAU (6-2) 3, Bethune Cookman (2-7) 0

The tournament opened Friday for the Owls with a 3-0 win against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats, giving FAU their first sweep of the weekend.

The Owls had previously played BC in their own invitational tournament at the start of this season, with another 3-0 sweep.

Bethune came closest to stopping the sweep in the second set, which had four ties and six lead changes between the two teams. Three straight Owl points with both teams tied at 22 gave FAU a 2-0 lead and put the Wildcats within one loss of losing.

Senior Kristina Rankovic earned her third double-double of the season with the win, adding 11 kills and 12 digs in the sweep.

Game Two

FAU (7-2) 3, Campbell (2-4) 0

Saturday saw the Owls face the Campbell University Camels in their first match of the day, with a spot in the championship game on the line between the two teams.

Despite a second set with twelve ties and two lead changes, FAU hung on to sweep Campbell for their second win of the tourney.

Junior Maja Ristic led the team with 18 kills, while Kristina Rankovic almost had another double-double. The senior posted eight kills and 13 digs.

Game Three

UNF (7-3) 3, FAU (7-3) 2

The Owls’ win brought them into the final with the University of North Florida Ospreys, who also had not lost in the tournament coming into Saturday afternoon.

After losing their first set of the tournament, the Owls trailed UNF 2-0. Needing to win out to survive, FAU stormed back with two wins to tie it at two sets each.

A major reason for the North Florida lead was the blocking skill of the Ospreys’ front line, who finished with 11.5 blocks for the game.

With the score even, UNF won the final set by two points after the Ospreys pulled away from the Owls.

UNF’s Tessa Alyman led the team with 15 kills, while FAU’s Maja Ristic had 19.

A win against the Ospreys would have given FAU its second tournament sweep of the season.

FAU will head to Fort Myers, Florida next week to play in the Florida Gulf Coast classic on Thursday and Friday. They open with a game at FGCU at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Ryan Lynch is the sports editor for the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter.