A long sigh of relief was heard from the Florida A&M volleyball team at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when the final whistle was blown signifying the end of their match against Jacksonville University. The Rattlerettes squeaked out a win, 32-30, 30-22, 30-28, to increase their record to 18-4 overall.
In their first meeting of the season, FAMU was also victorious in four games.
When asked how the team played in comparison with the previous game, senior co-captain Anisha Nicholson responded, “We had a different lineup then, because many players were injured. Tonight, actually I think we played worse because there was a lack of concentration.”
The lack of concentration was evident from the beginning as the Rattlerettes battled for each and every point.
Because many players were missing serves, neither team was able to take a large lead.
The Rattlerettes had taken a three point lead over Jacksonville to put the score at 16-13, before the Dolphins began their trek towards tying the score. They scored four unanswered points before head coach Tony Trifonov called a timeout, which forced a sideout on the next point.
The Dolphins pushed the Rattlerettes against the wall by reaching the first game point at 28-29.
Searching deep down, FAMU tied the score and went ahead by one point. JU wasn’t ready to give up quite yet because they tied the score again at 30 before losing their energy, giving FAMU room to win 32-30.
After the game, JU head coach Robin Mignerey commented, “Florida A&M was a little sluggish, and we had big opportunities and didn’t capitalize.”
In the second game, the Rattlerettes took an early seven point lead pushing the score to 12-5 before Mignerey called her first timeout.
Senior Shavonne Newsome contributed an awesome block and one of her three kills to keep the Rattlerettes moving. In fact, because the team was moving so quickly, the Dolphins had no chance to come close to catching the home team and eventually gave up, allowing the game to finish 30-22.
Regaining their intensity, the Dolphins came out in the final game and took the lead right away. When the score reached 0-5 in favor of JU, Trifonov called his first timeout. After obtaining a pep talk from their coaching staff, the Rattlerettes came out and went on a four-point run.
The Rattlerettes eventually tied the score at 17 on a block from Ruiz, but control continued to bounce from team to team before the game was tied again at 23. Numerous long rallies, increased communication and four digs from Nicholson, enabled the Rattlerettes to finish off the game ahead of the Dolphins 30-28 with
Setter Mariela Portocarrero finished off game three with a beautiful dump on a pass that was tight on the net.
Leading the Rattlerettes were freshmen Adriana Kostadinova, who had 16 kills and eight digs and Andreina Ruiz, who had 12 kills and 13 digs.
Tonight is Senior Night for the volleyball team as they take on the Bison of Howard University at 7.
“We need to play with more combinations,” Kostadinova said about tonight’s game.