FIU spikes the competition

FIU’s volleyball team opened the 2008-’09 in winning form with back-to-back victories over Charleston Southern, Syracuse, Clemson and Furman on Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

The Golden Panthers kicked off the long Labor Day weekend with a 3-0 win over Charleston Southern on Aug. 29 in Clemson, S.C.

FIU followed that with a morning 3-0 sweep over Syracuse on Aug. 30 and an afternoon 3-1 win over No. 19 Clemson. By beating the Tigers, the Golden Panthers were named Champions of the Big Orange Bash.

(Last year, Clemson’s record was a solid 27-1. Their only loss was to Furman – whom FIU beat as well. In 2007, Clemson were Atlantic Coast Conference champs and have been chosen as likely to take the title again in 2008. Their record coming into the Big Orange Bash was 2-0.)

“This was a total team win,” said Danijela Tomic, FIU’s head coach. “We [the coaches] told the team that you have a mission and if you play the same as in practice and if you compete and believe in yourself and in each other, then we are going to win.”

FIU completed its South Carolina road trip unbeaten with a win over Furman, 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22), on Sept. 1.

FIU defeated No. 19 Clemson on Aug. 30 in South Carolina

FIU defeated No. 19 Clemson on Aug. 30 in South Carolina

The outside hitter tandem of junior Yarimar Rosa and junior Isadora Rangel helped Golden Panthers run their record to 4-0 for the second time in school history.

Rosa, who earned her sixth Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week award on Sept. 1, had 24 kills and 16 digs to give her a double-double for the fourth time in as many matches. Rangel has now notched 10 or more kills in every game this season with 11 against the Furman Paladins.

Up next for the Golden Panthers is the Middle Tennessee Invitational on Sept. 5 against Appalachian State. The team will come home to play Central Florida on Sept. 12.

Tickets are free to all FIU home games and are available at the door of FIU Arena. For stats, news, and up-to-date information, visit

Here’s a look at FIU’s home games this season:

FIU Tournament:

Fri., Sept. 12 Penn vs. Oral Roberts 5 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 12 FIU vs. Central Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 13 Oral Roberts vs. UCF 11 a.m.
Sat., Sept. 13 FIU vs. Pennsylvania 1 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 13 UCF vs. Pennsylvania 5 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 13 FIU vs. Oral Roberts 7 p.m.

Single Games:

Fri., Sept. 26 FIU vs. South Alabama* 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 27 FIU vs. Troy* 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 10 FIU vs. North Texas* 7 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 12 FIU vs. Denver* 1 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 31 FIU vs. New Orleans* 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 1 FIU vs. Louisiana-Monroe* 7 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 2 FIU vs. Louisiana-Lafayette* 1 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 7 FIU vs. Middle Tennessee 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 9 FIU vs. Western Kentucky* 1 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 15 FIU vs. Florida Atlantic* 7 p.m.

This year’s Sun Belt Conference Championships will be held at FIU from Nov. 20-22.

Tickets to a volleyball match are free for FIU students showing a valid ID card.

* Indicates a conference match.

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