Teams typically try to work out their kinks early in the season, and that is what the Florida A&M Lady Rattlers did in a losing effort to the New Mexico State Aggies.
Florida A&M seemed to have a problem with their blocking and their defense in the first set as the Aggies jumped out to an early lead of 6-2. FAMU seemed to be hitting the ball long in order to compensate for their height. The height continued to cause problems as New Mexico State jumped out to a 12-5 lead and forced coach Tanio Trifonov to call a timeout.
“Our defense, blocking wasn’t very good and that showed as we got off to the bad start,” sophomore Pamela Johnson said.
FAMU figured the Aggies out as the team made a run of their own to cut the lead to 19-13, but that was as close as they would get as the Aggies took six of the next eight points to win the first set 25-15.
The Rattlers had problems with the Aggies’ speed in the second set and New Mexico State racked up a 13-7 lead. Florida A&M showed promise by keeping the ball in play and cutting the lead to 18-13.
“Keeping the ball in play is extremely important because ball control and keeping the ball in play sets the tone for the whole game. Composure keeps the ball alive and when we keep our composure we play better,” Bianca Rucker said.
However, the Rattlers could not close the gap as the veteran Aggies won the second set 25-17 and took control of the match leading two games to none.
The Lady Rattlers improved in the third set and made fewer mistakes to keep the score close throughout.
“We had to make some adjustments heading into the third set and against really good teams we have to make fewer mistakes. We did a better job of putting balls away which resulted in a better set, “said Coach Trifonov.
The valiant effort wasn’t enough though as the Aggies took the third set 25-20 and won the game in straight sets. The Lady Rattlers’ effort in the third set is a positive going into the final game of the weekend as they play University of South Florida Aug. 29, 2010.