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.


Women’s Volleyball: SMU defeats FAU in an intense game

The Owls lost to the Mustangs, making them 3-4 in conference play
Erika Fletcher
FAU sophomore outside hitter Arianna Beckham (#11) goes for a kill against SMU at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena on Oct. 8, 2023.

FAU women’s volleyball (11-9, 3-4 AAC) fell to the Southern Methodist University Mustangs (SMU) (12-6, 6-1 AAC) on Sunday afternoon, losing three of four sets to pick up their fourth loss in conference play this season.  

“I felt like we played really well today. SMU is the number one team in the conference and I really think that we matched up well. We just need to score a couple more points,” said head coach Fernanda Nelson. 

Junior outside hitter Valeria Rosado led FAU with 20 kills and 22 digs. Junior outside hitter Jamison Wheeler led SMU in kills, putting up 21. Graduate defensive specialist Sina Uluave led the Mustangs in digs, with 22. 

In the first set, FAU sophomore outside hitter Arianna Beckham’s two kills and a block by graduate middle blocker Lauryn Green created the early 6-2 lead for FAU. SMUs’ strong offense closed the gap, making it 10-11. FAU was called out of rotation, giving SMU their first lead of the match. SMU continued the lead through the rest of the set with a kill on set point, 28-26. 

The intensity of the first set was carried over as the score went back and forth between two point leads and many ties in the second set. Towards the end of the set, SMU began to pull ahead, gaining a three-point lead and maintaining it with a final of 25-21.  

SMU held the lead throughout the third set. The Mustang’s outside hitter Naya Shime was able to hit her shots, making it difficult for FAU defenders to get to the ball. There was a battle at the net when four players jumped up to get a ball that was overpassed onto the net. SMU had two errors, giving FAU a late lead for a set point. FAU won 25-23.

In the fourth set, FAU took a four-point lead, the first one for either team since the first set, 7-3. SMU began to come back, closing the lead to only one point. Nelson called a challenge on SMU hitting the net; the call stood and remained SMUs point. SMU took their largest lead of the set after a block by graduate middle blocker Emma Clothier, 18-15. An ace by senior outside hitter Natalie Perdue for SMU gave them a four-point lead, 21-17. SMU won the final set 25-19. 

“We’re going to keep growing our offense. We blocked well. We played incredible defense. We served well…It’s all about the consistency,” said Nelson. 

FAU will play Rice University (13-4, 7-0 AAC) on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in Houston, Texas. 

Megan Bruinsma is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @megan_bruinsma.

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About the Contributors
Megan Bruinsma
Megan Bruinsma, Sports Editor
Megan is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in sports studies. She has grown up with a passion for watching and playing sports. She’s excited to continue her journey of learning how to cover sports in a professional sense. Megan has hopes to become a sports reporter for an NFL or NBA team.
Erika Fletcher
Erika Fletcher, Lead Photographer
Erika is a senior majoring in multimedia studies with a minor in photography. She loves shooting sports and street photography and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, skateboarding, playing soccer, listening to music, and being with her friends and family. She joined the UP on a whim to make new friends and to get better at photography. In her time here, while not long, she's made connections and learned so much about herself already and can't wait to continue her journey with such great people.

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