The Lady Rattlers volleyball team’s winning streak continues as they won their 12th game in a row against the Lady Aggies of North Carolina A&T State University Sunday afternoon in Gaither Gym.
The Rattlers beat the Lady Aggies 3-0, with scores of 30-16, 30-18 and 30-19. The Lady Rattlers remain undefeated in the MEAC with a record of 9-0.
The team was led by senior outside hitter, Adriana Kostadinova who contributed 14 kills to the team total. Junior middle blocker Maria Andonova added 11 kills, while sophomore Diana Genkova put in 10 kills of her own.
Kostadinova was named MEAC Player of the Week for her performance Sunday. It is the second Player of the Week honor this season for Kostadinova, who is currently 139 kills from becoming the all-time leader at FAMU, with 1,431 career kills.
The Lady Aggies suffered their first conference loss, setting them at 9-1 in the conference and 15-12 overall on the season. Darlene Mitchell led the team in Sunday’s competition with 12 kills.
The Lady Rattlers are sweeping every MEAC team. Consequently their MEAC games are becoming a routine for them and not a competition.
“The girls get bored sometimes with the competition. They get real relaxed sometimes,” Head Coach Tony Trifonov said.
Since the Lady Rattlers are proving to be simply too much for the MEAC to handle, they have begun to use the MEAC games to practice for some “real competition.”
“We use the MEAC games to work on our blocking and our defense,” Maria Andonova said.
Senior middle blocker, Jayli Jackson agreed that MEAC games are similar to practice but said that it is hard to work on “D” when the teams don’t attack. Jackson said although the MEAC is not very competitive, the team must stay focused and a “W” is not enough.
“We have to win all MEAC games to keep our rankings. Because the MEAC is such a weak conference we must win or we will drop in our national rankings,” Jackson said of the Lady Rattlers’ attempt to crack into the top 25 Division I in the nation.
Although the Lady Rattlers have a perfect MEAC record, coach Trifonov says they still have things to improve.
“We need to work on defense and ball control. We have problems with free balls so we are trying to work on that,” Trifonov said. The Lady Rattlers are set to take on rival Lady Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman College, who currently hold a 5-4 conference record and 10-15 overall, in Daytona Beach Saturday, Oct. 29 at 5p.m. The Lady Rattlers will then bring the rivalry back to the home crowd, as they will host the Lady Wildcats in Gaither Gym Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.