Florida A&M defeated the Norfolk State Spartans in their last Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game of the season on senior night in four sets (25-21 L, 25-13, 25-19, 25-17) Sunday at the Al Lawson Center.
The Lady Rattlers improve to 11-13 and 7-1 in the MEAC and won the regular-season southern division crown.
Senior Jessica Bond was very emotional after the game and reflected on her time at Florida A&M as her emotions started to show during the post-game ceremony.
“It was always a dream to play division one volleyball, it was a dream I was able to fulfill. I am going to miss the girls a lot, I got really close to the girls and it’s going to be hard to leave this all behind,” Bond said.
Florida A&M lost the first set in a set which the Lady Rattlers took a 10-4 advantage, forcing the Spartans to call a timeout. Norfolk State stormed back and won the set 25-21.
“It’s no secret that Florida A&M is the best team because they are very poised and make very few errors,” Norfolk State head coach Brandon Duvall said. “We had five errors to their one and we had to stay relaxed and loosed and we did and were lucky enough to win.”
Florida A&M won the second set 25-13 by controlling the tempo early and never surrendered the lead.
“The serve reception got us the first game, gave up a series of points, and we weren’t just passing the ball well in the first set and we played better the second game,” Florida A&M head coach Tony Trifonov said. “We had a lot of unforced errors and they ran away with game one.”
The Lady Rattlers had a hitting percentage of .370 and help the Lady Spartans to a hitting percentage of .184 and forced Norfolk State into 26 errors.
The Lady Rattlers were led by their three-headed monster freshmen outside hitter Katherine Huanec with 13 kills, sophomore Pamela Barrera followed with 12 kills, and sophomore Maria Ceccarelli rounded out the trio with 11 kills.
Senior Susan Egoavil reflected on her time at Florida A&M and was embraced by teammates after the game.
“Before the game I was expecting a really great home game so I feel kind of sad but then I realize it’s going to be my last game so I had to enjoy it and I’m happy we won,” Egoavil said.
The Lady Rattlers now prepare for the MEAC tournament that takes place Friday at Coppin State University.