Five questions with FAU volleyball head coach Fernanda Nelson

From new players to their change in direction, Nelson gives her insight to the upcoming season.


Max Jackson

FAU volleyball head coach Fernanda Nelson talks to her players during a timeout. Photo by Max Jackson

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

Editor’s note: All responses were received via email and have been left unedited.

A fter going 15-14 and being knocked out of the Conference USA tournament for the fourth straight year, FAU volleyball is working to finally make an impact in the postseason.

Returning with only two seniors and three juniors, head volleyball coach Fernanda Nelson will have her hands full reaching that goal. Here’s what you can expect on the court next season in her eyes.

Which regular season tournament are you looking forward to the most and why?

“I’m looking forward to the first tournament of the year (Stetson Invitational), just to see where we’re at and what adjustments we have to make as a team. I can’t wait for the first weekend.”

Of your new players, who do you expect to step up and make a huge impact immediately?

“There are three that I think can help us right off the bat. Sydney Nemtuda is a strong outside hitter. She’ll help us offensively and defensively right away. Nikki (Lakman) is making us better every day running our offense on the second team. And Mimi (Marion) is a redshirt freshman, she’s a middle (blocker), and she still has to get comfortable with our system, but we’re very excited to work with her.”

What kind of adjustments will you be making to the team for the next season?

“The biggest thing is (finding) leadership. We got a lot of leadership from the four seniors that graduated last year, but I feel like we’re doing a great job making up for that. Kids are stepping up. We’re a young team, but we’re very talented. We just have to keep working on establishing that leadership.”

You have a lot of sophomores on the team this year, how does having that many younger players help your team?

“We had an amazing spring. It helped our kids grow and get stronger and understand our system. The energy we have right now is amazing.”

You had two players arrested for allegedly shoplifting a couple months ago. How do you move forward from that incident as a team?

Coach Nelson was unable to comment, according to FAU Athletics. Both players are still listed on the team page and there was no comment on the nature of their punishment.

Court documents show the prosecutor dropped the charges for both girls on May 25.

The Owls start their season on Aug. 19 versus Miami-Dade College at FAU Stadium at 7 p.m.

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.