The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers volleyball team lost to the Mercer Bears 3-1 (25-16 L, 25-14 L, 25-16 W, 25-22 L) Saturday in Macon, Ga.
Florida A&M now falls to (6-12, 4-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) and the Bears improved to (11-14, 4-1 in the Atlantic Sun).
The Lady Rattlers were confident coming into the match and hoped to seek redemption against the Bears who swept them at home earlier in the season.
“The previous loss at home might have boosted Mercer’s confidence but it is no match for the new sense of team and energy we are bringing to the court,” freshman outside hitter Kilani Davis said.
The Lady Rattlers came out sluggish in the first two sets and let Mercer establish the tempo early. Florida A&M had a hitting percentage of .111 in the first set and a hitting percentage of .062 in the second. Mercer had hitting percentages above .300 in both sets.
Florida A&M came out with more fight after the slow start, took the third set and went back and forth in the fourth set before Mercer built a 20-17 lead and never looked back.
Sophomore outside hitter Bianca Rucker led the Lady Rattlers with 13 kills and freshman setter Diana Gonzalez led the team with 39 assists.
Senior middle blocker Krista Hurley led the Bears, she had 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .857.
“Krista Hurley had an impressive showing tonight as she was a leader both vocally and physically,” Mercer head coach Noelle Rooke said. “As one of my senior captains, she kept our team in check and put up exceptional numbers offensively and defensively.”
The loss marks the first time the Bears have swept Florida A&M under head coach Tony Trifonov. The team has only one out-of-conference win on the season.
Coach Trifonov said earlier in the season, the weakness of the team was the hitting and that it needed to improve.
“Hitters need to improve because they have the attempts and they have double the hitting errors than the opponent so hitting is the weakness of the team,” Trifonov said.
Florida A&M has lost two straight games, including a loss to South Carolina State.
The Lady Rattlers look to get back on track against the North Carolina Central Lady Eagles in Durham, N.C., Friday.